Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1936-) After completing his Th.M. under Samuel W. Blizzard at Princeton Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. under John W. Meyer at Stanford University, he was appointed in 1970 to the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, where he subsequently served as department head until returning to teaching in 1996. President, Association for the Sociology of Religion, 1995.

Simpson collaborated with James N. Lapsley on some of the earliest research on the phenomenon of glossolalia in the mainline Protestant churches of the early 1960s. He was the first researcher to publish a measurement model estimating the strength in the American population of attitudes toward sociomoral issues politicized in the late 1970s and early 1980s by the New Christian Right. Other publications focus on high gods in the context of Guy Swanson's work as well as theoretical and comparative aspects of religion and politics. His more recent work centers on the relation between community and self in the global context, and the status and role of the body as unit of action in postmodernity.

Peter F. Beyer


J. N. Lapsley and J. H. Simpson, "Speaking in Tongues," Pastoral Psychology 15(1964):48-55

J. H. Simpson, "Sovereign Groups, Subsistence Activities, and the Presence of a High God in Primitive Societies," in The Religious Dimension , ed. R. Wuthnow (New York: Academic Press, 1979): 299-310

J. H. Simpson, "Moral Issues and Status Politics," in The New Christian Right , ed. R. C. Liebman and R. Wuthnow (New York: Aldine, 1983): 188-205

J. H. Simpson, "Toward a Theory of America," in Secularization and Fundamentalism Reconsidered , ed. J. K. Hadden and A. Shupe (New York: Paragon, 1989): 78-90

J. H. Simpson, "Globalization and Religion," Religion and Global Order , ed. R. Robertson and W. R. Garrett (New York: Paragon, 1991): 1-18

J. H. Simpson, "The Body in Late Capitalism," in Abortion Politics in the United States and Canada , ed. T. G. Jelen and M. A. Chandler (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1994): 1-13.

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