November 25, 2010
Secularization and Its Discontents, October 2010, Continuum Books, 232 pp., £19.99
by Rob Warner, Ph.D., Professor of Religion, Culture and Society, and Dean of Humanities at the University of Chester, UK.
Authoritative guide to contemporary debates and issues in the sociology of religion providing a clear examination of classical secularization and the post-secularization paradigm.
Secularization and Its Discontents provides an illuminating overview of major current debates in the sociology of religion, exploring changing patterns of religious practice in the West during the past 150 years. Examining classical secularization theory as well as modified versions that allow for difference between national and social contexts, Rob Warner also explores the proposed post-secularization paradigm, as well as its close offshoot, rational choice theory. Possibilities for a spiritual revolution and the feminisation of religion are scrutinised, and also theories of the durability of conservative religion. The author goes on to develop a new interpretation of resilient religion from an analysis of 21st century trends in religious participation. These are categorised as entrepreneurial and experiential-therapeutic, before the volume finally focuses upon individual identity construction through autonomous religious consumption.
This book provides a clear and penetrating overview of theoretical frameworks and develops a new theoretical synthesis derived from fresh examination of empirical data, and will be of interest to academics and students in religious studies, practical theology and the sociology of religion.
Table of Contents
1. Classical Secularization Theory
2. Modified Secularization Theory
3. American Rejections of Secularization Theory
4. Is There a Spiritual Revolution?
5. The Durability of Conservative Religion: American and British Perspectives
6. Resilient Religion – Emerging Transatlantic and Global Trends