The SAGE Handbook of the Sociology of Religion
Publication Year: 2007
Subject: Sociology of Religion (general)
"Serious social scientists who care about making sense of the world can no longer ignore the fact that religious beliefs and practices are an important part of this world. Nor can scholars claim to understand religion by adding a couple of variables to their models, anymore than they could understand race, gender, or social class this way. This Handbook is a valuable resource for specialists and amateurs alike. The editors have done an exceptionally fine job of incorporating topics that illuminate the range and diversity of religion and its continuing significance throughout the world."—Robert Wuthnow, Princeton UniversityAt a time when religions are increasingly affecting, and affected by, life beyond the narrowly sacred sphere, religion everywhere seems to be caught up in change and conflict. In ...
- Front Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: The Classical Tradition in Sociology of Religion
- Chapter 2: Assessing Modernities: From ‘Pre-’ to ‘Post-’ to ‘Ultra-’
- Chapter 3: Secularization and Sacralization Deconstructed and Reconstructed
- Chapter 4: Rational Choice and Religious Economies
- Chapter 5: Globalization and Glocalization
- Chapter 6: Micro Qualitative Approaches to the Sociology of Religion: Phenomenologies, Interviews, Narratives, and Ethnographies
- Chapter 7: Surveys of Behaviour, Beliefs and Affiliation: Micro-Quantitative
- Chapter 8: History, Methodologies, and the Study of Religion
- Chapter 9: Congregations Resurgent
- Chapter 10: Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: The Politics of Global Popular Protestantism
- Chapter 11: From ‘Cults’ to New Religious Movements: Coherence, Definition, and Conceptual Framing in the Study of New Religious Movements
- Chapter 12: New Age Religion and Irreligion
- Chapter 13: Civil Religion in America and in Global Context
- Chapter 14: Keepers of the Tradition: Religious Professionals and their Careers
- Chapter 15: Orders and Schisms on the Sacred Periphery
- Chapter 16: Faith-Based Initiatives
- Chapter 17: Religion on the Internet
- Chapter 18: Religion and the State; Violence and Human Rights
- Chapter 19: Religion and Regulation
- Chapter 20: Religion in Rebellion, Resistance, and Social Movements
- Chapter 21: Religious Affiliations, Political Preferences, and Ideological Alignments
- Chapter 22: Cross-National Comparisons of Individual Religiosity
- Chapter 23: Rethinking the Relationship between Ethnicity and Religion
- Chapter 24: Religious Socialization among American Youth: How Faith Shapes Parents, Children, and Adolescents
- Chapter 25: Age, Generation, and Cohort in American Religion and Spirituality
- Chapter 26: Religion and Identity
- Chapter 27: Gender Differences in Religious Practice and Significance
- Chapter 28: Embodiment, Emotion and Religious Experience: Religion, Culture and the Charismatic Body
- Chapter 29: Religion as a Factor in Life and Death through the Life-Course
- Chapter 30: Oligopoly Dynamics: Official Religions in China
- Chapter 31: The Religious Landscape of Central and Eastern Europe after Communism
- Chapter 32: Judaism in Israel: Public Religion, Neo-Traditionalism, Messianism, and Ethno-Religious Conflict
- Chapter 33: State Shinto and Religion in Post-War Japan
- Chapter 34: Mexico: A Mirror for the Sociology of Religion
Introduction and editorial arrangement © James A. Beckford and N. J. Demerath III 2007
First published 2007
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List of Figures and Tables[Page ix]
- Ch 3Table 3.1: A typology of secularization scenarios 72
- Ch 7 Table 7.1: Data sources for selected countries 160
- Ch 12Figure 12.1: Curvilinear relation between religiousness and New Age acceptance 253
- Table 12.1: Barnes & Noble titles in 30 subcategories of New Age and alternative beliefs 249
- Table 12.2: Cult definitions from Stark and Bainbridge (1985, 1987) 250
- Table 12.3: Percent atheist among those who like … 260
- Ch 21Table 21.1: Religion and the 2004 American Presidential Vote 444
- Ch 22Table 22.1: Religious feeling, denomination, religious practices and beliefs in God 468
- Table 22.2: Beliefs in life after death, hell, heaven, reincarnation, telepathy and lucky charms 470
- Table 22.3: Relationship between the scale of beliefs in God and the scales of practices, religious feeling and trust in churches 471
- Table 22.4: Relationship between the scales of religiosity and some socio-demographic variables 473
- Table 22.5: Relationship between attending religious services at 12 years old and age, denomination and frequency of current attendance at worship 475
- Table 22.6: Attendance at religious services at 12 years old and typology of religious evolution 477
