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Is it true that religion is weakening in modern times, or are we facing religious resurgence? What is fundamentalism? How does it emerge and grow? What role does religion play in ethnic and national conflicts? Is religion a fundamental driving force or do political leaders use religion for their own purposes? Do all religions oppress women? These are some of the questions addressed in this book. An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion provides an overview of sociological theories of contemporary religious life. Some chapters are organized according to topic. Others offer brief presentations of classical and contemporary sociologists from Karl Marx to Zygmunt Bauman and their perspectives on social life, including religion. Throughout the book, illustrations and examples are taken from several religious traditions.
Dr Inger Furseth is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo. She is the author of A Comparative Study of Social and Religious Movements in Norway 1780s-1905 (2003, Mellen Press). Her research centres on religious diversity, gender issues, social theory, and social and religious movements. Dr Pal Repstad is Professor in Sociology of Religion at Agder University College, Norway. He has conducted research and published in the fields of sociology of religion, social policy, and sociological methods. He is also the editor of Religion and Modernity. Modes of Co-Existence (1996, Scandinavian University Press).