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Edited by Anthony Blasi

This volume presents views of American sociology from minority groups and important intellectual movements that did not merge into the mainstream. Coinciding with the centenary of the American Sociological Association, it provides little-known background information to the development of the field. A first section highlights tensions between impartial scientific sociology and scientific social reform. A second section uncovers the experiences of female, African American, and Latino pioneers in the field, as well as a sociologist from a religious minority. A third section traces the organizational history of the field, including gendered, racial, regional, and outsider perspectives. A final section focuses on several neglected trajectories. With this volume, American sociology can be seen in its full context.

Sociology of Religion in America

A History of a Secular Fascination with Religion

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Anthony Blasi

Sociology of Religion in America tells the story of the controversies involved in the development of a scientific specialty that often makes news in America. The evidence it presents runs contrary to the many myths about the field. Sometimes viewed by scholars as a backwater, actual evidence from the 1890s to the 1980s shows that sociology of religion had a steady presence in sociology all along. Seen as a force alien to religion by some, it was actually in a mutually supportive relationship with religious organizations.

Examining dissertations dating from 1895 to 1959 and scientific articles from the 1960s to the 1980s, Anthony J. Blasi discovers who the major sociologists of religion were and what they did. He traces the field’s previously unknown tradition in community studies, the exigencies of the research institutes, and dramatic changes in the professional associations.

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Edited by Anthony Blasi

Driven by funding agencies, empirical research in the social scientific study of health and medicine has grown in quantity and developed in quality. When it became evident, in what is now a tradition of inquiry, that people’s religious activities had significant health consequences, a portion of that body of work began to focus more frequently on the relationship between health and religion. The field has reached a point where book-length summaries of empirical findings, especially those pertinent to older people, can identify independent, mediating, and dependent variables of interest. Every mediating variable, even if considered as a “control” variable, represents an explanation, a small theory of some kind. However, taken in granular form, as it were, the multiple theories do not comprise mid-level theory, let alone a general theoretical framework. This volume seeks to move toward more general theoretical development.

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Anthony Blasi

This is a collection of histories of various aspects of American sociology of religion. The contributions range from descriptions of early dissertations, accounts of changes in theoretical conceptualization, the evolution of studies of particular denominations, to the rise of new areas of inquiry such as globalization, feminism, new religions, and the study of the religious traditions of Latino/a Americans. Taken as a whole, the volume complements rather than duplicates commemorative issues of the relevant journals, which focused on the scholarly organizations in the field. It represents a first effort to develop an organized treatment of the fascinating history of the specialty in the U.S.A.

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Anthony J. Blasi

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Anthony J. Blasi

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Anthony J. Blasi