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Wrong Grace Davie?

Prof. Grace Davie C.

Professor

University of Exeter

Direct Phone: +44 **********       

University of Exeter

Stocker Road

Exeter, Devon EX4 4QN

United Kingdom

Company Description

The University of Exeter is one of the top three institutions for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) awards by number, and is sixth in the same table for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).... more

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Background Information

Affiliations

Past-President
Association for the Sociology of Religion

Senior Advisor To the Impact of Religion Research Programme
Uppsala University

The Trustee
Scott Holland Trust

Steering Committee Member
The Religion

Invited Member
International Sociological Association

Education

BA

PhD

doctorate

London School of Economics

honorary degree

Uppsala

honorary doctorate of Theology

University of Uppsala

Web References (199 Total References)


Lois » Socrel

socrel.org.uk [cached]

Religion and Social Theory: Developing a New Agenda for the Sociology of Religion Woodbrooke Conference Centre, Birmingham April 11-13, 2011 Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Prof. Bryan Turner (City University of New York) Prof. Steve Bruce (University of Aberdeen) Prof Grace Davie (University of Exeter) An engagement with sociological theory holds great promise for the study of ...


Upcoming Events » Socrel

socrel.org.uk [cached]

Stream Plenary: Professor Grace Davie & Professor Yvette Taylor

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Grace Davie is professor emeritus in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Exeter and a senior advisor to the Impact of Religion Research Programme at Uppsala University. She is a past-president of the American Association for the Sociology of Religion (2003) and of the Research Committee 22 (Sociology of Religion) of the International Sociological Association (2002 -06). Professor Davie's research interests lie in the sociology of religion, with a particular emphasis on patterns of religion in Europe. She is the author of Religion in Britain since 1945 (Blackwell 1994), Religion in Modern Europe (OUP 2000), Europe: the Exceptional Case (DLT 2002), and The Sociology of Religion (Sage 2007/2013).


Evangelicalism – Gladys Ganiel

www.gladysganiel.com [cached]

Professor Grace Davie, Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Religion, University of Exeter


Professor Grace Davie, ...

www.gladysganiel.com [cached]

Professor Grace Davie, Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Religion, University of Exeter


Muslim Christian Relations – Gladys Ganiel

www.gladysganiel.com [cached]

Professor Grace Davie, Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Religion, University of Exeter

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Davie has now written a substantially updated version of the book, Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (Wiley Blackwell, 2015).
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The ‘paradox’ which Davie includes in her subtitle is this (p. 205):
‘… the decline in active membership in most, if not all, churches in this country, alongside the growing significance of religion in public â€" and therefore political â€" life.’
Accordingly, Davie paints a picture of a complex secularization in Britain, where declines in church attendance are balanced not only by the persistence of some traditional forms of religion, but also by more dynamic, experiential forms of religion. In this milieu, which some theorists have described as a ‘market’, there is a shift from religious ‘obligation’ to religious ‘consumption,’ with individuals increasingly choosing their religion.
Davie helpfully identifies six ‘factors to take into account’ when considering religion in contemporary Britain, arguing that these also apply to varying degrees in other European societies. (In my forthcoming book, Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland, I introduce Davie’s six factors and discuss them in the context of the island of Ireland.) The factors are (adapted from pp.
...
Davie acknowledges that these and other changes have been carefully documented by a growing community of sociologists of religion in Britain, whose work has been supported by a number of British and European funding schemes specifically focused on religion. While I suspect much of this funding may have been driven by a fear of Islam, and therefore a desire to understand it, it also has contributed to advances in the academic field. One of the pleasures of reading Davie’s book is how she adeptly condenses the depth and breadth of this research into the narrative, providing perspectives on immigrant religion, the growth of New atheism and committed secularism, the role of religion in the public health service and the armed forces, religion in the regions, the explosive (and unexpected) growth of religious practice in the city of London, the increased popularity of city centre cathedrals, the appeal of conservative religious enclaves, media portrayals of religion, and more.
The book also updates Davie’s own thought, including her development of the concept of ‘vicarious religion,’ which she sees as an advance on ‘believing without belonging.’
Davie describes vicarious religion as a situation where an active minority believe and practice on behalf of an inactive majority â€" with the implicit and explicit approval of the majority.
This concept, which Davie has developed over the last decade, resonates with French sociologist Daniele Hervieu-Léger’s idea of ‘religion as a chain of memory,’ which persists and continues to impact people’s social lives even if they are not committed to regular religious practice. Davie also sees vicarious religion as socially important in other ways, such as offering a space for debate for controversial topics like as same-sex marriage. She argues that the ‘unremitting attention’ the Church of England, in particular, has received in this debate ‘…leads me to suggest that this is one way in which society as a whole comes to terms with profound shifts in the moral climate’ (p. 83).
The section on each region of the UK in the book are quite short â€" about two pages each for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales â€" so for local readers it’s not the place to go for a full-blown analysis for the changing dynamics of religion in Northern Ireland. Davie does, however, note that by certain indicators, the Catholic population of Northern Ireland seems to be ‘secularizing’ more rapidly than the Protestant population â€" something that I explore in more depth in the forthcoming Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland.
There is much in Davie’s new book for sociologists of religion, as it provides a succinct and elegantly written overview of the state of the field. I anticipate it will become essential reading for students not only in Britain, but also in Europe and North America, as it engages effectively with so many of the debates that are relevant in Western religious contexts.
But there is also plenty in the book for the religious activists and practitioners who may already have been influenced by Davie’s development of ideas like ‘believing without belonging’ and ‘vicarious religion.’ It is clearly written and even the theoretical sections on secularization and religious markets are done with a light and balanced touch. Davie seems aware that this constituency may also be part of her audience, at times even providing advice for them (p. 80):

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