James A. Beckford's work is internationally acclaimed not only in the sociology of religion, but also in other fields of the social sciences. Beckford has long been arguing that the barriers that have grown up between the different sub-disciplines should be broken down, with those specialising in religion becoming more cognisant of new theoretical developments, and sociologists in general becoming more aware of the significance of developments in the religious scene. This book is a collection of essays written in Beckford's honour, drawing on a number of religious themes that have been central to Beckford's interests, whilst also offering a significant contribution to our understanding of the wider society. A central theme is modernity (and its relation to the post-modern), and how religion affects and is affected by the dynamics of contemporary society, with the primary focus of many of the chapters being a concern with how society copes with the minority religions that have become visible with the globalising tendencies of contemporary society. The contributors, who come from America, Asia and various parts of Europe, are all internationally renowned scholars. Beckford's most important publications are listed in an Appendix and the volume opens with a short account of his contribution to sociology by Eileen Barker (the editor) and James T. Richardson.

chapter |11 pages


ByEileen Barker, James T. Richardson

part Part I|70 pages

The French Connection

chapter Chapter 3|14 pages

The Paradoxes of Laïcité in France

ByJean-Paul Willaime, Allyn Hardyck

chapter Chapter 5|14 pages

Two Different Types of Manifest Secularization:

Belgium and France Compared
ByKarel Dobbelaere

part Part II|75 pages

Religious Insertions in Society

chapter Chapter 7|10 pages

A Movement without a Crisis is a Movement with a Crisis:

A Paradox in Search of a Paradigm
ByJ. Demerath

chapter Chapter 8|14 pages

The European Court of Human Rights, Minority Religions, and the Social Construction of Religious Freedom 1

ByJames T. Richardson, Jennifer Shoemaker

chapter Chapter 9|14 pages

The Trumpet Sounds Retreat:

Learning from the Jehovah's Witnesses 1
ByDavid Voas

chapter Chapter 10|13 pages

Theorising Conversion:

Can we use Conversion Accounts as Sources to Actual Past Processes?
ByMargit Warburg

chapter Chapter 11|13 pages

From ‘Visiting Minister' to ‘Muslim Chaplain':

The Growth of Muslim Chaplaincy in Britain, 1970–2007
BySophie Gilliat-Ray

part Part III|26 pages

Religion, Power and Politics

chapter Chapter 12|14 pages

The Religious and the Political 1

ByDavid Martin

chapter Chapter 13|10 pages

Religion, Human Power and Powerlessness 1

ByThomas Luckmann

part Part IV|48 pages

The Spiritual and/or the Religious?

chapter Chapter 14|16 pages

The Church Without and the God Within:

Religiosity and/or Spirituality? 1
ByEileen Barker

chapter 15|11 pages

Contemporary Religions and the Public Arena:

Centring on the Situation in Japan
BySusumu Shimazono

chapter Chapter 16|18 pages

Toward a Sociology of Spirituality:

Individual Religion in Social/Historical Context 1
ByMeredith B. McGuire