- Table 22.7: Attendance at religious services once a month 481
- by birth cohort Table 22.8: A great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the church by birth cohort 481
- Table 22.9: Belief in life after death by birth cohort 482
- Table 22.10: Belief in a personal God by birth cohort 483
- Table 22.11: Belief that God is important in one's life (from 8 to 10 positions) by birth cohort 483
- Table 22.12: Dimensions of religiosity, for young and old people, in Central and Eastern European countries 484
- Ch 23 Figure 23.1: Summary of the Abramson and Hammond/Warner Typology 494
- Ch 27 Figure 27.1: Religion's positioning in relation to gender 570
- Ch 30 Table 30.1: Official statistics of five religions in China 639
- Ch 32Table 32.1: Respondents' proclaimed level of observance of themitzvot677
- Table 32.2: Identities, practices, and beliefs 678
- Table 32.3: Identities, practices, and beliefs by origins in 1999 680
About the Contributors[Page x]
William S. Bainbridge earned his doctorate in sociology from Harvard University, with a dissertation based on research about the space program. He is the author of 13 books, four textbook-software packages, and about 200 shorter publications in information science, social science of technology, and the sociology of religion. He has published extensively on new religious movements, including the general textbook, The Sociology of Religious Movements (1997), and sociological case studies of two movements: Satan's Power (1978) and The Endtime Family (2002). His most recent works in this area are God from the Machine (2006), a study using artificial intelligence techniques to understand religious belief, and the forthcoming book, Across The Secular Abyss, a study of tension between science, religion, and human well being. With Rodney Stark, he wrote three books outlining a general social-scientific approach to religion: The Future of Religion (1985), A Theory of Religion (1987), and Religion, Deviance and Social Control (1996).
John P. Bartkowski is Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University. Much of his work examines the connections between religion, gender, family, and social welfare. He is the author of Charitable Choices: Religion, Race, and Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era (New York University Press, 2003), The Promise Keepers: Servants, Soldiers, and Godly Men (Rutgers University Press, 2004), and Remaking the Godly Marriage: Gender Negotiation in Evangelical Families (Rutgers University Press, 2001). Bartkowski is currently working on two books – one on Latter-day Saint teen religiosity and another on faith-based social service provision in different regions of the U.S. His work has appeared in such journals as Sociology of Religion, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Social Forces, Sociological Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Social Science Research, Criminology, Journal of Marriage and Family, Gender & Society, and Qualitative Sociology.
James A. Beckford, Fellow of the British Academy, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. He was President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in 1988 and President of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion from 1999 to 2003. His main publications include Religious Organization (1974), The Trumpet of Prophecy. A Sociological Analysis of Jehovah's Witnesses (1975), Cult Controversies. The Societal Response to New Religious Movements (1985), Religion and Advanced Industrial Society (1989), (with Sophie Gilliat) Religion in Prison. Equal Rites in a Multi-Faith Society (1998), Social Theory and Religion (2003), and (with D. Joly and F. Khosrokhavar) Muslims in Prison: Challenge and Change in Britain and France (2005). He is the editor of New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change (1986), and co-editor of The Changing Face of Religion (1989), Secularization, Rationalism and Sectarianism (1999), Challenging Religion (2003), and Theorising Religion: Classical and Contemporary Debates (2006).
Peter Beyer is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His publications include Religions in Global Society (Routledge, 2006), Religion and Globalization (Sage, 1994), Religion in the Process of Globalization (ed., Ergon, 2001), and numerous articles in diverse journals and collected volumes. His research [Page xi]specializations include religion and globalization, social theory of religion, religion and transnational migration, and religion in Canada. He is currently conducting research into the religious lives and attitudes of second generation Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist youth in Canada.
