Description - Beyond Belief by Robert N. Bellah
Beyond Belief collects fifteen celebrated, broadly ranging essays in which Robert Bellah interprets the interplay of religion and society in concrete contexts from Japan to the Middle East to the United States. First published in 1970, Beyond Belief is a classic in the field of sociology of religion.
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(210mm x 140mm x 19mm)
University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
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Book Reviews - Beyond Belief by Robert N. Bellah
US Kirkus Review »
One of the foremost younger sociologists of religion gathers in this volume a variety of essays he has written in the past decade, and given them coherence around the general theme of the religious situation today. Although he presents them as a contribution to the identification of religion as an independent field of reflection and research in the university, their interest and value lies in the sweep they give to those trends and movements in the contemporary world that raise perennial religious issues with new urgency. All the great overarching systems of belief, conservative and radical alike, have lost their viability. What is sought today is a religious outlook and expression that accommodates the increased freedom of personality and society in the modern world. The author draws upon diverse resources in his discussion of the changes affecting contemporary religion - his studies in Asia, particularly Japan; his knowledgeability as a sociologist of religion; and his sensitivity to the artistic - the "ecstatic symbolisms" which he finds in the poetry of Wallace Stevens or the writings of Norman O. Brown. The result is a volume that has few rivals as an account of where the human race has arrived, religiously, in our day. What gives authenticity to the author's writing is the constant sense of his participation in the movements and tendencies he is describing. This should have wide readership among all serious students of our present cultural crisis. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Robert N. Bellah
Robert N. Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and co-author of Habits of the Heart (California, 1985).