The contributors to
Bringing Back the Social into the Sociology of Religion explore how 'bringing the social back into the sociology of religion' makes possible a more adequate sociological understanding of such topics as power, emotions, the self, or ethnic relations in religious life. In particular, they do so by engaging with social theories and addressing issues of epistemology and scientific reflexivity. The chapters of this book cover a range of different religious traditions and regions of the world such as Sufism in Pakistan; the Kabbalah Centre in Europe, Brazil and Israel; African Christian missions in Europe; and Evangelical Christianity in France and Oceania. They are based upon original empirical research, making use of a range of methods - quantitative, ethnographic and documentary.
Criticism of Theology provides a detailed and critical commentary on the continued fascination with religion by yet more significant Marxist philosophers, historians and critics: Max Horkheimer, E.P. Thompson, G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, Michael Löwy, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari and Antonio Negri. Simultaneously critique and construction,
Criticism of Theology carefully analyses their work through close textual readings, with a view to locating hidden gems that may be developed further. The book continues the project for a renewed and enlivened interaction between Marxism and religion, being the third of five volumes in the
Criticism of Heaven and Earth series.
The American historian of ancient religions, Morton Smith (1915-1991), studied with the great scholar of Jewish mysticism, Gershom Scholem (1897-1982), when he was in Jerusalem during the Second World War. After the war, the two started a long, fascinating and at times intense correspondence that ended only with Scholem's death. These letters, found in the Scholem archive in the National Library in Jerusalem, provide a rare perspective on the world and the approach of two leading historians of religion in the twentieth century. They also shed important new light upon Smith's discovery of a letter attributed to Clement of Alexandria referring to a secret Gospel of Mark.