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Religion, Culture & Society

Religion, Culture & Society
A Global Approach

May 2014 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"The reader is taken on a global exploration of the forms and diversities of religions and their social and cultural contexts... It is up to the minute in research and theory, and comfortably grounded in the traditions of the social explanation of things religious and spiritual."
- Gary Bouma AM, Monash University

"Tells how sociology of religion originated in the work of key nineteenth and twentieth century theorists and then brings the story into the present era of globalization, hybrid spirituality, and the Internet. Students of religion will find this an engaging and informative survey of the field."
- Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University

"It considers the ‘big questions’ - What is religion? How is religion changing in a modern world? What is the future of religion? – and addresses them through tangible case studies and observations of contemporary life. Its global perspective reflects the breadth, diversity and vibrancy of this field."
- Sylvia Collins-Mayo, Kingston University

This is a rich and dynamic introduction to the varieties of religious life and the central issues in the sociology of religion today. It leads the reader through the key ideas and main debates within the field as well as offering in-depth descriptions and analysis of topics such as secularization, fundamentalism, Pentecostal Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, atheism, ‘The spiritual marketplace’, digital religion and new religions like Wicca.

Emphasising religion as a global phenomenon, examining especially the ways in which globalization has had an impact on everyday religious life, Singleton has created an illuminating text suitable for students in a wide range of courses looking at religion as a social and cultural phenomenon.

Introduction: Religion, Culture and Society
What Is Religion and Spirituality?
Modern Times: Classical Approaches in the Social Scientific Study of Religion
Twentieth-century Challenges, twentieth-century Thinkers
Towards Contemporary Theorizing: Secularization, the 'Religious Economy' and Globalization
Studying Contemporary Religion: Methods and Data
Post-Christian Nations? Christianity's Decline in Great Britain, Australia and Canada
One Nation under God? American 'Exceptionalism'
Christian Vitality? Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America
Buddhism and Hinduism in a Globalized World
The Rise of the Global Ummah? Recent Trends in Islam
'Lived' Religion in Everyday Life
The End of Religion? The New Atheism and Secularism
The Future of Religion? Young People, Religion and Spirituality

An interesting and comprehensive guide to Religion, Culture and Society, this is a useful book for those studying Religious Education. There are helpful points to ponder, next steps and further explorations at the end of each chapter, allowing the reader the opportunity to extend their knowledge of a specific area.
With a useful introduction to the empirical study of religion this will also benefit students undertaking research within the field of Religious Education. It shares examples of research from across the globe, and I would recommend this as a key text for students interested in religion and global perspectives.

Ms Lisa Vickerage-Goddard
Faculty of Education, Newman University
August 2, 2016

This is an excellent text book. It deals confidently and sensitively with the essentials of the sociology of religion for undergraduate students. In particular, the emphasis on the requirement for a global perspective on religious life and spirituality is to be commended.

Dr Walter Riggans
Cliff College, Cliff College
October 27, 2015

This is a comprehensive introduction to the subject of the Sociology of Religion and of relevance to those studying relevant topics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The inclusion of contemporary suggestions with regard to the study and research of Religion would be extremely useful to students.

Ms Victoria Louise Booth
H.E Care, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
October 30, 2015

A useful text but might be too broad in scope without accompanying detail

Ms Hazel O brien
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
October 8, 2014

An indispensable global guide to the overlay between religion, culture and society. This book asks the big questions about religions and their futures in a global context.

Mr Matt Kirby
Performance, University College Falmouth
October 2, 2014

A valuable and enrichening source for the Culture, Society and Health course, will be used/recommended in our next course in November-December 2014

Professor Jussi Kauhanen
Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Univ. of Eastern Finland
September 16, 2014

This was an excellent text that I did not adapt only because there was a free ebook that worked available on the University Website.

Professor Judith Griffin
Sociology , University Of Massachusetts
August 6, 2015

The discussion of religion is too broad for my course.

Dr Jennifer Morrison
Communications Studies Dept, San Jose State University
July 17, 2014

Various religions are discussed in this book which gives some helpful insights. Often spirituality and religions are overlooked by Social Work candidates as an area they may not feel comfortable with exploring. So I hope this book can be used productively to give a way to support people holistically.

Mrs Sue Williams
Institute of Applied Social Studies, Birmingham University
May 14, 2014

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