Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version


A recently published British textbook describes the task of the sociology of religion in three ways: first, to further the understanding of the role of religion in society; second, to analyze its significance in and impact upon human history; and, third, to understand the social forces and influences that in turn shape religion (Hamilton 1994). A single assumption is, however, embedded in all three statements: The sociologist of religion is concerned with religion only insofar as it relates to the context in which it inevitably exists . It is this relational quality that distinguishes the strictly sociological from a wide variety of other disciplines that have interests in this area (McGuire 1987).

Such a statement narrows the field a little, but not much, for both contexts and religions are infinitely varied. How then does the sociologist of religion go about the tasks outlined above? Answers to this question reflect the evolution of the subdiscipline from its earliest days to the modern period. They also are conditioned not only by widely differing cultural and academic traditions but by institutional settings. Different conditions provoke different lines of thinking.

The Founders

The tension inherent in the concept of the transcendent embodied in earthly forms has engaged the attention of philosophers from the beginning of time. The sociology of religion as such, however, is inseparable from the beginnings of sociology as a distinctive discipline. Its early and distinguished practitioners were the founding fathers of sociology itself: Marx, Weber, and Durkheim. Each of these writers was reacting to the economic and social upheavals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, prompted more often than not by the devastating consequences that rapid industrialization had inflicted on the populations of which they were part. The study of religion could hardly be avoided within this framework, for religion was seen as an integral part of the society that appeared to be mutating beyond recognition. Each writer, however, tackled the subject from a different perspective (O'Toole 1984).

Karl Marx (1818-1883) predates the others by at least a generation. There are two essential elements in the Marxist perspective on religion; the first is descriptive, the second evaluative. Marx described religion as a dependent variable; in other words, its form and nature were dependent on social and above all economic relations, which formed the bedrock of social analysis. Nothing could be understood apart from the economic order and the relationship of the capitalist/worker to the means of production. The second aspect follows from this but contains an evaluative element. Religion is a form of alienation; it is a symptom of social malformation that will disappear with the advent of a classless society. Religion cannot therefore be understood apart from the world of which it is part, a crucial dimension of sociological thinking.

Max Weber's (1864-1920) contribution to the sociology of religion spreads into every corner of the discipline. Central to his understanding is the conviction that religion can be constituted as something other than, or separate from, society. Three points follow from this (Beckford 1989:32): that the relationship between religion and "the world" is contingent and variable, that this relationship can only be examined in its historical and sociocultural specificity, and, third, that the relationship tends to develop in a determinate direction. These three assumptions underpin Weber's magnum opus in the field, his comparative study of the major world faiths and their impact on everyday behavior in different parts of the world. Everyday behavior, moreover, becomes cumulative—hence the social consequences of religious decisions. The precise effect of such decisions is, however, a matter for empirical investigation, not a priori assumption, for religion may legitimate or challenge the prevailing order. A further point follows from this. Religion may cease to have the effects that it previously had, opening the possibility of the decline of religious influence within any given society, the process known as secularization.

Émile Durkheim (1858-1917)—the exact contemporary of Weber—began from a very different position. Working outward from his study of totemic religion among Australian Aborigines, he became convinced of the binding qualities of religion: "Religion celebrates, and thereby, reinforces, the fact that people can form societies" (Beckford 1989:25). What then will happen when time-honored forms of society begin to mutate so rapidly that traditional forms of religion inevitably collapse? Durkheim responded as follows: The religious aspects of society should also be allowed to evolve, so that the symbols of solidarity appropriate to the developing social order (in this case, incipient industrial society) may emerge. The theoretical position runs parallel: Religion as such will always be present for it performs a necessary function . The precise nature of that religion will, however, differ not only over time but between one society and another.

Despite their differences, the founding fathers acknowledged the centrality of religion to human endeavor. Motivated by the shift from preindustrial to industrial society, they wrestled with the place of religion in the changing social order. The sociology of religion was off to an excellent start—an excellence, however, that was difficult to maintain.

American Initiatives

Indeed, almost half a century passed before a second wave of activity took place. It came, moreover, from a very different quarter, from within the churches themselves. Such activity took different forms on different sides of the Atlantic. In the United States, where religious institutions remained relatively buoyant and where religious practice continued to grow, sociologists of religion in the early twentieth century were, very largely, motivated by and concerned with the Social Gospel. A second theme ran parallel, one in which religion became increasingly associated with the social divisions of American society. H. Richard Niebuhr's The Social Sources of Denominationalism (Holt 1929) and rather later Jay Demerath's Social Class in American Protestantism (Rand McNally 1965) are titles that represent this trend.

