Description : Drawing on empirical research exploring mainstream religious belief and identity in Euro-American countries, Abby Day explores how people 'believe in belonging', choosing religious identifications to complement other social and emotional experiences of 'belongings'.
Description : Based on interviews with over 100 pupils from three schools, this research report shows that children’s religious identities and experiences are varied and complex and that they are able to talk about it with interest and insight.
Description : This landmark study in the sociology of religion sheds new light on the question of what has happened to religion and spirituality since the 1960s in modern societies. Exposing several analytical weaknesses of today's sociology of religion, (Un)Believing in Modern Society presents a new theory of religious-secular competition and a new typology of ways of being religious/secular. The authors draw on a specific European society (Switzerland) as their test case, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to show how the theory can be applied. Identifying four ways of being religious/secular in a modern society: 'institutional', 'alternative', 'distanced' and 'secular' they show how and why these forms have emerged as a result of religious-secular competition and describe in what ways all four forms are adapted to the current, individualized society.
Description : How religious beliefs and practices can influence the wealth of nations Which countries grow faster economically—those with strong beliefs in heaven and hell or those with weak beliefs in them? Does religious participation matter? Why do some countries experience secularization while others are religiously vibrant? In The Wealth of Religions, Rachel McCleary and Robert Barro draw on their long record of pioneering research to examine these and many other aspects of the economics of religion. Places with firm beliefs in heaven and hell measured relative to the time spent in religious activities tend to be more productive and experience faster growth. Going further, there are two directions of causation: religiosity influences economic performance and economic development affects religiosity. Dimensions of economic development—such as urbanization, education, health, and fertility—matter too, interacting differently with religiosity. State regulation and subsidization of religion also play a role. The Wealth of Religions addresses the effects of religious beliefs on character traits such as work ethic, thrift, and honesty; the Protestant Reformation and its long-term effects on education and religious competition; Communism’s suppression of and competition with religion; the effects of Islamic laws and regulations on the functioning of markets and, hence, on the long-term development of Muslim countries; why some countries have state religions; analogies between religious groups and terrorist organizations; the violent origins of the Dalai Lama’s brand of Tibetan Buddhism; and the use by the Catholic Church of saint-making as a way to compete against the rise of Protestant Evangelicals. Timely and incisive, The Wealth of Religions provides fresh insights into the vital interplay between religion, markets, and economic development.
Description : Globalisation has led to increasing cultural and religious diversity in cities around the world. What are the implications for young people growing up in these settings? How do they develop their religious identities, and what roles do families, friends and peers, teachers, religious leaders and wider cultural influences play in the process? Furthermore, how do members of similar and different cultural and faith backgrounds get on together, and what can young people tell us about reducing conflict and promoting social solidarity amid diversity? Youth On Religion outlines the findings from a unique large-scale project investigating the meaning of religion to young people in three multi-faith locations. Drawing on survey data from over 10,000 young people with a range of faith positions, as well as a series of fascinating interviews, discussion groups and diary reports involving 160 adolescents, this book examines myriad aspects of their daily lives. It provides the most comprehensive account yet of the role of religion for young people growing up in contemporary, multicultural urban contexts. Youth On Religion is a rigorous and engaging account of developing religiosity in a changing society. It presents young people’s own perspectives on their attitudes and experiences and how they negotiate their identities. The book will be an instructive and valuable resource for psychologists, sociologists, criminologists, educationalists and anthropologists, as well as youth workers, social workers and anyone working with young people today. It will also provide essential understanding for policy makers tackling issues of multiculturalism in advanced societies.
Description : This book acts as a bridge between the critical study of 'religion' and empirical studies of 'religion in the real world'. Chris Cotter presents a concise and up-to-date critical survey of research on non-religion in the UK and beyond, before presenting the results of extensive research in Edinburgh's Southside which blurs the boundary between 'religion' and 'non-religion'. In doing so, Cotter demonstrates that these are dynamic subject positions, and phenomena can occupy both at the same time, or neither, depending on who is doing the positioning, and what issues are at stake. This book details an approach that avoids constructing 'religion' as in some way unique, whilst also fully incorporating 'non-religious' subject positions into religious studies. It provides a rich engagement with a wide variety of theoretical material, rooted in empirical data, which will be essential reading for those interested in critical, sociological and anthropological study of the contemporary non-/religious landscape.
Description : Christian Atheist examines the growing religious phenomenon of those who are drawn to Christianity without accepting its metaphysical claims or dogma. Throughout the history of the Church there have been many people like this who have sat differently to the central creedal claims, but in the contemporary 'god delusion' culture, more are coming out to claim acceptance for their views. The key to the book is a set of interviews with people who fall broadly into the 'Christian Atheist' category; some are more agnostic and less sceptical than others, but what they have in common is the rejection of traditional belief in God, counterbalanced by an admiration for the aesthetic genius of Christianity (leading to a sense of deeper value), the Christian moral compass, and in some cases the community aspect of Christian life.
Description : A lyrical coming-of-age memoir, Down from the Mountaintop chronicles a quest for belonging. Raised in northwestern Montana by Pentecostal homesteaders whose twenty-year experiment in subsistence living was closely tied to their faith, Joshua Doležal experienced a childhood marked equally by his parents’ quest for spiritual transcendence and the surrounding Rocky Mountain landscape. Unable to fully embrace the fundamentalism of his parents, he began to search for religious experience elsewhere: in baseball, books, and weightlifting, then later in migrations to Tennessee, Nebraska, and Uruguay. Yet even as he sought to understand his place in the world, he continued to yearn for his mountain home. For more than a decade, Doležal taught in the Midwest throughout the school year but returned to Montana and Idaho in the summers to work as a firefighter and wilderness ranger. He reveled in the life of the body and the purifying effects of isolation and nature, believing he had found transcendence. Yet his summers tied him even more to the mountain landscape, fueling his sense of exile on the plains. It took falling in love, marrying, and starting a family in Iowa to allow Doležal to fully examine his desire for a spiritual mountaintop from which to view the world. In doing so, he undergoes a fundamental redefinition of the nature of home and belonging. He learns to accept the plains on their own terms, moving from condemnation to acceptance and from isolation to community. Coming down from the mountaintop means opening himself to relationships, grounding himself as a husband, father, and gardener who learns that where things grow, the grower also takes root.