My most recent major work in the sociology of religion was editing a 28 chapter Handbook of Religion and Society (2016) for Springer. I also wrote the introduction to the volume and contributed the chapter on “Sport.”

Handbook of Religion and Society

Given my interest in pedagogical issues, I have long toyed with the idea of writing a textbook, but the project seemed too daunting to start from scratch. So I was very pleased when Keith Roberts (RIP) and I began discussing my joining him as a co-author of the 5th edition of his best-selling Religion in Sociological Perspective. After many discussions and a move to a new publisher (Pine Forge Press/Sage), the book was released in the summer of 2011. Among its unique features is an extensive instructor’s manual with exam questions, in class exercises, and other teaching resources.

In 2015, the 6th edition of the textbook was released.

RSP 6e cover

Building on the experience-centered perspectives developed by Robert Bellah in my undergraduate sociology of religion class and Richard Schoenherr in my graduate studies, I wrote my Master’s Thesis at UW-Madison on religious experience and published a few items in this area, notably:

  • “Narrative and Religious Experience.” Sociology of Religion 61 (Summer 2000):171-89.
  • “Experience,” “William James,” “Pentecostalism,” and other entries in William Swatos, Jr., ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press, 1997.
  • “Ways of Seeing Ecstasy in Modern Society: Experiential-Expressive and Cultural-Linguistic Views,” with Megan Polzer. Sociology of Religion 55 (Spring 2004):1-25.  (Reprinted in Sociology of Religion, edited by S. Monahan, W. Mirola, and M. Emerson [Prentice‑Hall, 2000]; Nominated for Outstanding Article Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion).

My work in the sociology of religion has also given me the opportunity from time to time to write on other topics of interest that bear no direct relationship to my major line of research. Among these publications are:

  • “Sociology of Religion,” pp. 297-304 in Kathleen Odell Korgen, ed., The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology, Volume 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017). DOI: 10.1017/9781316418376.030
  • “Playing for Whom? Sport, Religion, and the Double-Movement of Secularization in America,” in Earl Smith, ed., Sociology of Sport and Social Theory (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2010).
  • “Beyond Beliefs: Religion and the Sociology of Religion in America.” Social Compass 54/1 (2007): 33-48.
  • “Civil Religion,” pp. 506-7 in George Ritzer, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology,Volume II. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.