An expert team of international scholars provide fifty-one essays as entry points into the sociological study and understanding of religion and in-depth surveys into its changing forms and content in the contemporary world. Issues discussed range from ecology to law, art to cognitive science, crime to health care.
1. Introduction:Towards a Global Framework and Organic Understanding of Religion; I: THEORY: CLASSICAL, MODERN AND POSTMODERN; 2. Reappraising Durkheim for the Study and Teaching of Religion; 3. The Uses of Max Weber: Legitimation and Amnesia in Buddhology, South Asian History, and Anthropological Practice Theory; 4. Max Weber: Religion and Modernization; 5. Max Weber on Islam and Confucianism: the Kantian Theory of Secularization; 6. Religion in the Works of Habermas, Bourdieu and Foucault; 7. Rational Choice Theory: A Critique; 8. Religion and Gender; 9. Religion and Modernity Worldwide; 10. Postmodernism and Religion; 11. Religion and Power; 12. Culture and Religion; I: METHOD; 13. Methodology in the Sociology of Religion; 14. Conceptual Models in the Study of Religion; 15. Defining Religion: A Social Science Approach; 16. Explaining Religion through Cognitive Science; III: RELIGION AND RELATED SPHERES: MORALITY, SCIENCE, IRRELIGION, ART AND SEXUALITY; 17. Science and Religion; 18. Atheism; 19. Religion and Morality; 20. The Contemporary Convergence of Art and Religion; 21. The Social Roots and Meaning of Trance and Possession; IV: RELIGION AND THE STATE, THE NATION, THE LAW; 22. Religion and the State; 23. Religion and Nationalism; 24. Religion and the Law: An Interactionist View; 25. The Socio-cultural and Socio-religious Origins of Human Rights; V: GLOBALISATION AND ITS RELIGIOUS EFFECTS; 26. Globalization, Theocratization and Politicized Civil Rights; 27. Migration and the Globalization of Religion; 28. Religious Fundamentalism; 29. Religious Diversity; VI: STANDARD OR MAINSTREAM RELIGION; 30. The Meaning and Scope of Secularization; 31. The Sociology of the Clergy; 32. Congregations: Local, Social and Religious; 33. Church-Sect-Cult:Constructing Typologies of Religious Groups; 34. Sects in Islam; VII: THE REPRODUCTION AND TRANSMISSION OF RELIGION; 35. The Reproduction and Transmission of Religion; 36. Generations and Religion; 37. Religion and Family; 38. Religion and Ritual; 39. Religion in the Media; 40. Religion and the Internet; VIII: NEW RELIGION, NEW SPIRITUALITY AND IMPLICIT RELIGION; 41. New Religious Movements; 42. Unchurched Spirituality; 43. Spiritualities of Life; 44. The Sociology of Esotericism; 45. Implicit Religion; XI: ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES; 46. Religion and Ecology; 47. Religion, Spirituality and Health: An Institutional Approach; 48. Religion and Social Problems: A New Theoretical Perspective; 49. Religion and Social Problems: Individual and Institutional Responses; 50. The Role of Religious Institutions in Responding to Crime and Delinquency; 51. Religion and Altruism; 52. Religious Violence; 53. Girard, Religion, Violence, and Modern Martydom; X: TEACHING THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION; 54. The Teacher as Religious Ethnographer; 55. Ethnography/ Religion: Explorations in Field and Classroom; Index