It can be said that history is poor sociology that does not account sufficiently for present social circumstances, while sociology is bad history in that it does not go back in time. This volume in the Religion and Social Order series sets out to address these conjoint problems of history and sociology within the disciplinary boundaries of the sociology of religion. History has such a fickle nature that it has seen religion hold varied and different places within the timeline of sociological thought. Religion had a high level of importance among the early founders of sociology. A perceived decline of significance for religion by sociology in the latter half of the twentieth century mirrored the changing social location of religion. The increase in world fundamentalisms, religious movements, private spiritualities and other indicators in the millennial age have brought a renaissance to this longstanding subdiscipline and shown that religion is far from extinction.
Barbara Jones Denison, Ph.D. (1985) in Sociology Northwestern University, is department chair and directs the graduate leadership program at Shippensburg University. Co-authored
Social Problems in Global Perspectives and was assistant editor of the
Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. She is past executive officer of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and past president of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society.
Contributors include: Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Peter Beyer, Kevin J. Christiano, Jonathan Eastwood, Elijah Obinna, Pen-Hsuan Lin, Rick Moore, Robert Prus, John H. Simpson, and William H. Swatos, Jr.
All those interested in the contributions that historical scholarship can make to sociological research and theory, particularly with regard to the study of religion-and-society.