chapter
7 Pages

Introduction

ByLINDA WOODHEAD

When Paul Heelas and I recently put together a reader on Religion in Modern Times there were a handful of authors whose work we found ourselves using again and again. Try as we might to find alternatives, there was no getting away from the fact that these were the writers responsible for a disproportionate number of the key formulations in the study of religion. If we take the Second World War as a watershed, the prewar authors we used the most were Weber, Troeltsch, Durkheim, Marx and Simmel. No big surprises there – our work merely confirmed an informal canon which is already widely accepted. But a canon in the postwar study of religion is not yet as clearly defined, and it was therefore with genuine interest that we discovered that the authors from whom we had extracted the most were David Martin, Robert Bellah, Robert Wuthnow – and Peter Berger.