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Religion in the Modern World: From Cathedrals to Cults Paperback – August 8, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

`I will certainly be requiring my students to read this book. It is an important corrective to too much soft analysis which views every slight up-turn as a sign of religious revival.' Church Times

`Steve Bruce, a sociologist with no religious affiliation of his own, has some interesting points to make in his latest book, Religion in the Modern World.' Church of England Newspaper

`Steve Bruce has written a lucid, concise and well informed ... volume ... It is good to find such a robust, well written and compact defence of the secularization thesis ... The author's command of his topic is impressive ... it is good to see such a well written study.' Contemporary Review

`This book belongs to a series committed to providing authoritative introductions to aspects of the social structure of Britain ... written for a generation of students who may be as unfamiliar with the nature of religious differences in Britain as with the tools of sociological enquiry. For the uninitiated it provides a good and reliable introduction.' Church of England Newspaper

`Bruce is always fair to those who present another perspective on contemporary religion. He is just as lucid in dealing with the new religions and the "New Age" ... as in his analysis of the mainstream Churches ... his book is ... something of a tour de force, in which there is scarcely a page which lacks one or another arresting and challenging ideas.' Bryan Wilson, The Tablet

Bruce sets out with admirable clarity both the evidence for and arguments in favour of the secularization thesis ... Bruce's book should be read by all those who want to faimiliarize themselves with this thesis-it's origins developments and conclusions; for a clearer and better written account would be difficult to find. s

`a subtle but swift-moving argument which draws illustrative material from widely diverse contexts ... Although contentious, Bruce is always fair to those who present another perspective on contemporary religion. He is just as lucid in dealing with the new religions and the "New Age" ... as in his analysis of the mainstream Churches ... something of a tour de force, in which there is scarcely a page which lacks one or another arresting and challenging idea.' John Rowe Townsend, The Tablet

enormous scope, ambition, verve and confidence. Religion in the Modern World draws upon an impressive range of statistical evidence to support its account of the dramatic decline of religion in recent times. Bruce's grand narrative of secularisation is ambitious, well told, involving, and internally coherent...an excellent textbook for students - far better at stimulating their critical faculties than something more "balanced" and "objective". It will be a valuable exercise to get students to read this powerful restatement of the secularisation thesis alongside the qually strong claims currently being made for "desecularisation" by soliologists like Berger. - Lind Woodhead. Relion. January 1998.

About the Author

Steve Bruce is Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of many books, including Religion in Modern Britain, The Rise and Fall of the New Christian Right, The Red Hand, and The Edge of the Union, and the co-editor of The Rapture of Politics: The Christian Right as the United States Approaches the Year 2000.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 8, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198781512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198781516
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book a while ago, and have read it through a few times.It should--in my opinion--be put on every list of required reading for students of religious history. Bruce presents a well-written and insiteful commentary on the development of various religious sects through-out history, leading right up to present day.
The only two complaints I have about the book are -it was not longer, -the endnotes are at the end of each chapter, instead of collected at the end of the book. But that's just my personal preference.
On the whole, it was a good read and a good re-read (the true test of *any* book. I strongly recommend it.
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This book, in great detail, explains the modernization of Christianity from the Reformation to the 21st century. A great book to read or even re-read. I was skeptical of the material when I first bought the book but the second I read through the first chapter, I was hooked. Not only do I recommend the book, but I recommend the author, Steve Bruce. If you get a chance, read most of his books.
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