Roberto Blancarte is Director of the Centro de Estudios Sociológicos (Centre of Sociological Studies) at El Colegio de México. He obtained his Ph.D. at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France (1988). He is the author of Salinismo e Iglesia católica; ¿una nueva con-vivencia? (1991); Historia de la Iglesia católica en México (1992); Afganistán; La revolución islámica frente al mundo occidental (2001); El sucesor de Juan Pablo II; Escenarios y candidatos del próximo cónclave (2002) Entre la fe y el poder; Religión y política en México (2004). He has also edited Cultura e identidad nacional (1994); Religiones, Iglesias y democracia (1995); El pensamiento social de los católicos mexicanos (1996); and Laicidad y valores en un Estado democrático (2000). His major area of research is church-state relations, laicity, and secularization.
Irena Borowik, Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland, is a sociologist of religion in the Institute for the Scientific Study of Religion and has been President of Nomos Publishing House since 1991. She is interested in theoretical and methodological problems of the sociology of religion, religious change in post-communist countries, and the religiosity of European societies. Her recent publications include (in Polish) Rebuilding of Memory. Religious Change in Central and Eastern Europe after the Collapse of Communism (2000), Religious and Moral Pluralism in Poland (with T. Doktór, 2001) and a number of books in English, edited and co-edited, concerning religions and churches in Central and Eastern Europe, among others New Religious Phenomena in Central and Eastern Europe (1997, with G. Babinski), Church-State Relations in Central and Eastern Europe (1999), Religion and Social Change in Post-Communist Europe (2001, with M. Tomka), Religions and Patterns of Social Transformation (2004, with D. Marinovic-Jerolimov and S. Zrinscˇak).
Pierre Bréchon is a Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Political Science in Grenoble (France). He works on the analysis of political and religious values, electoral sociology and international sociological surveys. He has written several books, including Comportements et attitudes politiques, 2006; and La France aux urnes, 4e edition, 2004. He has also edited Les partis politiques français, 2e edition, 2005 and Les valeurs des Français, 2nd edition, 2003. His recent publications in English include ‘Integration into Catholicism and Protestantism in Europe: the impact on moral and political values’, in Loek Halman and Ole Riis (eds), Religion in Secularizing Society. The Europeans Religion at the end of the 20th century, 2003, pp. 114–161; ‘Religious voting in a secular France’, in David Broughton and Hans-Martien ten Napel (eds), Religion and Mass Electoral Behaviour in Europe, 2000, pp. 97–117; and ‘Influence of religious integration on attitudes: a comparative analysis of European countries’, Revue française de sociologie, 2004/45, Supplement, pp. 27–49.
Kevin J. Christiano is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He received his B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. In addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals, Christiano is the author of two books: Religious Diversity and Social Change (Cambridge University Press, 1987) and Pierre Elliott Trudeau: Reason Before Passion (ECW Press, 1994 and 1995). He is also co-author (with William H. Swatos, Jr, and Peter Kivisto) of Sociology of Religion: Contemporary Developments (AltaMira Press, 2002). A second edition of this text is scheduled to appear in 2007. Christiano is a past president of both the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the American Council for Québec Studies.[Page xii]
Randall Collins is Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Weberian Sociological Theory (1986); The Sociology of Philosophies (1998); Macro-History (1999); and Interaction Ritual Chains (2004). His recent work applies the study of rituals to violence, in a forthcoming book, Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory of Antagonistic Situations (Princeton University Press).
Douglas E. Cowan is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Social Development Studies at Renison University College, the University of Waterloo. The author of numerous works, he has written or edited three books on religion and the Internet, including Cyberhenge: Modern Pagans on the Internet (Routledge, 2005). Most recently, he has written Cults and New Religions: A Brief History (with David G. Bromley) and Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen. In addition to a number of projects dealing with religion and popular culture, his work on cinema horror has led him to a wider interest in the socio-historical relationships between religion and fear.
