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13. Universal Religions

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1. Title Title of document 13. Universal Religions - Identity and the Sacred
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Hans Mol; McMaster University; Canada
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies; Sociology; Anthropology; Theology; Philosophy
4. Subject Keyword(s) identity theory; identity in religion; sociology of religion; Durkheim; Niebuhr; McAfee Brown; Tillich; Glock; Robert Merton; Bryan Wilson; Ninian Smart
5. Subject Subject classification Sociology of Religion
6. Description Abstract Identity and the Sacred is the most influential work of the late Hans Mol, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University. In this volume, Mol broke new ground in the sociology of religion by borrowing from ethology, developmental psychology, and even symbolic interactionism to argue that personal identity was central to the religious enterprise. In doing so, he became one of the first (if not the first) sociologists to utilise the concept of identity as a means of discussing the persistence and socio-cultural role of religion in contemporary life. Giving identity pride of place within a new theoretical framework was not only unique but perceptive, as scholarly interest in issues of identity has only increased since the late 70s. Mol’s identity theory dissolved the hard line previously drawn between individual agents and social structures, introduced serious doubt into debates over hard secularisation,
and suggested that religion was a dynamic process involving irrational commitment and vigorous defence rather than a static cultural object of reasoned belief. The significance of such a theory for the twenty-first century cannot be overstated – it is largely due to our available hindsight that sociologists and other scholars can now recognise the novelty of Mol’s approach and its usefulness for contemporary topics such as religious extremism/violence, Brexit, the alt-right, and so-called ‘postsecularism’.

This new edition of Identity and the Sacred includes a substantive Foreword that argues for the enduring significance of Mol’s ideas but also includes never-before-seen content from the archived Hans Mol Papers of the National Library of Australia. This volume will be of interest to both postgraduates and academics from the fields of Religious Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Theology who are interested in social-scientific theories of religion and identity.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 15-Oct-2024
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.38736
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Identity and the Sacred
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd