This introductory text explores the historical and contemporary relevance of religion to social life, through an examination of practice and belief. Author Hunt reconsiders how theories and concepts are lived at the level of selfhood and cultural identity, through religious and spiritual belief. At the same time he looks at contemporary changes in religious life and how these are impacted by socialization, institutional belonging, and belief, and at the significance of class, gender, age and ethnicity. Individual chapters cover a range of issues, such as:
- religion, identity and community
- secularization and pluralism
- traditional Christianity: change and continuity
- globalization and the global context
- religion and ethnicity.
The text challenges much current sociological thought and deals with contemporary Christianity, a range of world faiths and new and developing expressions of religion and spirituality. With tables and diagrams to illustrate key points and trends, it provides an accessible and captivating introduction to the sociology of religion.