Marcela Cristi, originally from Chile, emigrated to Canada in 1976. She started graduate studies in her late 40s and completed her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Waterloo in 1998. She currently teaches in the Department of Sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is the author of From Civil to Political Religion (2001) and has published several book chapters dealing with religion, culture and politics. She is particularly interested in totalitarian types of civil religion. Her article ‘Civil Religion in Comparative Perspective: Chile under Pinochet (1973–1989),’ Social Compass (1996), co-authored with Lorne Dawson, focuses on the political manipulation of civil religion. Her current research is on civil religion in the context of nationalism and globalization. A chapter on this topic is forthcoming in Civil Religion, Nationalism and Globalization (2008).
Lynn Davidman is Professor of Judaic Studies, American Civilization and Gender Studies at Brown University. She is the author of the award-winning Tradition in a Rootless World (1990) and Motherloss (2000), both published by the University of California Press. She is also co-editor, with Shelly Tenenbaum, of Feminist Perspectives on Jewish Studies (Yale, 1994). She has received several grants and awards for her research on religion and gender, including a fellowship at the Institute for the Study of Religion at Princeton and at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe. She is currently working on a book on individuals in Israel and the United States who leave Orthodox Judaism as adults. She has recently published essays on unsynagogued Jews in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, with Wendy Cadge, and in the Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Two additional papers on this topic are scheduled to be published soon.
Lome L. Dawson is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and Director of the Laurier-Waterloo Ph.D. program in religious diversity in North America. He is the author of Comprehending Cults, 2nd edn. (Oxford University Press, 2006), the editor of Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader (Blackwell, 2003), and co-editor (with Douglas Cowan) of Religion Online (Routledge, 2004). He has published over 60 articles and book chapters on questions of theory and method in the study of religion, new religions, and religion and the Internet. His current research is on the nature and operation of charismatic authority (e.g., ‘Psychopathologies and the Attribution of Charisma,’ Nova Religio, 2006), the cultural significance of new religions (e.g., ‘Privatization, Globalization, and Religious Innovation’ in Theorizing Religion, edited by James Beckford and John Wallis, 2006), and the social processes conditioning how religious groups respond to the failure of prophecy (e.g., ‘Prophetic Failure in Millennialist Movements’ in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism edited by Catherine Wessinger, 2007).
Jay Demerath is the Emile Durkheim Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before arriving at UMass as Chair in 1972, he received his A.B. from [Page xiii]Harvard and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and spent ten years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the last two of which on leave as Executive Officer of the American Sociological Association. Past-President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and the Eastern Sociological Society, his recent books include A Bridging of Faiths: Religion and Politics in a New England City (with Rhys Williams), Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics, and Sacred Circles and Public Squares: The Multicentering of American Religion (with Arthur Farnsley II et al.).
Michele Dillon, is Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire and past Chair of the American Sociological Association section on the Sociology of Religion. Her most recent book, In the Course of a Lifetime: Tracing Religious Belief Practice, and Change (co-authored with Paul Wink, University of California Press, 2007), uses longitudinal data gathered over 60 years, to explore questions of religious autonomy in American culture, and the dynamic role of religious and spiritual engagement in anchoring individuals’ everyday lives from adolescence through early, middle, and late adulthood. She is also the author of Catholic Identity: Balancing Reason, Faith, and Power (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Debating Divorce: Moral Conflict in Ireland (University Press of Kentucky, 1993), and several research articles. Dillon edited the Handbook of the Sociology of Religion published in 2003 by Cambridge University Press.
Arthur E. Farnsley II is a Fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and Executive Officer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. His work includes Southern Baptist Politics (Penn State, 1994), Rising Expectations: Urban Congregations, Welfare Reform, and Civic Life (Indiana, 2003), and, with his co-authors, Sacred Circles, Public Squares: The Multicentering of American Religion (Indiana, 2005). He also co-edits the Religion and Urban Culture series at Indiana University Press and was research director for the 11-part video series, Faith and Community: The Public Role of Religion. His current research considers the religious and political roots of American anti-institutionalism.
