Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction

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9780745620831: Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction
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Alan Aldridge reviews the contribution sociologists have made to our understanding of the role of religion in society.

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In this wide-ranging and accessible book, Alan Aldridge reviews the contribution sociologists have made to our understanding of the role of religion in society.


The founders of sociology thought that religion and magic were being replaced by science and technology. Some, such as Marx, saw this as a liberation. Others, including Comte, invented substitute religions, none of which has survived. Today many sociologists believe religion has lost social significance. Yet current affairs and everyday experience provide evidence of religion's continuing importance. The book examines the resurgence of fundamentalism in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It also explores the reasons why conservative movements such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons have been so successful in gaining recruits. A conventional view of sexuality and gender roles is a striking feature of all these movements.


The rise of consumer society does not necessarily spell the end of religion. A growing number of sociologists argue that religion benefits from a free market, where religious 'firms' are sensitive to their customers' needs. Consumerism, Aldridge suggests, may bring a religious revival and an evolution of new forms of religion fit for a new millennium.

About the Author:

Alan Aldridge is Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Nottingham.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780745634050: Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction

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ISBN 10:  0745634052 ISBN 13:  9780745634050
Publisher: Polity Press, 2007
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9780745634043: Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction

Polity..., 2007
Hardcover

9780745620824: Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction

Polity, 2007
Hardcover

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