Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World
Lise Kanckos, Approaching Religion I find the book highly interesting, in particular its methodology and its empirically-based conclusions. It is an important contribution to the current debates within the sociology of religion. It is also an easily approachable book, which can be read by anyone who is interested in research on belief.
Canon Robin Gill, Church Times [a] subtle and intelligent social study of belief and identity
Jonathan Benthall, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Day's diagnosis of a residual Christian identity in present-day mainstream Britain given little close attention by other scholars is certainly striking ... [her] tightly organized interpretative model will provoke fruitful debate.
Glen Marshall, Regent's Reviews [A] fascinating monograph ... Abby Day writes as an academic sociologist and an active researcher. Her findings are a helpful contribution to the sociology of secularisation; they open an intriguing window into believing in Britain today.
Jay Demerath, University of Massachusetts Amherst Scholars have long erred in taking religions at their word. Now perhaps no longer. In this path breaking work, Abby Day shows that religious beliefs are far less salient than religious belonging. Religious doctrine and ritual pale in importance beside religious identity and community... This theoretical breakthrough rides a methodological wave. Instead of prompting her respondents by asking directly about their religious beliefs and belongings, she is careful to
embed the issues within the context of their broader convictions and commitments. The point is not that religion is necessarily less significant, but that it is differently significant. At Day's end, we all have a new beginning.
Melinda Lundquist Denton, Clemson University Believing in Belonging provides us with a new approach to theorizing belief, making a place for both religious and social understandings of this concept ... the typology of belief serves as a useful tool for future scholars wanting to take seriously the challenge of studying this topic. The book makes an important contribution to the literature and moves us forward in our study of beliefs and the roles they play in peoples lives.
<br>Dr Abby Day, Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Sussex, is an internationally recognised scholar in the social scientific study of religion. She has conducted several inter-disciplinary research projects focusing on contemporary belief and belonging in Euro American contexts and is a sought-after speaker at international conference and workshops. Previous publications include an edited volume, Religion and the Individual, several academic papers and book chapters focusing on youth, gender, the 'social supernatural', cultural identity and the nature of 'nominal belief'.<br>
1: METHODS AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS; 1. Genealogies of belief in sociology and anthropology: transcending disciplinary boundaries; 2. A research journey begins; 2: COSMOLOGIES OF THE MAINSTREAM; 3. Believing in belonging: the cultural act of claiming identity; 4. Youth and belief: belonging to connected selves; 5. The sensuous social supernatural; 6. Believing in fate: covering the cracks in belonging; 7. Boundaries of belonging: doing unto ourselves; 3: RELOCATING BELIEF AND BELONGING; 8. Theorising belief: an holistic, organic, seven-dimensional model; 9. Understanding Christian nominalism: rethinking Christian identity; 10. Conclusion: relocating belief to the social