By the 1950s and 1960s, however, the principal focus of American sociology lay in the normative functionalism of Talcott Parsons, who stressed above everything the integrative role of religion. Religion—a functional prerequisite—was central to the complex models of social systems and social action elaborated by Parsons. His influence was lasting; it can be seen in subsequent generations of American scholars, notably Robert Bellah. The relationship with American society is also important. The functionalism of Parsons emerged from a social order entirely different from the turbulence that motivated the founding fathers; postwar America symbolized a settled period of industrialism in which consensus appeared not only desirable but possible. The assumption that the social order should be underpinned by religious values was widespread.

Such optimism did not last. As the 1960s gave way to a far less confident decade, the sociology of religion shifted once again—this time to the social construction of meaning systems epitomized by the work of Berger and Luckmann. The Parsonian model is inverted; social order exists but it is constructed from below. The later 1970s merge into the modern period, a world in which conflict—including religious conflict—rather than consensus dominates the agenda (Beckford 1989:8-13). Religion has become increasingly contentious.

From Sociologie Religieuse to the Sociology of Religion

In Western Europe, the sociology of religion was evolving along very different lines. Religious institutions on the European side of the Atlantic were far from buoyant, a situation displayed in the titles published in France in the early years of the war. The most celebrated of these, Godin and Daniel's La France, pays de mission (Cerf 1943), illustrates the mood of a growing group within French Catholicism who were increasingly worried by the weakening position of the church in French society. Anxiety proved, however, a powerful motivator. So that the situation might be remedied, accurate information was essential; hence a whole series of inquiries began under the direction of Gabriel Le Bras with the intention of discovering what exactly characterized the religion of the people, or "lived religion" (la religion vécue ) as it became known.

Accurate information acquired a momentum of its own, however, which led to certain tensions. There were those, in France and elsewhere, whose work remained motivated by pastoral concern; there were others who felt that knowledge was valuable for its own sake and resented the ties to the Catholic Church. What emerged in due course was an independent section within the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Groupe de Sociologie des Religions. The change in title was significant. There was, however, continuity as well as change. The initial enthusiasm for mapping, for example, which began with Boulard and Le Bras on rural Catholicism (1947), and continued through the work of Boulard and Rémy on urban France (1968), culminated in the magnificent Atlas de la pratique religieuse des catholiques en France by Isambert and Terrenoire (FNSP-CNRS 1980). Alongside such cartographic successes developed explanations for the geographic differences that emerged. These explanations were primarily historical; their sources lay deep within regional cultures. There was nothing superficial about this analysis that could, quite clearly, be applied to religions other than Catholicism.

Willaime (1995:37-57) tells this primarily French (or more accurately francophone) story in more detail: that is, the emergence of accurate and careful documentation motivated primarily by pastoral concerns, the establishment of the Groupe de Sociologie des Religions in Paris in 1954, the gradual extension of the subject matter beyond Catholicism, the development of a distinctive sociology of Protestantism, the methodological problems encountered along the way, and finally the emergence of an international organization and the déconfessionalisation of the sociology of religion. The evolution of the Conférence International de Sociologie Religieuse, founded in Leuven in 1948, through the Conférence Internationale de Sociologie des Religions (1981) to the present Société Internationale de Sociologie des Religions (1989) epitomizes this story. It marks a shift from a group primarily motivated by religion to one that is motivated by science. It is, however, a story that emerges—and could only emerge—from a particular part of the world, Catholic Europe. Such initiatives have been crucial to the development of the sociology of religion; they lead, however, to preoccupations that are not always shared by scholars from other parts of the world.

Themes and Perspectives

Summarizing the issues that predominate within the sociology of religion is a difficult task, for it is almost impossible to do justice to the diversity within the discipline. The increasing and welcome internationalization of the sociology of religion in the last two decades simply makes the task more difficult. The following sections should be seen as representative rather than exhaustive, and each may be explored in greater detail separately within this encyclopedia.

Definitions : Definitions of religion are both crucial and infinitely problematic. There are two aspects to this question. First, what do we mean by religion? And, it inevitably follows, how do we limit the sociology of religion to anything approximating a commonly agreed agenda?

