Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1940-) Professor of Sociology at St. Michael's College (Vermont), obtained his undergraduate degree from William Jewell College, the M. Div. degree from Yale, and the Ph.D. in sociology of religion from Drew University. President, Association for the Sociology of Religion, 1985.

An ordained minister recognized in both American and Southern Baptist Conventions, Garrett has enjoyed a multifaceted career that includes being a productive scholar; the editor of Sociological Analysis , the official journal of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and several associate editorships; an academic administrator; a pastor; a chaplain; president of his state chapter of AAUP; board member of several organizations; and college professor. He has also served as town moderator for his Vermont community.

Although Garrett has done significant work in family sociology, the main thrust of his scholarly contributions has been in the area of historical and comparative sociology. His studies of religion and society are typically focused at the societal or macro level. In his presidential address to the ASR, he traced the emergence of the notion of "God-given rights" from the development of canon law in the Catholic Church, through the Enlightenment period in France, and into the modern world by way of Roger Williams, the Levellers, and Isaac Backus. Since then, he has enlarged his interest to consider the relation of religion and human rights to globalization theory, often in collaboration with Roland Robertson. Also, Garrett has recently been involved in comparative studies of Eastern and Western family systems.

Throughout his career, Garrett has demonstrated a personal and professional interest in ecumenical issues, in recent years through extensive participation in conferences and programs sponsored by the Unification Church.

Larry C. Ingram


W. R. Garrett, "Religion, Law, and the Human Condition," Sociological Analysis 47S(1987):1-34

W.R. Garrett, "Thinking Religion in the Global Circumstance," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 31(1992):297-303

W.R. Garrett and R. Robertson (eds.), Religion and Global Order (New York: Paragon House, 1991).

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