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Sociology of the Sacred: Religion, Embodiment and Social Change

Sociology of the Sacred: Religion, Embodiment and Social Change (Hardback)

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Synopsis

"About time! Two key experts in the field remind us of the significance and power of religion as bio-political and bio-economic."

- Beverley Skeggs, Goldsmiths, University of London

"A welcome addition to a continuing body of work by two distinguished theorists of religion."

- Grace Davie, University of Exeter

"Mellor and Shilling cement their place at the pinnacle of the contemporary sociological theorisation of religion and the sacred. If sociological work is going to have any future it is to be found in the inspiration and excitement of this sophisticated and intelligent book."

- Keith Tester, University of Hull

"This book is ambitious, refreshing and rewarding. It offers the best available analysis of the complex interlacing of the sacred, religion, secularization and embodied experience."

- James A. Beckford, University of Warwick

Drawing on classical and contemporary social theory, Sociology of the Sacred presents a bold and original account of how interactions between religious and secular forms of the sacred underpin major conflicts in the world today, and illuminate broader patterns of social and cultural change inherent to global modernity. It demonstrates:

How the bodily capacities help religions adapt to social change but also facilitate their internal transformationThat the `sacred' includes a diverse range of phenomena, with variable implications for questions of social order and changeHow proponents of a `post-secular' age have failed to grasp the ways in which sacralization can advance secularizationWhy the sociology of the sacred needs to be a key part of attempts to make sense of the nature and directionality of social change in global modernity today.

This book is key reading for the sociology of religion, the body and modern culture.

Philip Mellor is Professor of Religion and Social Theory at University of Leeds. Chris Shilling is Professor of Sociology in SSPSSR at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. Having completed a BA in Politics and an MA in Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex, he was awarded his PhD in the Sociology of Education at The Open University. Growing increasingly dissatisfied with cognitive conceptions of agency and disembodied theories of social and cultural processes, his research and writing from the late 1980s has sought to contribute to the embodiment of sociology and sociological theory and to promote the interdisciplinary field of 'body studies.' He has lectured widely in Europe and North America, has written on embodiment in relation to a wide range of substantive issues (from religion, archaeology, sport, music and health and illness, to work, survival, technology and consumer culture) and his publicationshave been translated into a number of different languages. Chris Shilling's major books include Changing Bodies: Habit, Crisis and Creativity (Sage, 2008), Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, Progress and Prospects (editor, Blackwells, 2007), The Body in Culture, Technology and Society (Sage, 2005) and, with Philip A. Mellor, The Sociological Ambition (Sage, 2001) and Re-forming the Body. Religion, Community and Modernity (Sage, 1997). He is currently editor of The Sociological Review Monograph Series and is continuing to research and write on embodiment as a foundational grounding for social thought and social research.

More books by Chris Shilling

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