The debate goes back to the founding fathers, to, that is, the primarily Weberian emphasis on the substantive definition (what religion is) versus a primarily Durkheimian functionalism (what religion does). It is a debate that continues today. The most recent attempt to square the circle can be found in the work of Hervieu-Léger (1993), who endeavors to integrate the best of both emphases through the concept of religious memory. The specificity of religion lies in a particular mode of believing, in which the idea of a chain of memory is crucial. Religion becomes therefore "the ideological, symbolic and social device by which the individual and collective awareness of belonging to a particular lineage of believers is created, maintained, developed and controlled" (in Davie 1996:110). The aim is to include more than the beliefs and practices of universally acknowledged world faiths but to avoid widening the agenda so far that it is difficult to distinguish the specifically religious from any other meaning system.

Secularization : The links between definitions of religion and the ongoing debate about secularization are obvious. Those who see religion primarily in substantive terms are more likely to argue that Western society is becoming increasingly secular, for what they perceive as religion is diminishing in a way that can be convincingly measured. Bruce (1995a) is a formidable exponent of this approach. Those, on the other hand, who see religion in functional terms will be less convinced, for they will want to include within the definition a set of phenomena that at the very least meet the Durkheimian description of the sacred; these show a far greater degree of resilience. One point is immediately clear. Secularization is a debate by Western scholars about Western society. A second assumption very frequently follows, namely, that the tendencies that characterize Western (and more often than not European) societies today will, necessarily, occur in other parts of the world tomorrow. Such a view is increasingly challenged. A further limitation is historical rather than geographical; secularization almost always has been explored in relation to the rapid industrialization and urbanization of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (hence, among other things, the interest of the founding fathers in this question). The debate about advanced industrial society is only just beginning.

Secularization is sometimes referred to as a theory. It is probably more accurate to describe it as an organizing principle. As such, it has, no doubt, provided an effective way forward, a framework in which to consider a wide range of ideas and information about religion in modern societies. Wallis and Bruce (1989), for example, use this theme to order their review of the British contribution to the sociology of religion. In so doing, they are right to recall the exacting nature of the task; secularization is a complex, nuanced, and at times contradictory field of study (Martin 1978, Wilson 1982). At its best, it is highly illuminating; at its worst, it becomes an ill-disguised cover for ideological secularism.

Dimensions of religiosity : A related discussion—admirably illustrated by the work of Dobbelaere (1981) and Casanova (1994)—concerns the different dimensions of religiosity. The idea of secularization is inevitably complicated by the fact that some aspects of religious life may prosper while others decline. The indicators do not necessarily move in the same direction. At this point, the comparison between Europe and the United States provides an important illustration, for the rigorously secular nature of the American Constitution contrasts with the church-state connections still dominant—although considerably more muted than they were historically—in Europe. Conversely, religious activity is far more evident in the United States than in almost all European societies. How evident is disputed (Hadaway et al. 1993), but the contrasts with Europe remain whatever the case.

In Europe, the discussion relating to dimensions of religiosity takes a different form. The principal feature of the late twentieth century appears to be the persistence of the softer indicators of religious life (i.e., those concerned with feelings, experience, and the more numinous religious beliefs) alongside the undeniable and at times dramatic drop in the hard indicators (those that measure religious orthodoxy, ritual participation, and institutional attachment). These are the findings of the European Values Study, an invaluable source of empirical information for a growing number of societies (Barker et al. 1993).

Civil religion : The debate about civil religion is associated above all with the work of Robert Bellah. "Civil Religion in America" (1967) became a seminal article that drew attention to the peculiar mix of transcendental religion and national preoccupations that characterized the belief systems of most Americans. The British equivalent takes a different form; it is epitomized in the sacredness that surrounds the royal family (a sacredness somewhat tarnished by the younger generation of royals, but still intact). The French case has evolved rather differently; it is a version of civil religion in which the concept of laïcité replaces the transcendent. The transfer of power from one French president to another is a strictly godless ceremony.

An interesting development of this thinking can be found in the evolution of European identity. If Europe is to function effectively as a unit, it will—it can be argued—require its own civil religion, complete with flag, anthem, and belief system. It is paradoxical that a continent that has, very largely, ceased to practice its historic faith, appeals to this heritage once again to define its borders.

