Everyday Religion

Everyday Religion : Observing Modern Religious Lives

3.55 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Social scientists sometimes seem not to know what to do with religion. In the first century of sociologys history as a discipline, the reigning concern was explaining the emergence of the modern world, and that brought with it an expectation that religion would simply fade from the scene as societies became diverse, complex, and enlightened. As the century approached its end, however, a variety of global phenomena remained dramatically unexplained by these theories. Among the leading contenders for explanatory power to emerge at this time were rational choice theories of religious behavior. Researchers who have spent time in the field, observing religious groups and interviewing practitioners, however, have questioned the sufficiency of these market models. Studies abound that describe thriving religious phenomena that fit neither the old secularization paradigm nor the equations predicting vitality only among organizational entrepreneurs with strict orthodoxies. In this collection of previously unpublished essays, scholars who have been immersed in field research in a wide variety of settings draw on those observations from the field to begin to develop more helpful ways to study religion in modern lives. The authors examine how religion functions on the ground in a pluralistic society, how it is experienced by individuals, and how it is expressed in social institutions. Taken as a whole, these essays point to a new approach to the study of religion, one that emphasizes individual experience and social context over strict categorization and data collection.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 22mm | 421.85g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1 table
  • 0195305418
  • 9780195305418
  • 481,952

About Nancy Tatom Ammerman

Nancy T. Ammerman is Professor of Sociology of Religion, School of Theology, and Professor of Religion at Boston University. She is the past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.show more

Review quote

This book plots a new agenda for understanding religion in contemporary society. Based on case studies in both Europe and the United States, the poverty of rational-choice explanations of religion is exposed, along with the inadequacy of charting religious change by surveying beliefs and patterns of institutional affiliation. Pluralism may challenge traditional perceptions of religion, but it certainly has not led to the demise religion if one examines what people do in everyday life. This is a wonderful collection of essays, framed by Ammerman's brilliant opening and closing chapters. * Donald E. Miller, Professor of Religion and Executive Director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California *show more

Rating details

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