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Module Reading List

Sociology of Religion, 2017/18, Semester 1
Caroline Starkey
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Introduction to Sociology of Religion texts/general texts and chapters

(Make sure you have accessed at least one of these – several are edited collections that contain articles that will help with lecture, seminar and assessment preparation, and may also help give an overview of the topics we are considering).

Aldridge, A (2013) Religion in the contemporary world : a sociological introduction (3rd Edition). Cambridge: Polity.

Beckford, J. (2003) Social theory and religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Clarke, P.B. (2011) The Oxford handbook of the sociology of religion. Oxford: OUP

Davie, G. (2013) The sociology of religion : a critical agenda. (2nd Edition), London: SAGE.

Singleton, A. (2014) Religion, culture and society : a global approach. London: SAGE.

Giddens, A. & Sutton, P. (2013) ‘Religion’, Sociology, (7th ed), London: Polity, pp. 716–728.   

Hamilton, M. B. (1995) The sociology of religion : theoretical and comparative perspectives. London: Routledge.  (just the introduction please)   

Riesebrodt, M and Konieczny, ME (2005) ‘Sociology of Religion’ In J.R.Hinnells (ed.) The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion. London: Routledge.

Turner, B.S. (ed.) (2010) The new Blackwell companion to the sociology of religion. London: Blackwell.

Turner, B. S. (1991 second edition). Religion and Social Theory. London: Sage.

Bender et al (2013)  Religion on the edge : de-centering and re-centering the sociology of religion.Oxford: OUP

McKinnon, A and Trzebiatowska, M (eds) (2014) Sociological theory and the question of religion. Ashgate: Oxon. 

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Classical Sociology/Sociology of Religion

Alexander, J. C. (1988). Durkheimian sociology : cultural studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Alexander, J.C. and Smith, P. (eds.) (2005) The Cambridge Companion to Durkheim. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Allen, N. J., Pickering, W. S. F. and Watts Miller, W. (1998). On Durkheim's Elementary forms of religious life. London: Routledge.

Barbalet, J.M. (2008) Weber, Passion and Profits: 'The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism' in Context, Cambridge: CUP.

Boer, R. (2011), ‘Opium, Idols and Revolution: Marx and Engels on Religion’, Religion Compass, 5 (11): 698-707.

Budd, S. (1973). Sociologists and religion. London: Collier-MacMillan.

Camic, C. (ed.) (1997). Reclaiming the sociological classics : the state of the scholarship. Oxford: Blackwell.

Campbell, C. (1987). The romantic ethic and the spirit of modern consumerism, Oxford: Blackwell.

Chalcroft, D.J. (ed.) (2001) The Protestant ethic debate : Max Weber's replies to his critics, 1907-1910. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Durkheim, É. (1951 [1897]). Suicide. London: Routledge.

Durkheim, É. (1995 [1912]). The elementary forms of religious life, (Trans.) K. E. Fields. New York: Free Press.

Durkheim, É. (1973 [1914]). 'The dualism of human nature and its social conditions',in R. N. Bellah (ed.), Emile Durkheim On morality and society : selected writings. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Durkheim, É. (1984 [1893]). The division of labour in society. London: Macmillan.

Fish, J.S. (2005). Defending the Durkheimian tradition : religion, emotion, and morality. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.

Frisby, D. (2002) Georg Simmel. London: Routledge.

Gane, M. (1988). On Durkheim's rules of sociological method. London: Routledge.

Gane, M., (1983a), ‘Durkheim: the sacred language’, Economy and society., 12 (1): 1–47.

Gane, M., (1983b), ‘Durkheim: woman as outsider’, Economy and society., 12 (2): 227–270.

Gill, R. (1987). Theology and sociology : a reader. London: Geoffrey Chapman.

Holmwood, J. (1996) Founding sociology? : Talcott Parsons and the idea of general theory. London: Longman.

Idinopulos, T.A. and Wilson, B.C. (eds.) Reappraising Durkheim for the study and teaching of religion today. Leiden: Brill.

Joas, H (2001). ‘The Gift of Life: The Sociology of Religion in Talcott Parsons’ Late Work’, Journal of classical sociology., 1: 127-141.

Jones, R.A. (1999). The development of Durkheim's social realism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lehmann, H. and Roth, G. (eds.) (1993) Weber's "Protestant ethic" : origins, evidence, contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lindholm, C. (1993) Charisma. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lukes, S. (1973) Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work. London: Penguin.

Marshall, G. (1982) In search of the spirit of capitalism : an essay on Max Weber's Protestant ethic thesis. London: Hutchinson.

