Review of Eileen Barker, James A. Beckford, and Karel Dobbelaere, eds., <em>Secularization, Rationalism and Sectarianism</em>

Author: José Casanova

December 1, 1993

In this article, José Casanova reviews Secularization, Rationalism, and Sectarianism (1993), a book comprised of 16 essays written by preeminent scholars of religion through the lens of the social sciences. Casanova mainly applauds the efforts of the writers, who created their works specifically for the book. He notes that the essays and book are bounded together by the shared theme of looking at various aspects of the scholarly work of Bryan Wilson, a British sociologist. Casanova does critique the three essays looking at secularization, as he says they do not properly distinguish between the different definitions of secularization. Thus, the scholars cannot escape the current quagmire of the secularization debate. Casanova contends that while some of the essays are more tangentially tied to Wilson than others, the work as a whole succeeds in highlighting Wilson's theories and works, as well as keeping them up to date. This review was published in the journal Social Forces.

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