Religion: Social Religion, 1st Edition

  • Editor: William B. Parsons
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0028662903
  • ISBN-13: 9780028662909
  • DDC: 200.72
  • Grade Level Range: 12th Grade - College Senior
  • 450 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2016 | Published/Released April 2016
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2016

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Religion: Social Religion is broken into four parts: psychology of religion, sociology of religion, anthropology of religion, and the historical method. Each section will start with an overview of the discipline, then cover the originative figures who shaped the field, followed by a historical and contemporary view of the field, and concluding with the major criticisms, debates, and future of the field. Targeting undergraduates as well as the educated lay reader, Religion: Social Religion introduces the study of religion through the lens of social science. Chapters are written by eminent scholars, are peer reviewed, include illustrations, and offer bibliographies to encourage further research. The volume concludes with a glossary and a comprehensive index.

Features and Benefits

  • The volume studies religion through the lens of social science.
  • The volume has up to 27 image/charts/maps as well as a glossary.
  • The volume explores four major subfields: psychology, sociology, anthropology, and the historical method.
  • The volume is composed of an introduction and 20 chapters by eminent scholars.
  • Each chapter has a bibliography.



  • William B. Parsons

Alternate Formats

  • Casebound Edition

    ISBN-10: 002866289X | ISBN-13: 9780028662893


"Chapters take a practical look at the defined topics and end with a clear summary, bibliographies, and filmographies that will encourage further study. With the multiplicity of religions and avenues for scholarship, Religion: Social Religion provides a fascinating look at approaches to research. Undergraduate students of anthropology, history, philosophy, sociology, and theology are best suited for this volume as an introduction and stimulus for expanded research."

— Janis Minshull

Table of Contents

Introduction: Framing Social Religion.
1. The Psychology of Religion: An Overview.
2. The Psychology of Religion: Originative Figures.
3. The Psychology of Religion: Historical and Contemporary Trends.
4. Selected Topic: Spirits in the Mind, Gods in the Brain: Contemporary Psychologies of Religious Experience
5. Criticisms, Debates, and Futures: The Psychology of Religion and Its Discontents
6. The Sociology of Religion: An Overview.
7. The Sociology of Religion: Originative Figures.
8. The Sociology of Religion: Historical and Contemporary Trends.
9. Selected Topic: The “Spiritual but Not Religious” Movement.
10. Criticisms, Debates, and Futures: The Sociology of Religion or Social Theory.
11. The Anthropology of Religion: An Overview.
12. The Anthropology of Religion: Originative Figures.
13. The Anthropology of Religion: Historical and Contemporary Trends.
14. Selected Topic: Witchcraft, Ritual, and Gender.
15. Criticisms, Debates, Futures: The Anthropology of Religion in Hybrid-Human and Nonhuman Worlds.
16. The Historical Method and the Study of Religion.
17. The Historical Method and the Hebrew Bible.
18. The Historical Method and the New Testament.
19. Selected Topic: The Historical Method and Feminist Hermeneutics.
20. Criticisms, Debates, Futures: The Historical Method and Cognitive Historicism.