This topical collection of eleven commissioned essays by well-established contributors from sociology, religious studies and theology, is one of the first treatments of the relationship between postmodernity and religion from a sociological perspective. The essays cover a diversity of interests, but treat postmodernity in terms of its implications for the self, the New Age and theology, particularly Catholicism and Judaism. Two of the essays are original appraisals of two important French writers on religion: Jean-Luc Marion and Daniele Hervieu-Leger.
This collection of 13 specially commissioned essays expands a new intellectual terrain for sociology: virtue ethics. Using a variety of religious perspectives, of Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Quakerism, with considerations of Islam and the New Age, this engaged and topical collection deals with properties of virtue in relation to the person, celibacy, hope, the apocalypse, mourning, and moral ambiguity. It also treats the concept of virtue in response to MacIntyre, Bauman, Weber, Durkheim, and Giddens. It seeks to move sociology past disabling (...) effects of postmodernity. (shrink)
By means of a comparison between Bourdieu and Simmel, this article explores the fusion of theology and religion so as to give sociological expression to Kierkegaard's leap of faith. When detached from theology, religion services civil and secular needs in ways that enhance power and the right of the state to regulate the agenda of the politics of identity. In their dealings with religion, Bourdieu and Simmel present sociology with a choice of fusing the category of religion with theology or (...) not. If the outcome is fusion, then the prospects of a religious reflexivity are enhanced, thus facilitating a leap of faith and the opening of a fruitful dialogue with theology, where sociology can develop new horizons for understandings of culture. (shrink)
This review essay reflects on two works that pertain to the postsecular: Josef Bengtson, Explorations in Post-Secular Metaphysics ; and Florian Zemmin, Colin Jager, Guido Vanheeswijck, eds., Working with a Secular Age: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Charles Taylor’s Master Narrative. The profound influence of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age is well illustrated in these two works under review. The review essay situates postsecularity in the context of debates on secularization and the sociological expectations this process generates. By treating postsecularism in terms (...) of contextualisation, metaphysics arises as a default position pertaining to transcendence in Bengtson’s work. The efforts in the Zemmin, Jager, and Vanheeswijck work to steer the Taylor work in the direction of Islam are given a critical appraisal. A particular outcome of postsecularity is to render as untenable sociology’s customary detachment of religion from theology. Lastly, for Catholicism, postsecularism draws attention to a long-standing and long-denied crisis in the reproduction of belief in modernity and in a secularized Europe in particular. A singular exception to this crisis occurs in Scandinavian countries, notable for their absence of religion, which are experiencing a small, but significant renaissance of Catholicism. This opens out a positive side to debates on postsecularity which indicates that it is not solely about mirages which give comfort to secularized forms of sociology. (shrink)