Bryan S. Turner, City University of New York
Cambridge University Press – 2011
Religion is now high on the public agenda, with recent events focusing the world’s attention on Islam in particular. This book provides a unique historical and comparative analysis of the place of religion in the emergence of modern secular society. Bryan S. Turner considers the problems of multicultural, multi-faith societies and legal pluralism in terms of citizenship and the state, with special emphasis on the problems of defining religion and the sacred in the secularisation debate. He explores a range of issues central to current debates: the secularisation thesis itself, the communications revolution, the rise of youth spirituality, feminism, piety and religious revival. Religion and Modern Society contributes to political and ethical controversies through discussions of cosmopolitanism, religion and globalisation. It concludes with a pessimistic analysis of the erosion of the social in modern society and the inability of new religions to provide ‘social repair’.
Table of Contents
Introduction: the state of the sociology of religion Part I. Theoretical Frameworks: The Problem of Religion in Sociology: 1. Religion, religions and the body 2. Ã‰mile Durkheim and the classification of religion 3. Max Weber and comparative religion 4. Talcott Parsons and the expressive revolution 5. Mary Douglas and modern primitives 6. Pierre Bourdieu and religious practice Part II. Religion, State and Post-Secularity: 7. The secularization thesis 8. Legal pluralism, religion and multiculturalism 9. Managing religions: liberal and authoritarian states 10. Religious speech: on ineffable communication 11. Spiritualities: the media, feminism and consumerism 12. Religion, globalisation and cosmopolitanism 13. Civil religion, citizenship and the business cycle 14. The globalisation of piety.