Yinger, J. Milton

John Milton Yinger (1916–2011) made significant contributions to the sociology of religion, particularly his studies of the unstable role of Christianity in society, as well as significant contributions to the broader social sciences, including the study of race and ethnicity and social theory and methodology. Born in Michigan in 1916 to parents who were both Methodist ministers, he studied at DePauw University in Indiana, Louisiana State University, and the University of Wisconsin, alongside C. Wright Mills (1916–1962), where he received his PhD in 1943. His dissertation, published in 1946 as Religion in the Struggle for Power, touched on many of the foundational historical debates in the still-emerging discipline of the sociology of religion, particularly Christianity’s contested relationship to capitalist modernity, including Weber’s Protestant Ethic thesis. ...

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