chapter  10
Religion
ByChris Shilling, Philip A. Mellor
Pages 14

This chapter highlights some of the most prominent challenges facing the problem of societal order by showing how religiously driven forms of social integration and personal identity can threaten particular institutional forms, and also the very existence of the nation state. It argues that religion has become increasingly marginalized from the systemic parts of society at the same time as its role in social integration becomes the focus of sociological significance. The chapter explores the contemporary importance of religion for the social system, for social relationships and for individual identities, suggesting they are not always as opposed as they might first appear. It suggests that there has been a global renaissance of religion at the level of social relationships, and also explores how Max Weber's secular model of modernity needs to be modified but has not been rendered irrelevant by recent events.