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`This is a wide-ranging and authoritative analysis of sociology's 'state-of-the-art'. It will set the terms of debate for the next decade' - John Urry, Lancaster University, U.K.`The profession of sociology was blessed by abundance of excellent handbooks. The one edited by Craig Calhoun, Christ Rojek and Bryan Turner was preceded by outstanding sociology handbooks, the most eminent ones by Robert Farris and E Lee published in 1964 and a more recent one by Neil Smelser in1988. The volume by Farris and Lee not only served as an introductory text to the discipline, but contained many innovative papers, which re-oriented social research for years to come. Smelser brought together the best possible and most polished overview of the contributions professional sociology at his time. The Calhoun-Rojek-Turner ...

The Sociology of Religion
The sociology of religion
Introduction: The Origins of the Sociology of Religion

Religion refers to those processes and institutions that render the social world intelligible, and which bind individuals authoritatively into the social order. Religion is therefore a matter of central importance to sociology. To write sociologically is inevitably to work within a particular tradition that has in advance identified certain issues and themes that are salient in the definition of social phenomena. The fact that a classical sociological tradition has already defined the field in advance appears to be particularly important in the case of religion (O'Toole, 2001; Robertson, 1970). In this overview of the sociology of religion, I pay considerable attention to the legacies of Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, who ...

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