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Diffusion of Religions

A Sociological Perspective

Diffusion of Religions

A Sociological Perspective

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Hardback

£79.00

Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 9780761803447
Number of Pages: 242
Published: 04/08/1996
Width: 14.4 cm
Height: 22.3 cm
Of the major world religions, only three, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam have diffused widely. They were introduced across numerous socio-cultural boundaries and were received as new religions to their converts. However, these diffusing religions have had varying degrees of success from wholesale reception to wholesale rejection. This book presents the perspective that a major factor in the variations in the diffusions of these religions, and in the religions themselves, is found in the nature of the inter-group relationships between receiving groups and both sending groups and surrounding groups. A crucial perception of the receivers is the perceived contribution the new religion will make to the enhancement of important aspects of group identities and of the strength of the group. This book takes into account diffusion, an old and persistent concept in the social sciences which has been rarely applied in sociology to religions or even ideologies.

Robert L. Montgomery

Robert L. Montgomery attended the Columbia Theological Seminary and the Princeton Theological Seminary. He received a Ph.D. from Emory University.

This is a courageous work. It challenges missionaries to examine with dispassionate social scientific rigor why people receive, reject, or adapt their religious message. Islam and Buddhism, as well as the more familiar Christianity, are explored for patterns of diffusion. A comprehensive world-wide macro-view of historical political shifts is analyzed as the author propounds a theory of intergroup relations as crucial to the receptivity of a new religion. Acquaintance with vast amounts of historical material, social science literature and methodology, and three world religions is required, with all the necessary selectivity that entails. (I missed more wrestling with economics!) Not least courageous is the 'unhidden agenda' and the appendix in which Montgomery expresses eloquently his own faith in Christ-and a theology that critiques the bearers of it. A 'humbly ambitious' effort!> -- Peggy A.L. Shriver, Religious Research Association and National Council of Churches Dr. Robert L. Montgomery is ably qualified to write on the religions of Asia having spent his early years in China, eighteen years as a missionary to the Aborigines people of Taiwan, and more recently as a port chaplain in New York ministering to the seamen from around the world...he writes with a warmly sympathetic view of the people with whom he has had an intimately first hand acquaintance and out of his own deep positive Christian commitment and faith. -- G. Thompson Brown, Emeritus Professor of World Christianity, Columbia Theological Seminary Dr. Robert L. Montgomery is ably qualified to write on the religions of Asia having spent his early years in China, eighteen years as a missionary to the Aborigines people of Taiwan, and more recently as a port chaplain in New York ministering to the seamen from around the world...he writes with a warmly sympathetic view of the people with whom he has had an intimately first hand acquaintance and out of his own deep positive Christian commitment and faith. -- G. Thompson Brown, Emeritus Professor of World Christianity, Columbia Theological Seminary This is a courageous work. It challenges missionaries to examine with dispassionate social scientific rigor why people receive, reject, or adapt their religious message. Islam and Buddhism, as well as the more familiar Christianity, are explored for patterns of diffusion. A comprehensive world-wide macro-view of historical political shifts is analyzed as the author propounds a theory of intergroup relations as crucial to the receptivity of a new religion. Acquaintance with vast amounts of historical material, social science literature and methodology, and three world religions is required, with all the necessary selectivity that entails. (I missed more wrestling with economics!) Not least courageous is the 'unhidden agenda' and the appendix in which Montgomery expresses eloquently his own faith in Christ-and a theology that critiques the bearers of it. A 'humbly ambitious' effort! -- Peggy A.L. Shriver, Religious Research Association and National Council of Churches

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