New religious movements and the New Age : There remains a persistent paradox within the material available to the sociology of religion, for we know, sociologically at least, considerably more about new religious movements than we do about the beliefs and practices of the great majority within many populations. Or, to put the same point in a more positive way, there is an important and growing body of material on sects, cults, and new religious movements carried by some of the most distinguished writers scholars in the field (Barker, Beckford, Dobbelaere, Richardson, Wallis, and Wilson, to name but the most obvious). The contribution of Japanese sociologists in this area also should be noted. Material on new religious movements has frequently dominated the journals. This is surprising in view of the relatively small numbers of people involved in such movements but less surprising in view of the issues raised by the presence of new religions in contemporary society, notably the question of religious toleration. It is worth noting that the legal aspects of these issues very often return to problems of definition; disputes about what precisely constitutes a "real" religion are as intractable in court as they are in sociological debate.

One form of new religious life has acquired the title "New Age." New Age religion constitutes a rich amalgam of philosophies and practices from both Eastern and Western traditions. Its significance lies in its affirmation of the sacred in contemporary society but in far from conventional forms. It is often associated with the approach of a new millennium (Heelas 1996).

Fundamentalisms : Strikingly different and at last an aspect of sociology less dominated by the West, the emergence of fundamentalisms worldwide has demanded sociological attention. The interest has been considerable, epitomized in the massively financed Fundamentalism Project at the University of Chicago, from which, eventually, six volumes will appear, covering not only diverse aspects of fundamentalism itself but detailed empirical studies from every world faith and almost every part of the globe. "The project tests the hypothesis that there are 'family resemblances' among disparate movements of religiously inspired reaction to global processes of modernization and secularization in the 20th century" (Marty and Appleby 1993:2). In other words, it looks for the common features in widely diverse fundamentalist movements. One way forward in this enterprise lies in constructing a Weberian ideal-type, a methodological influence from the founding fathers that still resonates. In terms of content, the agenda, once again, is being driven by the impact of world events, notably the spread of fundamentalist movements in recent decades. Explanations are sought, very frequently, in discussions of globalization and in the nature of late capitalism. Wider discussions of the globalization theme can be found in Roland Robertson's (1992) and Peter Beyer's (1994) work.

Religion and the everyday : An alternative and much more recent focus draws from a different line of sociological thinking. It concerns the significance of religion in everyday life, not least its impact upon the basics of human existence and the relationship of humanity to the environment. All religions have something to say about the body and about nature—diet, sex, sexuality, health, healing, death, even martyrdom (to name but some features of this debate) all lie within the remit of religious control and religious teaching. In opening up this debate, the 23rd Conference of the SISR (Québec 1995) significantly enlarged the agenda of the sociology of religion, not least in encouraging a new set of links with related branches of sociology. At the same time, the conference reaffirmed the importance of anthropological contributions to the sociology of religion (Turner 1974, Douglas 1973, 1978).

One aspect of a renewed emphasis on the importance of religion in everyday life can be found in work on gender and religion. A crucial question, for example, surrounds the issue of whether women are more religious than men because of what they are or because of what they do . Within the Western context, there is persuasive evidence that women display a greater degree of religiousness than men—in practice, in strength of belief, and in what they believe. Why this is so and whether the situation is likely to alter has become the subject of considerable sociological debate—the more so in view of the history of the Western church as a profoundly patriarchal institution within which women have been systematically excluded from positions of responsibility. A second question follows: As women become increasingly involved in the leadership of at least the Protestant churches, is their presence likely to influence not only the institutions themselves but the nature of the message that they are called to proclaim?

Current Dilemmas

Imbalances: Imbalances prosper within the sociology of religion. One of these has already been mentioned. Sociologists know far more about the exotic edges of religious life than they do about the beliefs of ordinary people. Or, to put the same point in a different way, the edges of the religious jigsaw are far more adequately defined than the picture in the middle, which at times remains alarmingly blurred. Nobody would deny that the edges throw up interesting questions—maybe the most interesting—but the lack of information about the center is hardly reassuring. Explanations for this lack derive, at least in part, from a preoccupation with secularization. Sociologists have assumed that the picture in the middle of the puzzle is blurred because it is fading away. It is true that certain aspects of religious life show a marked decline in Western societies; we need to know why this is so. Other aspects, however, do not, and why not is an equally important question. Non-Western societies, moreover, demonstrate markedly different religious evolutions.

