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Religion and Social Theory
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Religion and Social Theory

Second Edition


July 1991 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The second edition of this major book on the social analysis of religion incorporates a substantial new introduction by Bryan S Turner. Religion and Social Theory assesses the different theoretical approaches to the social function of religion. Turner discusses at length the ideas of key contributors to these approaches (including Engels, Durkheim, Weber, Nietzsche, Freud, Parsons, Marcuse, Habermas and Foucault). In so doing, he develops a distinctive perspective on the role of religion as an institutional link between economic and human reproduction.

Social theories of religion are explored through a resolutely comparative and historical analysis of the Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Relating comparative religion to the social context of individualism, civil religions and political legitimacy, the book makes a major contribution to the analysis of conflict and consensus in social systems.

 
Introduction to the Second Edition
 
Other Religions
 
Social Cement
 
Social Opium
 
Religion as Exchange
 
Religion as Social Control
 
Feudalism and Religion
 
Individualism, Capitalism and Religion
 
Religion and Political Legitimacy
 
Religion and Global Politics
 
cular Bodies and the Dance of Death
 
Appendix
What is Religion?

 

`This perceptive and wide-ranging book embraces a number of distinctive themes... one of the most stimulating books in the field for a long time' - British Journal of Sociology

`Turner writes... with much more analytical penetration and sensitivity to historical variation and conjuncture than is to be found in the vast majority of sociological writings of our time on the theme of religion' - Theory, Culture & Society

`The most important theoretical contribution to the sociology of religion in the last two decades. It presents a challenge to many of the prevailing assumptions in that field and suggests ways in which it could regain the position of centrality that it occupied in the work of classical sociologists such as Weber and Durkheim' - Professor Kenneth Thompson

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