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The Sacred in the Modern World – A Cultural Sociological Approach - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Sacred in the Modern World: A Cultural Sociological Approach

Gordon Lynch


The central aim of this book is to provide a theoretical framework for using the concept of the sacred as a tool for social and cultural analysis. It differentiates between ontological theories of the sacred which locate the sacred in the essence of the cosmos or the human person, and a cultural sociological approach which understands the sacred as culturally constructed. Adopting the latter, a critical re-reading is given of Emile Durkheim’s understanding of the sacred, and of later theoretical contributions made by Edward Shils, Robert Bellah, and Jeffrey Alexander. Using this framework, the ... More

Keywords: sacred, cultural sociology, media, industrial schools, child abuse, Emile Durkheim, Edward Shils, Robert Bellah, Jeffrey Alexander

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199557011
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557011.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gordon Lynch, author
Michael Ramsey Professor of Modern Theology, University of Kent