Twentieth-Century World Religious Movements in Neo-Weberian Perspective
|Author: ||Swatos, William|
These essays seek to apply the conceptual apparatus pioneered by Max Weber in his studies of the major world religions to developments in religious traditions around the globe over the past century. Topics covered include the continuing legacy of Confucianism and Taoism in Chinese culture; neo-Confucianism in Singapore schools; political religion in Communist China; Zen Buddhism in the United States and Japan; Buddhist reinterpretation in Sri Lanka; the role of the Ayatollah Khomeini in the Iranian revolution; Russian sectarianism; the Protestant ethic introduced by the Basel Mission in Ghana; charismatic Christianity in South Africa and North America; Protestant and Catholic movements in Latin America; Church of England parishes in New Towns; Protestant-Catholic agendas in Northern Ireland; the ordination of women in the Anglican Communion; and a California flying-saucer cult. Shows in rich detail that a neo-Weberian approach is relevant to present-day developments and therefore potentially futuritive.
"Using, in the editor's words, Weber's 'commanding conceptual arsenal', a variety of contemporary religious phenomena and events with a religious twist are thoughtfully and, in some cases, elegantly interpreted. . . . The book, then, is a natural text for exposing students in multiracial, multiethnic, or multicultural classrooms to Weberian analysis. All the chapters are interesting and written in an accessible style. Some are particularly noteworthy. . . . Swatos and Paul M. Gustafson explore Weber's methodology in a clear and useful way. They also propose a Weberian definition of religion that illumines his methodology. This methodological sketch is, perhaps, the best brief introduction there is to the methodology that Weber used in his studies of religion and culture." -- John H. Simpson, in Contemporary Sociology
" . . . the importance of this book lies in the variety of studies of religious structures and beliefs couched in a Weberian perspective. For this reason alone, as well [as] that it includes a variety of non-Christian religions, it will serve as a good source material in the teaching of the sociology of religion." - Gurgen Schoenfeld