Paul Freston is a sociologist. Originally from Britain but resident in Brazil since 1976 and a naturalized Brazilian citizen, he has worked mainly on religion and politics, the growth of Pentecostalism in the global south, and questions of religion and globalization. He currently holds the Byker Chair in sociology at Calvin College, Michigan, and is professor of sociology on the postgraduate program in social science at the Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil. His books include Nem Anjos Nem Demônios: Interpretações Sociológicas do Pentecostalismo (co-authored, Vozes, 1994); Evangelicals and Politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2001); Protestant Political Parties: A Global Survey (Ashgate, 2004); and Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Latin America (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Arthur L. Greil is Professor of Sociology at Alfred University in western New York State. He received his B.A. degree from Syracuse University and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Rutgers University. He is the author of Georges Sorel and the Sociology of Virtue and Not Yet Pregnant: Infertile Couples in Contemporary America. He is the editor of Defining Religion: Critical Perspectives on Drawing Boundaries between Sacred and Secular (with David G. Bromley) and of Between Sacred and Secular: Research and Theory on Quasi-Religion (with Thomas Robbins). He has authored over 40 scholarly articles on a wide range of topics, including conversion and identity change, quasi-religion, religion and politics, and infertility. Among the journals in which he has published are Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Review of Religious Research, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Qualitative Sociology, and Social Science & Medicine.[Page xiv]
John R. Hall, Professor of Sociology at the University of California – Davis, has served as Director of the UC Davis Center for History, Society, and Culture and Director of the University of California Edinburgh Study Centre. His scholarly research spans the sociology of religion, epistemology, social theory, economy and society, and the sociology of culture. His published books include an edited volume – Reworking Class (Cornell University Press, 1997), Cultures of Inquiry: From Epistemology to Discourse in Sociohistorical Research (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Apocalypse Observed: Religious Movements and Violence in North America, Europe, and Japan, co-authored by Philip D. Schuyler and Sylvaine Trinh (Routledge, 2000), Sociology on Culture, co-authored by Mary Jo Neitz and Marshall Battani (Routledge, 2003), and Visual Worlds, co-edited by Blake Stimson and Lisa Tamiris Becker (Routledge, 2005). His current research focuses on apocalyptic terrorism and modernity.
Stephen J. Hunt is a Reader in the Sociology of Religion at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. He gained his Ph.D. at the University of Reading in 1996 on the subject of the impact of American neo-Pentecostal ministries in the UK. His specialist research interests include the Charismatic movement, the ‘New’ Black Pentecostal Churches and the ‘gay debate’ in the Christian Churches. Recent research has focused on religious faith among prison inmates. Dr Hunt's publications include the volumes Religion in Everyday Life (Routledge), Alternative Religion: A Sociological Introduction (Ashgate), Religion in the West: A Sociological Perspective (Palgrave), The Alpha Initiative: Evangelism in the Post-Christian Era (Ashgate), The Life Course: A Sociological Introduction (Palgrave) and the edited work Christian Millenarianism (Hurst Publishing). His forthcoming volume, The Charismatic Movement in the United States and Britain: A Comparative Reader, will be published by Edwin Mellen in 2007.
Peter Kivisto is the Richard Swanson Professor of Social Thought and Chair of Sociology at Augustana College. Among his recent books are the following: Citizenship: Discourse, Theory, and Transnational Prospects (Blackwell, 2007, with Thomas Faist), Dual Citizenship: Democracy, Rights, and Identities beyond Borders (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, with Thomas Faist), Intersecting Inequalities (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007, with Elizabeth Hartung), Incorporating Diversity: Rethinking Assimilation in a Multicultural Age (Paradigm, 2005), and Multiculturalism in a Global Society (Blackwell, 2002). Recent articles have appeared in Acta Sociologica, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities, and the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. He is the editor of The Sociological Quarterly and is a member of the board of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Migration.
