Dr. Richard O’Leary is a lecturer in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at Queen’s University, Belfast. He was formerly Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. His research interests include ethno-religious minorities and minority-majority group relations. He is currently researching religious change in China.2004 0-7734-6431-X
This book addresses the central debates about religious change in advanced industrial societies. The contributors, among them some of the best known sociologists of religion in Britain, the United States and continental Europe, present a wide range of opinions on the central question of whether the overriding characteristic of religious change in modern industrial societies is decline, persistence or transformation. It includes proponents of the two main paradigms in the sociology of religion: the traditional paradigm of secularization theory, and the ‘new’ paradigm of ‘rational choice’ and ‘supply-side’ theory. Many of the chapters contain highly sophisticated, yet simply presented, analyses of the best available empirical data from current and historical social surveys in western and eastern Europe (including Russia) and the United States.