Meaning and Modernity: Religion, Polity, and Self

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Richard Madsen
University of California Press, Dec 4, 2001 - Religion - 345 pages
"This interesting volume of essays on contemporary religion and its ambivalent relationship to modernity not only serves as a testimony to the intellectual influence of Robert Bellah, it establishes a new school of comparative religious and social thought. This Bellahian school--at the intersection of sociological, theological, and contemporary philosophical thinking--has roots in Durkheim and Weber, borrows insights from Marx, Foucault, and Bourdieu, and finds its clearest voice in the writings of Bellah himself. The essays by some of Bellah's colleagues and former students that have been gathered in this volume address some of the most sagacious of these Bellahian themes: the religious dimension of contemporary civil societies, the relationship between religious and capitalist values, the cultural critique of modernity, and the moral visions that hold a promise of civic renewal."—Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (California, 2000).

"This highly readable collection of original, thought-provoking essays by leading scholars provides fresh insights into the issues that Robert Bellah has addressed so fruitfully in his long career. Readers will learn much about such issues as how Calvinism contributed to political revolution, why democracies require an enlarged sense of political community, how the religious foundations of Japan and the United States differ, and what it means to be a Christian and an American."—Benton Johnson, coauthor of Vanishing Boundaries: The Religion of Protestant Baby Boomers (1994) and author of Functionalism in Modern Sociology: Understanding Talcott Parsons (1975)


Robert N Bellah and Cultural Sociology
Social Differentiation and Moral Pluralism
Ann Swidler
The Walzer Thesis Reconsidered
Discovering Different Paths to Moral Integration in the Modern Ecumene
A SocioTheological Critique
American Commercial Culture as a Climate of Hospitality to Religion
Charles Taylor
On Being a Christian and an American
America and the World

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About the author (2001)

Richard Madsen is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of five books, including China's Catholics (California, 1999). William M. Sullivan is Professor of Philosophy at La Salle University and Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He is the author of Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America (1995). Ann Swidler is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her most recent book is Talk of Love: How Culture Matters (2001). Steven M. Tipton is Director of the Graduate Division of Religion and Professor of Sociology at Emory University and its Candler School of Theology. He is at work on Public Pulpits, a study of religious advocacy in Washington. All four editors are the coauthors, with Robert N. Bellah, of Habits of the Heart and The Good Society.

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