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Religion in Times of Crisis Launched at the Association for the Sociology of Religion Annual Meeting

DSC00160Religion in Times of Crisis (Brill 2014) edited by Gladys Ganiel, Heidemarie Winkel and Christophe Monnot, was unveiled last week at the Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR) annual meeting in San Francisco.

The book is the 24th in ASR’s “Religion and the Social Order” series and was marked with a launch by series editor Bill Swatos at the opening reception and an editor meets critics session at the conference.

This book was something of a departure for ASR as it featured chapters by authors based in Europe who are part of the European Sociological Association’s (ESA) Sociology of Religion Research Network.

The publication of the book also will be marked at the bi-annual meeting of the ESA Sociology of Religion Research Network in Belfast, 3-5 September. The theme of this conference is “Religion in the Public Domain.”

More information about Religion in Times of Crisis, including chapter contents, is available here.

At the editor meets critics session there was praise for the contributions of the book, as well as some friendly pushing for, Gladys Ganiel, representing the editors, to explain how all the chapters dovetailed with the theme of crisis. The editors defined crisis broadly, including personal crises, as well as social and political crises. In some chapters religion itself or religious actors faced crises of faith, while in others, religion responded to social or political crises.

During the session Anthony Blasi of the University of Texas-San Antonio singled out Anne-Sophie Lamine’s chapter “I Doubt. Therefore, I Believe: Facing Uncertainty and Belief in the Making” as a “major theoretical contribution” and praised Joram Tarusarira’s chapter on “Religion in Times of Crisis in Zimbabwe: A Case Study of Churches in Manicaland and its Theodicy of Liberation” as “a piece of very solid social research that is highly recommended.”

The editors see the book as an excellent opportunity to encourage greater interaction between European and North American scholars, and our two associations.

It also was gratifying to see two panels at the conference focusing on European religion: “Religion and Secularization in Central and Eastern Europe,” and “The Changing Form of European Religion.”

Image: Gladys Ganiel and Bill Swatos