Public Religions and Civil Society
The Case of London Methodism
Keywords:Methodism, inner city, London, Secularization, Black church membership
Amendments to secularization theory have brought the issue of public religions to the fore in recent years. In particular, the work of Casanova and Beyer has maintained the importance of functional differentiation whilst pointing to the flow of religious discourses across social boundaries. These issues, however, have received little ethnographic attention, such that many of the problems associated with theories of differentiation and globalization have not been engaged in a sustained manner. Research within black majority London Methodist congregations is drawn upon to suggest ways in which these theories can be reconsidered. Three related issues are focused upon: the continued importance of the nation-state (including national stratifications); the importance of a practical approach to religion, such that discourses are understood as ?practical discourses?; and the importance of not privileging religion by reifying it in functional terms. These considerations have ramifications not only for secularization theory, but the general field of the sociological study of religion.
Asad, T., 1993, Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam. Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press.
Bauman, Z., 1998, Globalization: The Human Consequences. Cambridge: Polity.
Baumann, G., 1996, Contesting Culture: Discourses of Identity in Multiethnic London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Beckford, J.A., 2003, Social Theory and Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Berger, P., (ed.) 1999, The Desecularization of the World: The Resurgence of Religion in World Politics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Besecke, K., 2005, ‘Seeing Invisible Religion: Religion as a Societal Conversation about Transcendent Meaning’. Sociological Theory 23(2): 179-96.
Beyer, P., 1994, Religion and Globalization. London: Sage.
—1998, ‘The City and Beyond as Dialogue: Negotiating Religious Authenticity in Global Society’. Social Compass 45(1): 67-79.
—1999, ‘Secularization from the Perspective of Globalization: A Response to Dobbelaere’. Sociology of Religion 60(3): 289-301.
Bourdieu, P., 1977, Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
—1991, ‘Genesis and Structure of the Religious Field’. Comparative Social Research 13: 1-44.
Brierley, P., 2000, The Tide Is Running Out: What the English Church Attendance Survey Reveals. London: Christian Research.
Bruce, S., 1996, Religion in the Modern World: From Cathedrals to Cults. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Casanova, J., 1994, Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
—2001, ‘Religion, the New Millennium, and Globalization’. Sociology of Religion 62(4): 415-41.
—2003, ‘Beyond European and American Exceptionalisms: Towards a Global Perspective’. In G. Davie, P. Heelas and L. Woodhead (eds.), Predicting Religion: Christian, Secular and Alternative Futures. Aldershot: Ashgate: 17-29.
Chambers, P., and A. Thompson, 2005, ‘Public Religion and Political Change in Wales’. Sociology 39(1): 29-46.
Davie, G., 2000, Religion in Modern Europe: A Memory Mutates. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
—2002, Europe: The Exceptional Case. London: Darton, Longman & Todd.
Durkheim, É., 1964, The Division of Labour in Society. New York: Free Press.
Glock, C.Y., and R.N. Bellah., (eds.) 1976, The New Religious Consciousness. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Gordon, C., (ed.) 1980, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, Michel Foucault. London: Harvester.
Hann, C., 2000, ‘Problems with the (De)Privatization of Religion’, Anthropology Today 16(6): 14-20.
Haynes, J., 1998, Religion in Global Politics. London and New York: Longman.
Heelas, P., and L. Woodhead, 2005, The Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion Is Giving Way to Spirituality. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hervieu-Léger, D., 2000, Religion as a Chain of Memory. Cambridge: Polity.
Laermans, R., and G. Verschraegen, 2001, ‘ “The Late Niklas Luhmann” on Religion: An Overview’. Social Compass 48(1): 7-20.
Luckmann, T., 1967, The Invisible Religion: the Problem of Religion in Modern Society. New York: Macmillan.
Lyon, D., 2000, Jesus in Disneyland: Religion in Postmodern Times. Cambridge: Polity.
Martin, D., 1978, A General Theory of Secularization. Oxford: Blackwell.
Modood, T., 2005. Multicultural Politics: Racism, Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Robertson, R., 1992, Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage.
Roof, W.C., 1999, Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
Rosenberg, J., 2000, The Follies of Globalisation Theory. London: Verso.
Stark, R., 1999, ‘Secularization, R.I.P.’. Sociology of Religion 60(3): 249-73.
Sutcliffe, S., 2003, Children of the New Age: A History of Spiritual Practices. London: Routledge.
Taylor, J., 2003, ‘After Secularism: British Government and the Inner Cities’. In G. Davie, P. Heelas and L. Woodhead (eds.), Predicting Religion: Christian, Secular and Alternative Futures. Aldershot: Ashgate: 120-32.
Walton, H., (with R. Ward and M. Johnson) 1985, A Tree God Planted: Black People in British Methodism. London: Ethnic Minorities in Methodism Working Group.
Weber, M., 2001, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London: Routledge Classics.
Wilson, B., 1966, Religion in Secular Society: A Sociological Comment. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin.
Wood, M.R., 2006, ‘Breaching Bleaching: Integrating Studies of “Race” and Ethnicity with the Sociology of Religion’. In J.A. Beckford and J. Walliss (eds.), Theorising Religion: Classical and Contemporary Debates. Aldershot: Ashgate: 233-46.
—forthcoming, Possession, Power and the New Age: Ambiguities of Authority in Neoliberal Societies. Aldershot: Ashgate.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.