Mellor, P. A. (1998). 'Sacred Contagion and Social Vitality: Collective Effervescence in Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse', Durkheimian Studies/Etudes Durkheimiennes, Vol. 4. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Mellor, P.A. ‘(2006) Religion as an Elementary Aspect of Society: Durkheim’s Legacy for Social Theory, in J.A, Beckford and J. Wallis (eds.), Theorising religion : classical and contemporary debates. London: Ashgate.

Mellor, P.A. (2009) ‘Durkheim’, in G. Oppy and N. Trakakis (eds.) The history of western philosophy of religion: Acumen Publishing.

Meštrović, S. J. (1997). Postemotional society. London: Sage.

Morris, B. (1987). Anthropological studies of religion : an introductory text. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nisbet, R. (1995 [1966]). The Sociological Tradition. New Brunswick: Transaction.

Parsons, T. (1968 [1937]) The Structure of Social Action. New York: Free Press.

Parsons, T. (1968 [1937]) The Social System. London: Routledge.

Parsons, T., (1978), Action theory and the human condition, New York: Free Press.

Peacock, J. L. and Tyson Jr, R. W. (1989). Pilgrims of paradox : Calvinism and experience among the Primitive Baptists of the Blue Ridge. Washington,D.C. Smithsonian Press.

Pickering, W.S.F. and Walford. G. (2000). Durkheim's Suicide : a century of research and debate. London: Routledge.

Pickering, W.S.F. (1984). Durkheim's sociology of religion : themes and theories. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Pickering, W.S.F. (1975). Durkheim on religion : a selection of readings with bibliographies. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Pickering, W.S.F and Martins, H. (eds.) (1994). Debating Durkheim. London: Routledge.

Poggi, G. (1983) Calvinism and the capitalist spirit : Max Weber's Protestant ethic. London: Macmillan.

Poggi, G. (2000). Durkheim. Oxford: OUP.

Ramp,W., (1998), ‘Effervescence, differentiation and representation’, in The Elementary Forms, in Allen, N., Pickering, W. and Miller, W. Watts (eds), On Durkheim's Elementary forms of religious life, London: Routledge.

Rawls, A., (1996), ‘Durkheim’s epistemology: the neglected argument’, American Journal of Sociology., 102 (2): 430–482.

Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. A. (1998). 'Durkheim, Morality and Modernity: Collective Effervescence, homo duplex and the sources of moral action', The British journal of sociology., 49 (2): 193-209.

Shilling, C. and Mellor, P.A. (2011) ‘Retheorising Emile Durkheim on society and religion: embodiment, intoxication and collective life’, The sociological review. 59(1): 17-45.

Simmel, G. (1997) Essays on religion, J.Helle (ed.).New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Tönnies, F. (1957 [1887]). Community and Association. Michigan: Michigan State University Press.

Weber, M., (1948 [1915]), ‘Religious rejections of the world and their directions’, in Gerth, H.H. and Mills, C.W. (eds), From Max Weber, London: Routledge.

Vandenberghe. F (2010) ‘Immanent transcendence in Georg Simmel’s sociology of religion’, Journal of classical sociology., 10 (1): 5-32.

Weber, M. (2001 [1930]). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London: Routledge

Wernick, A. (2001) Auguste Comte and the religion of humanity : the post-theistic program of French social theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The Journal of classical sociology. also contains many useful articles and is available online via the University of Leeds e-journal catalogue. This resource is a valuable accompaniment to the above reading list and is well worth browsing when preparing essays.

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Contemporary Sociology/Sociology of Religion

Ammerman, N. T (1987) Bible believers : fundamentalists in the modern world. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva   

Ammerman, N. T. (2006) (ed). Everyday religion : observing modern religious lives. Oxford: OUP

Ammerman, N.T. (2014) Sacred stories, spiritual tribes : finding religion in everyday life. Oxford: OUP

Beck, U. (1992). Risk society : towards a new modernity, London: Sage.

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

Beckford, J. A. (1992). 'Religion, modernity and postmodernity', in B.R.Wilson (ed.), Religion : contemporary issues : the All Souls seminars in the sociology of religion. London: Belew.

Beckford, J. A. (2003) Social theory and religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Beckford, J. A. and Demerath II, N.J. (eds.) (2007) The SAGE handbook of the sociology of religion. London: Sage.

Beckford, J. A. (2010) ‘The return of public religion? A critical assessment of a popular claim’, Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, 23 (2): 121–136. Available at:

Bender, C, Cadge, W, Levitt, P, and D. Smilde (2013) (eds). Religion on the edge : de-centering and re-centering the sociology of religion. Oxford: OUP.