Frank J. Lechner is Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University. In addition to publishing papers on religion, globalization, and theory, he has written World Culture: Origins and Consequences (Blackwell, 2005) and edited The Globalization Reader (Blackwell, 2004), both with John Boli. He has papers on ‘Religious Rejections of Globalization’ in Religion in Global Civil Society, edited by Mark Juergensmeyer (Oxford, 2005) and on ‘Trajectories of Faith in the Global Age: Classical Theory and Contemporary Evidence’ in Theorising Religion, edited by James A. Beckford and John Walliss (Ashgate, 2006). A forthcoming book is entitled The Netherlands: National Identity and Globalization (Routledge). Future projects include another book on globalization.
Phillip C. Lucas is Professor of Religious Studies at Stetson University. He is founding editor of Nova Religio, a scholarly journal dedicated to the study of alternative and new religious movements throughout history. He has written four books: New Religious Movements in the 21st Century: Legal, Political, and Social Challenges in Global Perspective, with Thomas Robbins (2004); Cassadaga: The South's Oldest Spiritualist Community, with John J. Guthrie, Jr, and Gary Monroe (2000); Prime Time Religion: An Encyclopedic Guide to Religious Broadcasting, with J. Gordon Melton and [Page xv]Jon R. Stone (1997); and The Odyssey of a New Religion: The Holy Order of MANS from New Age to Orthodoxy (1995).
Philip A. Mellor is Professor of Religion and Social Theory and Director of the Institute for Religion and Public Life in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Religion, Realism and Social Theory: Making Sense of Society (Sage, 2004) and, with Chris Shilling, of The Sociological Ambition: Elementary Forms of Social and Moral Life (Sage, 2001) and Re-forming the Body: Religion, Community and Modernity (Sage, 1997), as well as many articles in a range of academic journals in sociology and religious studies. His research interests are in the areas of contemporary religion, embodiment and cultural change.
Sharon E. Nepstad is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern Maine. Her research focuses on the role of religion in social movements. She is the author of Convictions of the Soul: Religion, Culture, and Agency in the Central America Solidarity Movement (Oxford University Press, 2004). Her forthcoming book, Religion and War Resistance in the Plowshares Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2008), examines how radical Catholics have used controversial tactics of property destruction to obstruct the production and use of nuclear weapons.
Paula Nesbitt is Visiting Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Having researched clergy careers for 20 years, her publications include Feminization of the Clergy in America: Occupational and Organizational Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 1997) an edited volume, Religion and Social Policy (AltaMira Press, 2001), and various articles in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, the Review of Religious Research and other journals. Her current research involves a longitudinal analysis of religious leadership and multicul-turalism in the worldwide Anglican Communion. She holds a Ph.D. and M. Div. from Harvard University.
Laura R. Olson is Professor of Political Science at Clemson University. Recent books include (as co-author) Women with a Mission: Religion, Gender, and the Politics of Women Clergy (University of Alabama Press, 2005) and Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices (Westview, 2004); and (as co-editor) The Encyclopedia of American Religion and Politics (Facts on File, 2003) and Christian Clergy in American Politics (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001).
James T. Richardson, J.D., Ph.D., is Foundation Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he directs the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies and the Judicial Studies graduate degree program for trial judges. He combines an interest in the law and its operation in society with an interest in the Sociology of Religion, particularly new religious movements. His recent work has focused on social control of new religions, exemplified by a recent edited volume Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe (Kluwer, 2004). He has published numerous articles in journals, including Sociology of Religion, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Social Compass, as well as in law reviews.
Thomas Robbins is a semi-retired sociologist of religion. He received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973. He has held teaching or research positions at Queens College (CUNY), Yale University, and Central Michigan University. He is the author of Cults, Converts and Charisma (Sage, 1988) and has co-edited six collections of original papers, including In Gods We Trust (Transaction, 1981,1990), Millennium, Messiahs and Mayhem (Routledge, 1997), and Misunderstanding Cults (University of Toronto, 2002). He has published numerous articles, [Page xvi]essay and reviews in edited collections and in social science and religious studies journals. He lives in Rochester, Minnesota.
