What sort of social theory would benefit the sociology of religion?

Steve Bruce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter considers the nature of social theory and its use in British studies of religion. Of itself there is nothing wrong with this but it does have consequences for the theme of this collection and for my comments on the use of social theory. From its inception the British Sociological Association's Religion Study Group has always attracted a large number of non-sociologists to its annual conferences and a very large proportion of the empirical studies of contemporary religion in Britain are the work of people who are not social scientists. It is routine that articles in more narrowly disciplinary journals such as the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (JSSR) or Sociology of Religion justify their publication both by the novelty of the substantive research reported and by their contribution to current theoretical debates. The high theory of social science supposes that empirical research should advance development by testing some general that is, theoretical ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociological Theory and the Question of Religion
EditorsAndrew McKinnon, Marta Trzebiatowska
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317053026
ISBN (Print)9781409465515
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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