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Researching Religion – Why We Need Social Science - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Researching Religion: Why We Need Social Science

Steve Bruce


Basic questions about religion in the modern world (such as whether it is becoming more or less popular and who believes what) can be answered only with the perspectives and methods of social science. While the arts and humanities can help us understand religious beliefs and behaviour, only social science can provide us with the evidence that will allow us to discern and explain the social patterns, causes, and consequences of religious belief. Only through the statistical examination of big data can we be confident of what any case study represents. In a text described by one reviewer as ‘bri ... More

Keywords: social research, social science methods, researching religion, religious beliefs, religion, spirituality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198786580
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198786580.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steve Bruce, author
Professor of Sociology, University of Aberdeen