Publication date:15 December 2011
Length of book:296 pages
With a clear statement of the theoretical issues in the debates about secularization and post-secularism, ‘Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology’ considers a number of major case studies – from China, Europe, Singapore and South Asia – in order to understand the rise of public religions in the modern state. By distinguishing between political secularization – the separation of state and religion – and social secularization – the transformation of the everyday practice of religion – this volume offers an integrating framework within which to analyze these different societies.
‘Religion has emerged as a key variable in understanding modern societies, and all modern nations, no matter their formal definitions of church-state relations, must engage in the management of religions and religious groups in order to maintain peace between rival religious factions as well as societal harmony. This volume by eminent scholars in the field offers great insight into how public religions are functioning in a variety of modern states, the perils and benefits garnered as governmental authorities attempt to manage this crucial area of public life, and the need to redefine the meaning of secularization in the modern world.’ —Dr James T. Richardson, University of Nevada, Reno