Stephen Sharot is Professor of Sociology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. His major publications are: A Comparative Sociology of World Religions; Virtuosos, Priests and Popular Religion (New York University Press, 2001); Ethnicity, Religion, and Class in Israeli Society (co-authored with E. Ben-Rafael, Cambridge University Press, 1991); Messianism, Mysticism, and Magic; A Sociological Analysis of Jewish Religious Movements (University of North Carolina Press, 1982). His articles have appeared in Sociology of Religion, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Review of Religious Research, Comparative Studies in Society and History, British Journal of Sociology, Religion, and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is currently working on representations of class in American cinema.
Susumu Shimazono is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Tokyo, and has published widely on modern and contemporary religious movements as well as on modern Japanese religions in general. He has published eight Japanese books, one in Korean, and an English book titled From Salvation to Spirituality: Popular Religious Movements in Modern Japan (Trans Pacific Press, 2004). He edited with Mark Mullins and Paul Swanson Religion and Society in Modern Japan (Asian Humanities Press, 1993). Although his works are based mainly on empirical and historical research on religions in Japan, he has always been interested in comparative perspectives between Japan on the one hand and the West and various parts of Asia on the other. He was invited to teach at the University of Chicago, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and at Eberhardt Karls Universität Tübingen. Recently he is working on the area between religion and medicine including bioethics and a new interdisciplinary area of death and life studies.
James V. Spickard is Professor of Sociology at the University of Redlands and Research Consulting Professor at the Fielding Graduate Institute. He has published widely on various aspects of the sociology of religion, on human rights, on religious social activism, on social theory, and on the social foundations of ethics. His interest in reflexive ethnography resulted in his recent edited collection Personal Knowledge and Beyond (NYU Press, 2002). He is currently writing a book on non-Western social theories, tentatively titled After Colonialism. He is also preparing a book on the future of religion in the late modern world.
David Voas is a demographer whose recent research has concerned religion and religious change. Following degrees at the London School of Economics and Cambridge he spent many years outside academic life prior to taking up a university post in 1998. He currently works at the University of Manchester, where he is Senior Research Fellow at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research. His work has been published in Sociology, the British Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Population and Development Review, and elsewhere. He is particularly interested in cross-national comparisons, the intergenerational transmission of religious involvement, the social mechanisms of secularization, and related topics.
Rhys H. Williams is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati (USA). His publications generally focus on the intersection of religion, politics, and social movements in the US. He is currently editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and in the 2006–2007 academic year was Chair of the American Sociological Association's Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements.
Patricia Wittberg is Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Her most recent book is From Piety to Professionalism – And Back? Transformations in Organized Religious Virtuosity. She has written widely on religious organizations, especially Catholic religious orders. [Page xvii]Currently, she is working with the Center for Applied Study in the Apostolate, a research group affiliated with Georgetown University, on a study of newly founded Catholic religious orders and lay movements.
Linda Woodhead is Head of the Department of Religious Studies and Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University. From January 2007 she will be Director of the AHRC/ESRC Research Programme on Religion and Society. Much of her research is focused on religion in contemporary Britain, with a particular interest in the decline of the churches and the rise of alternative forms of spirituality. She is currently involved in an EU funded research project on the Muslim veil in the UK, and is writing on religion and emotions, and religion and gender. Recent publications include: The Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality (with Paul Heelas, Blackwell, 2005), Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2004), An Introduction to Christianity (Cambridge University Press, 2004), and Congregational Studies in the UK (co-edited with Mathew Guest and Karin Tusting, Ashgate, 2004).
Fenggang Yang is Associate Professor of Sociology at Purdue University. He received his B.A. from Hebei Normal University in 1982, his M.A. from Nankai University in 1987, and his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America in 1997. His sociological research has focused on immigrant religions in the United States and religions in China. He is the author of Chinese Christians in America: Conversion, Assimilation, and Adhesive Identities (Penn State University Press, 1999), the co-editor of Asian American Religions: The Making and Remaking of Borders and Boundaries (New York University Press, 2004), State, Market, and Religions in Chinese Societies (Brill Academic Publishers, 2005), and Conversion to Christianity among the Chinese (a special issue of the Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review, 2006). His current research focuses on the political economy of religion in China, Christian ethics and market transition in China, and Chinese Christian churches in the United States.