The imbalance needs therefore to be tackled in two ways. On the one hand, there is a need to refocus attention on the middle of the Western picture, following, for example, the work of Roof (1993) and Roof and McKinney (1987). At the same time, the subdiscipline needs to escape from the assumption that the West is necessarily leading the way. Why, for example, do we look from Latin Europe toward Latin America and not the other way around? The following citation from Martin (1996:41 f) makes precisely this point with admirable clarity:

Initially, about a quarter of a century ago, I asked myself why the voluntary denominations of Anglo-American cultures had not taken off in Latin America as they had in the U.S.A., and concluded that Latin America must be too similar to Latin Europe for that to happen. But I am now inclined to reverse the question and ask why the burgeoning denominations of Latin America have not taken off in Latin Europe. After all, the conditions which gave both Latin America and Latin Europe their specific character over the last two centuries have largely disappeared, and the old emplacements of "fortress Catholicism" or militant secularity are not what they were. There are new spaces being cleared in which a competitive denominational culture can emerge.

Isolation and insulation from mainstream sociology : Beckford (1989) has underlined both the insulation and the isolation of the sociology of religion from the parent discipline. Both partners have been impoverished as a result. The sociology of religion has lost the stimulus of theoretical developments within sociology; mainline sociologists continue to assume that religion is of marginal interest in contemporary society. Is it possible to escape from this dilemma? The following are tentative suggestions.

Theoretical possibilities : The sociology of religion has, very largely, become trapped in the discussions that concern the shift from preindustrial to industrial societies. The debate needs to move on. Building on to the best of the contributions concerning the nature and forms of modernity (Giddens, Beck, Baumann, and so on), those with appropriate skills need to offer alternative analyses that integrate rather than marginalize the role of religion in the modern world (Beckford 1996). Hervieu-Léger (1986, 1993) has made a significant start in this direction, recognizing that the nature and forms of religion at the turn of a new century depend significantly on the nature of modernity itself. Contemporary religion is a product of, not a reaction to, modernity.

A second possibility might pursue an idea already suggested by Beckford: the proposition that religion should be seen as a cultural resource, not as a social institution. The deregulation of religion presents a fresh set of opportunities, for the religious sphere itself and for those who study it.

A third and entirely different opening lies in the exploration of rational choice theory. Stark and Bainbridge, Iannaccone, Pettersson, and Hamburg have presented a supply-side model of religion. Bruce (1995b) summarizes this debate. The model supposes, first, that a free market is more efficient than a monopoly and, second, that this is as true for the production and consumption of religion as it is for anything else. It follows that European religion would flourish if the free market were allowed to operate as it does in the United States. Others, notably Bruce himself, have rebutted this argument strongly.

The focus on new religious movements has, at times, led to extreme forms of marginalization within the sociology of religion. Paradoxically, it can also provide a route back into the discipline—the more so since the upsurge of sociological interest in social movement analysis. Not all those interested in this field are necessarily aware of the religious dimension. The links, however, should be pursued by those who are, for social movements prosper in the late twentieth century. Equally related to the developments of secular society are the separate evolutions of religious belief and religious belonging (Davie 1994), a divergence evident in multiple aspects of social life. It can be exemplified in the decline of large-scale political parties, in the demise of trade unions, and in the mutation of leisure activities. Changes in religious life should be seen against this background. Explanations may lie in societal rather than religious change. All belief systems, after all, present similar problems of credibility. In a celebrated essay on the environment, the anthropologist Mary Douglas (1975) makes precisely this point.

Substantive suggestions : A second set of possibilities can be discovered in the evolving subject matter of sociology. Three examples are given here.

First is the rapidly developing interest in the sociology of health. Traditional constructions of the history of medical care have emphasized its growing separation from the influence of religion in modern, technological society. Postmodern emphases—and here the controversial term is entirely appropriate—reintegrate the two, minimizing the boundaries between body, mind, and soul, for health is a reflection of wholeness rather than fragmentation.

A second example can be found in the sociology of law as the legal rights of religious minorities begin to assert themselves in increasingly pluralist societies. Here comparative analysis is essential to display the influence of context on these interrelationships. To which court, for example, is a case about toleration brought? This will vary from country to country. On what grounds is the case argued? By whom? In which court is the final judgment made? The final question is particularly apposite in Europe, or indeed in any federal framework, as national and supranational interests stake out their relative positions. The work of Richardson (qualified in both law and sociology) makes an excellent start in this area.

A third overlap involves political science. It is true that the conventional patterns of religio-political allegiance have diminished, particularly in Europe. It is not true, however, that religion is no longer a political issue. Indeed, its potency is asserting itself on a global scale, at times associated with extreme violence. Political divisions can become dangerous confrontations when reinforced by religious ideologies. Attempts to understand them better require the cooperation of scholars from a diversity of disciplines.

