Religion in Modern Britain
Covering a key topic in both sociology and religious studies, this book is a thorough and lively introduction to the character and place of religion ... Show synopsis Covering a key topic in both sociology and religious studies, this book is a thorough and lively introduction to the character and place of religion in contemporary British society. A brief introduction places the major British churches in their historical context and explains our curious combination of religious freedom and state-supported churches. Subsequent chapters examine a wide array of evidence on the influence and popularity of the churches, and on religious beliefs and behaviour, and document the following trends: the decline in the mainstream churches; a shift to the sectarian' right in Protestantism; the rise of non-Christian ethnic minority religions; and increasing interest in the occult and New Age spirituality. Particular attention is given to the issue of what sort of people remain religious and how their religious beliefs affect their lives. Throughout the book, Britain's religious life is compared with that of other European societies and the final chapter shows how recent changes can be understood as a response to fundamental features of modern industrial democracies.