Sociology of Religion

Response

After Secularization: Unbelief in Europe

"Since the 1960s, critiques of scientific rationalism and technocracy have not withered away but have only expanded and have, in the process, diffused from the libertarian left to the new populist right," writes Professor Dick Houtman in this response to our December 2nd episode, "Unbelief as a Nuanced Phenomenon."
Podcast

LDS Garments and Agency

A candid discussion with Nancy Ross about Mormon women's experiences with wearing LDS garments. From the paper "LDS Garments and Agency: A Qualitative Study of Meaning" by Nancy Ross and Jessica Finnigan: "The form of LDS garments has changed over time, from wrist-to-ankle, single-piece long underwear, to versions that included short sleeves and legs, to the two-piece styles that are common today. One of the most difficult aspects of studying garments is that talking about them is a transgressive act." This is that boundary pushing discussion.
Podcast

African American Spiritual Churches

The African American Spiritual Churches are combinatory religious sites, which blend Protestant, Catholic, Spiritualist, Haitian Voodoo, and Benin's traditional Vodun practices. Female leadership and business management has been essential in the history of these churches. Dr. Guillory's upcoming book draws on years of archival research, ethnographic observation, and oral history interviews to tell the story of these churches from 1920 to the present day.
Response

Engaging with Religion and Populism

In Professor Brian S. Turner’s RSP podcast interview with Sammy Bishop, a rallying cry for the relevance of sociology of religion rang out. In the aftermath of 9/11, it was the rush to understand Islamic terrorism that re-centred the study of religion in the social sciences. Now, Turner argues,...
Podcast

The Political Relevance of the Sociology of Religion

Following the lead of scholars such as Jose Casanova, Professor Turner brings the public and political role of religion into focus. By doing so, he argues, we can push the sociology of religion toward the realms of political theory, international relations, and race relations, thus creating an agenda in which the sociology of religion becomes increasingly mainstream and relevant to the world we live in, ...
Response

A World-Conscious Sociology of Religion?

This week we're doing something a little bit different. Instead of a written response to the podcast we have a video response instead: For my take on James Spickard’s phenomenology see: “Prolegomena to a Philosophical Phenomenology of Religion: a critique of sociological phenomenology”.
Podcast

Alternative Sociologies of Religion: Through Non-Western Eyes

In this interview, recorded at the SocRel 2017 Annual Conference, Professor James Spickard talks about his latest project. Starting with a critique of North American sociology’s approach to religion, Spickard emphasises how our concepts of religion are historically grounded,
Response

Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies: Disciplines, Fields, and the Limits of Dialogue

As it happens, just two and a half weeks ago, I was in the audience of a panel called ‘Rethinking Theory, Methods, and Data: A Conversation between Religious Studies and Sociology of Religion’ presented at the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion.
Response

Living in Limbo

Thompson, in her interview with the RSP, touched on very interesting points regarding youth, young people’s religiosity, and their exit from the church at teenage years. In this time-limited interview, she gave us a lot of food for thought. In this piece, I would like to discuss her responses in a mixed order while maintaining a proper flow.Thompson begins the interview by talking about youth...
Podcast

Evangelicalism and Civic Space

In this podcast, Anna Strhan talks to Katie Aston about her research among evangelical Christians, exploring their search for coherence in the contemporary city. How do the members of conservative Anglican congregations negotiate their place in a secular multicultural society, ...
Response

The Catholic Underground: Lithuanian Catholicism Under the Soviet Union

Instead of expressing a need for pluralism and to be recognized for the differences that their religion brings to the country, religious minorities push for the security of agreeing with the majority.Professor of Sociology at Vytautas Magnus University, in Lithuania has changed during the counter-reformation, the First Republic after WWI, the Soviet Union, and finally after the Second Independence. According to Dr. Alisauskiene, the Roman Catholic Church heavily dominated pre-Soviet Union Lithuania.
Response

From Secularisation to Religious Diversity: Understanding Religion in Europe

It may be said that secularisation has made the West religiously illiterate, in that it struggles to accommodate those who do not espouse its secular values, particularly the separation of religion from the state (la laïcité).In her interview with the RSP, Grace Davie provides a survey of the history of the discipline of sociology in the study of religion, and considers the manner in which it has developed in British universities, in contrast to European models.
Response

Whither the Sociology of Religion?

I cannot help but think that the field’s continued reliance on these classical thinkers works to limit the possibilities for analysis to those concerns raised by such figures even in the midst of increased calls for non-Western scholarly interlocutors and more diverse research sites.Grace Davie’s discussion of the sociology of religion provides a comprehensive overview of the field. She offers insights garnered from her own eminent career within British sociology of religion and speaks ...
Podcast

An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion

What is the sociology of religion? What are its particular concerns, dominant themes and defining methodologies? Where did it begin, and how has it evolved? This interview with Grace Davie, the first in our BSA SOCREL series, introduces this important and historically influential approach to the study of religion.
Response

Ours Can Be To Reason Why

While perspectives about conversion are Christian-centric, the idea of conversion itself is religion-centric.Lynn Davidman's recent RSP interview illustrates why her work is important, serious, and engaging. As I listened to the podcast, three ideas came to mind. First, I was delighted to hear Davidman describe much of the literature on conversion and deconversion as Christian-centric. While I think she could have made this point even more compellingly in the podcast, ...
Response

Surveying the Sacred and Secular

With a good representative sample, we can learn about how religion shapes the way people answer new questions, rather than what they believe about the issues alone. The RSP’s interview with Darren Sherkat arrives at a time when research on religion has caught a bit of the media spotlight. Both The Atlantic and Religion Dispatches recently touched on issues with surveys in their reviews of Robert Wuthnow’s new book, Inventing American Religion. In this book, ...
Response

Identity Crisis: the Nones and Habitual Christianity

Many of my participants felt that familiarity with Christianity permitted them to be critical in a way that they could not with other religious traditions. This podcast coincides with Linda Woodhead’s recent Croall Lectures, aimed at interrogating the question: Is Britain still a Christian country? Drawing on her own qualitative research and recent surveys in the UK,