By Philip A Mellor
`Philip Mellor's ambition is to save lots of sociology from itself…or to avoid wasting society from the sociologists. He has written an excellent polemic and theoretically wealthy argument opposed to the numerous stylish modern social theories that supply acquiescent 'post-societal' endorsements of the industrial and technological forces which are 'hollowing out' the non secular, ethical and human dimensions of societies. i'm greatly inspired' - Kenneth Thompson, Professor of Sociology on the Open collage faith, Realism and Social conception demanding situations these modern sociologists who argue that the thought of 'society' is an superseded foundation for sociological research and as an alternative revitalizes the concept sociology is actually 'the examine of society'. via a daring and unique argument, Philip Mellor returns the human and non secular features of social lifestyles to the centre of social concept, drawing on an enormous diversity of up to date social theoretical literature within the strategy. The book:" comprehensively reassesses what societies are" bargains an in depth critique of present failings in social thought" attracts out the spiritual underpinnings of social lifestyles" throws clean gentle at the non secular, cultural and social conflicts that seem to bring in a brand new interval of worldwide disorderReligion, Realism and Social idea will stimulate debate among teachers and scholars of sociology and social concept, cultural reviews and the sociology of faith.
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Additional resources for Religion, Realism and Social Theory: Making Sense of Society (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society)
Qxd 10/09/2004 14:53 Page 32 Religion, Realism and Social Theory a choice, and also ignores the fact that if everything is linguistically constructed then language itself would collapse (Trigg, 1998: 158–9). In broad terms, then, although such forms of postmodernism ostensibly challenge the reductive ‘imperialism’ of modern, rational thought (Deleuze, 1968, 1969), and thereby seek to engage with the world’s complexity in a more open, sensitive way, they actually manifest a thoroughly partial vision of social and cultural life that reduces ontological issues into an epistemological ‘playing with the pieces’ (Archer, 2000: 316).
A ‘submerged religious paradigm’ that can be identified in Baudrillard’s work, nevertheless, is what King (2000: 263) has referred to as a reworking of Descartes’ ‘hyperbolic doubt’. As King suggests, Descartes (1994: 79) imagined that he was in the power of ‘some malicious demon’ intent on deceiving him through the reality of external things. To counter the demon, Descartes considered all physical, biological and material phenomena in the universe, and even his own flesh and blood, to be delusions, finding certainty only in his own existence (Descartes, 1994: 79).
Chapter 3 extends these arguments further by focusing on the contingent character of society. As Archer (1995, 2000) has emphasised, society is not a self-subsistent reality, but one that is dependent for its emergence upon the human beings who constitute it. In this regard, the arguments constructed in this chapter emphasise the importance of developing an embodied understanding of society, and seek to demonstrate that the hyper-spiritual and religious forces that are key features of social life are emergent phenomena contingent upon, but irreducible to, human individuals who possess particular potentialities and powers.
Religion, Realism and Social Theory: Making Sense of Society (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society) by Philip A Mellor