A demanding agenda awaits the sociologist of religion at the turn of the twenty-first century. Drawing on the widest possible range of sources, theoretical as well as empirical, he or she must rise to the challenge. Religion must become once more an integral part of the discipline of sociology.

Organizations and Journals

The International Society for the Sociology of Religion has already been mentioned. It evolved from Conférence Internationale de Sociologie Religieuse. Its origins lie in the sociologie religieuse of Catholic Europe. Bit by bit, however, it has shed such emphases to become a truly global society encouraging a diversity of trends within the sociology of religion (see Social Compass , 1990, No. 1). It mails regularly to up to 700 individuals in more than 40 countries. Approximately 300 scholars attended the 1995 meeting in Québec.

Research Committee 22 of the International Sociological Association provides a second international forum, an excellent launching pad for establishing creative links with mainline sociology.

National organizations for the sociology of religion exist in a number of countries; the three American groups are the largest, each supporting an independent journal. (The Association for the Sociology of Religion publishes Sociology of Religion , formerly Sociological Analysis ; the Religious Research Association publishes the Review of Religious Research ; and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion publishes the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion .)

There are two European journals. Social Compass , which grew from Dutch origins, is now edited in Louvain-la-Neuve. Since 1989, it has been published by Sage; it has developed close links with the SISR, who provide material for the first issue of each year. Archives de sciences sociales des religions is edited in Paris. It too has changed its name in the course of its history. It is a production of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, currently edited jointly with the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.

Grace Davie


D. Barker et al., The European Values Study 1981-1990 (London: European Values Study, 1993)

J. Beckford, Religion and Advanced Industrial Society (London: Unwin-Hyman, 1989)

J. Beckford, "Post-Modernity, High-Modernity and New-Modernity," in Postmodernity, Sociology and Religion , ed. K. Flanagan and P. Jupp (London: Macmillan, 1996): 30-47

R. Bellah, "Civil Religion in America," Daedalus 96(1967):1-21

P. Beyer, Religion and Globalization (London: Sage, 1994)

R. Boulard and G. Le Bras, Carte religieuse de la France rurale (Paris: Aux cahiers du clergé rural, 1947)

R. Boulard and J. Rémy, Pratique religieuse urbaine et régions culturelles (Paris: Ed. ouvrières-Economie et Humanisme, 1968)

S. Bruce, From Cathedrals to Cults (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995a)

S. Bruce, "The Truth About Religion in Britain," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 34(1995b):417-430

J. Casanova, Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994)

G. Davie, Religion in Britain Since 1945 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994)

G. Davie, "Religion and Modernity," in Postmodernity, Sociology and Religion , ed. K. Flanagan and P. Jupp (London: Macmillan, 1996): 101-117

K. Dobbelaere, Secularization (London: Sage, 1981)

M. Douglas, Natural Symbols (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1973)

M. Douglas, Implicit Meanings (London: Routledge, 1975)

M. Douglas, Purity and Danger (London: Routledge, 1978)

C. K. Hadaway et al., "What the Polls Don't Show," American Sociological Review 58(1993):741-752

M. Hamilton, The Sociology of Religion (London: Routledge, 1994)

P. Heelas, The New Age (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996)

D. Hervieu-Léger, Vers un nouveau christianisme? (Paris: Cerf, 1986)

D. Hervieu-Léger, La religion pour mémoire (Paris: Cerf, 1993)

D. Martin, A General Theory of Secularization (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978)

D. Martin, "Remise en question de la théorie de la sécularisation," in Identités religieuses en Europe , ed. G. Davie and D. Hervieu-Léger (Paris: La Découverte, 1996)

M. Marty and R. S. Appleby, Fundamentalisms and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993)

M. McGuire, Religion (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1987)

R. O'Toole, Religion (Toronto: McGraw-Hill, Ryerson, 1984)

R. Robert- son, Globalization (London: Sage, 1992)

W. C. Roof, A Generation of Seekers (San Francisco: Harper, 1993)

W. C. Roof and W. McKinney, American Mainline Religion (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1987)

V. Turner, The Ritual Process (Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1974)

R. Wallis and S. Bruce, "Religion," British Journal of Sociology 40(1989):493-519

J. Willaime, Sociologie des Religions (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1995)

B. R. Wilson, Religion in Sociological Perspective (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982).

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