Files

Download

Download Full Text (352 KB)

Department/School

Sociology and Anthropology

Abstract/Excerpt

Five narratives currently dominate the sociology of religion. Religion is either disappearing (secularization), becoming resurgently conservative, becoming a matter of individual choice, fostering local communities, or shaped by religious markets. Each of these narratives focuses on the data that support it, and also typically reinterpret potentially contrary data so as to support it as well. This is not bad faith. It is the result of a little-noticed relationship between theory and data in the social sciences. Briefly put, theory overdetermine data rather than the other way around. The chapter illustrates this process with each of the narratives.

Document Type

Chapter

Book Title

Theorising Religion: Classical and Contemporary Debates

Editors

James A. Beckford; John Walliss

Publisher

Ashgate

Place of Publication

Farnham, Surrey, UK

Publication Date

2006

Pages

169-181

ISBN

978-0754640684

Keywords

sociology of religion, theory, religious change, narrative, data

Disciplines

Religion | Sociology of Religion | Theory, Knowledge and Science

Narrative versus Theory in the Sociology of Religion: Five Stories of Religion’s Place in the Late Modern World

Share

COinS