Berger, P. (1990 [1967]). The Sacred Canopy. Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. New York: Anchor Books.    

Berger, P. (1991 [1969]). A rumour of angels : modern society and the rediscovery of the supernatural. New York: Anchor Books.

Berger, P. (1999), (ed.), The desecularization of the world : resurgent religion and world politics, Michigan: Eerdmans

Bruce, S. (2001) The Curious Case of the Unnecessary Recantation: Berger and Secularization. IN Woodhead, L, Heelas, P. and Martin, D. (eds.) Peter Berger and the study of religion ISBN: 0415215323 (pbk); 0415215315. London: Routledge.    

Davidmann, L (1991) Tradition in a rootless world : women turn to Orthodox Judaism. Berkeley: UCP.

Davie, G. (2007) Vicarious Religion: A Methodological Challenge.” In Nancy T. Ammerman, ed. Everyday religion : observing modern religious lives ISBN: 9780195305401 (alk. paper); 019530540X (alk. paper); 0195305418 (pbk. ; alk. paper); 9780195305418 (pbk. ; alk. paper); 9780198041573 (ebk.); 0198041578 (ebk.), pp. 21-35. Oxford: Oxford University Press.   

Giddens, A. (1990). The consequences of modernity, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Gorski, P and Altinordu, A. (2008) ‘After secularization? ’, Annual review of sociology., 34: 55-85.

Habermas, J. (2008). ‘Notes on Post-Secular Society’, New perspectives quarterly., 25 (4): 17-29.

Hammond, P. (1985 (ed.)). The sacred in a secular age : toward revision in the scientific study of religion. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hervieu-Léger, D., (2000), Religion as a chain of memory, Cambridge: Polity.

Hunter, J.D and Ainlay, S.C. (Eds) (1986). Making sense of modern times : Peter L. Berger and the vision of interpretive sociology. London: RKP.

Jerryson, M., Juergensmeyer, M., and Margo Kitts (eds) (2013) The Oxford handbook of religion and violence. Oxford: OUP.

Juergensmeyer, M (2000) ‘ Cosmic war’, Terror in the mind of God: the global rise of religious violence (2nd ed), Berkeley: UCP.

Luckmann, T. (1967). The invisible religion : the problem of religion in modern society. New York: Macmillan.

Lee, L. (2015)  Recognizing the non-religious : reimagining the secular ISBN: 9780198736844 (Cloth); 0198736843 (Cloth). Oxford: OUP.     

Lynch, G. (2007) Between sacred and profane : researching religion and popular culture. London: IB Tauris.

Mellor, P.A. (2004) Religion, realism and social theory : making sense of society, pp.224, London: Sage Publications/Theory, Culture and Society Series.

Mellor, P. A. and Shilling, C. (1997). Re-forming the body : religion, community and modernity, London: Sage Publications/ TCS.

Mellor, P.A. and Shilling, C. (2010) ‘The Religious Habitus: Religion, Embodiment and Sociological Theory’, in B.S. Turner (ed.) The new Blackwell companion to the sociology of religion, London: Routledge.

Mellor, P.A. and Shilling, C., (2010), ‘Body pedagogics and the religious habitus: A new direction for the sociological study of religion’, Religion., 40: 27–38.

Rambo, L and Farhadian, C. (eds .) The Oxford handbook of religious conversion. Oxford: OUP

Robertson, R. (1970). The sociological interpretation of religion. Oxford: Blackwell.

Robertson, R. (1969). Sociology of Religion. London: Penguin.

Robertson, R. (1992). Globalization : social theory and global culture. London: Sage.

Shilling, C. and Mellor, P.A. (2000). The sociological ambition : elementary forms of social and moral life. London: Sage.

Stark, R. and Bainbridge, W. S. (1996). Religion, deviance, and social control. London: Routledge.

Turner, B (2014) Religion and Contemporary Sociological Theories. Current sociology = La sociologie contemporaine., 62 (6), 771-788. - Available at:

Woodhead, L, Heelas, P and Martin, D. (2001) Peter Berger and the study of religion. London: Routledge.  

Woodhead, L, and Brown, A (2016) That was the church that was : how the Church of England lost the English people ISBN: 9781472921666 (e-book). London: Bloomsbury    

Yang, F and Abel, A (2014) Sociology of Religious Conversion. In Rambo, L and Farhadian, C. (eds .) The Oxford handbook of religious conversion. Oxford: OUP (pp. 140-163).

Zuckerman, P. (2003), Invitation to the Sociology of Religion. New York/London: Routledge.

This list was last updated on 21/09/2017