David Martin and the Sociology of Religion 9780815393306, 9781351188951

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David Martin and the Sociology of Religion
 9780815393306, 9781351188951

Table of contents :
Notes on contributors
1 Introduction: more Weberian than Weber? David Martin’s political sociology of religion
2 David Martin’s theory of secularisation
3 Revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core – David Martin on general processes, basic patterns and causal mechanisms of differentiation between religion and politics
4 The one and the many stories: how to reconcile sense-making and fact-checking in the secularization narrative
5 Understanding religion in modern Britain: taking the long view
6 Parallel reformations in Latin America: a critical review of David Martin’s interpretation of the Pentecostal revolution
7 David Martin on Scandinavia and music
8 Taking religion back out: on the secular dynamics of armed conflicts and the potentials of religious peace-making
9 Converting: a general theory of David Martin
10 Thinking with your life
Complete bibliography
Name Index
Subject Index

Citation preview

David Martin and the Sociology of Religion

‘This rich collection provides a long-overdue assessment of the seminal work of David Martin within and beyond the sociology of religion. It covers the key topics of secularization, differentiation, boundaries between sociology and theology, and much more besides. A wide spectrum of experts is needed to provide a critical understanding of David Martin’s pioneering and farreaching work. The result is impressive.’ Robin Gill, Editor of Theology and Emeritus Professor of Applied Theology at the University of Kent, UK David Martin is a pioneer of a political sociology of religion that integrates a combined analysis of nationalism and political religions with the history of religion. He was one of the first critics of the so-called secularization thesis, and his historical orientation makes him one of the few outstanding scholars who have continued the work begun by Max Weber and Émile Durkheim. This collection provides the first scholarly overview of his hugely influential work and includes a chapter written by David Martin himself. Starting with an introduction that contextualises David Martin’s theories on the sociology of religion, both currently and historically, this volume aims to cover David Martin’s lifework in its entirety. An international panel of contributors sheds new light on his studies of particular geographical areas (Britain, Latin America, Scandinavia) and on certain systematic fields (secularization, violence, music, Pentecostalism, the relation between sociology and theology). David Martin’s concluding chapter addresses the critical points raised in response to his theories. This book addresses one of the key figures in the development of the sociology of religion, and as such it will be of great interest to all scholars of the sociology of religion. Hans Joas is Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and Professor of Sociology and Social Thought at the University of Chicago, US. His previous publications include Faith as an Option (2014) and The Sacredness of the Person (2013).

David Martin and the Sociology of Religion

Edited by Hans Joas

First published 2018 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2018 selection and editorial matter, Hans Joas; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Hans Joas to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Joas, Hans, 1948– editor. Title: David Martin and the sociology of religion / edited by Hans Joas. Description: New York : Routledge, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018010298 | ISBN 9780815393306 (hardback : alk. paper) | ISBN 9781351188951 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Religion and sociology. | Martin, David, 1929– Classification: LCC BL60 .D2945 2018 | DDC 306.6092—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018010298 ISBN: 978-0-815-39330-6 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-351-18895-1 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by Apex CoVantage, LLC


Notes on contributors Acknowledgements

vii ix


1 Introduction: more Weberian than Weber? David Martin’s political sociology of religion



2 David Martin’s theory of secularisation



3 Revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core – David Martin on general processes, basic patterns and causal mechanisms of differentiation between religion and politics



4 The one and the many stories: how to reconcile sense-making and fact-checking in the secularization narrative



5 Understanding religion in modern Britain: taking the long view



6 Parallel reformations in Latin America: a critical review of David Martin’s interpretation of the Pentecostal revolution J O S É CA SA N OVA




7 David Martin on Scandinavia and music



8 Taking religion back out: on the secular dynamics of armed conflicts and the potentials of religious peace-making



9 Converting: a general theory of David Martin



10 Thinking with your life



Complete bibliography



Name Index Subject Index

209 213


Anthony Carroll is Dean of Pastoral Studies at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, UK, and senior lecturer in philosophy and theology at Heythrop College, University of London. His previous publications include Religion and Atheism. Beyond the Divide (2017) and Protestant Modernity. Weber, Secularisation, and Protestantism (2007). José Casanova is Professor of Sociology, Theology, and Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. Among his recent publications are Thomas Banchoff and José Casanova (eds.) The Jesuits and Globalization (2016) and Jocelyne Cesari and José Casanova (eds.) Islam, Gender and Democracy in Comparative Perspective (2017). Paolo Costa is a full-time researcher at the Centre for Religious Studies of the Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy. His forthcoming book La città postsecolare. Il nuovo dibattito sulla secolarizzazione is an attempt at reconstructing the recent secularization debate. Grace Davie is Professor Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Exeter, UK. Her publications include Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging (1994), Religion in Modern Europe (2000), and Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (2015). Andreas Hasenclever is Professor of Peace Studies and International Relations at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany. He most recently edited a special issue of Civil Wars on “Framing Political Violence – A MicroApproach to Civil War Studies” (2015) and various papers on international trust dynamics. Hans Joas is Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and Professor of Sociology and Social Thought at the University of Chicago, US. His previous publications include Faith as an Option (2014) and The Sacredness of the Person (2013). Matthias Koenig is Professor for the Sociology of Religion at the University of Göttingen, Germany, and Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck



Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. His recent publications include Religion and National Identities in an Enlarged Europe (co-edited with Willfried Spohn and Wolfgang Knöbl, 2014) and “Governance of religious diversity at the European Court of Human Rights” (in International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity, edited by Jane Bolden and Will Kymlicka, 2016). Michal Luczewski is Programme Director of the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II in Warsaw, Poland, and associate professor of sociology at the University of Warsaw. His previous publications include Erinnerungskultur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Analysen deutscher und polnischer Erinnerungsorte (2011, in German), Solidarity. Step by Step (2015), Pánbícˇkárˇi. Odkud se vzal polský katolicismus? (2017, in Czech), and Kapitał moralny. Politiki historyczne w póz´nej nowoczesnos´ci (2017, in Polish). David Martin is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Fellow of the British Academy. His recent publications include Faith and Power (2013) and Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence (2017). Pål Repstad is Professor Emeritus in Sociology of Religion at the University of Agder, Norway. His publications include the book An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion (2006, with Inger Furseth), and several articles in journals such as Religion, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, and others.


This volume is based on some of the contributions originally presented at the conference David Martin and the Sociology of Religion. This conference took place at Erfurt, Germany, July 1–2, 2016. Funding for this conference was provided by the research money connected to the Max Planck Research Award that the editor of this volume had the honor to receive. The organization of the conference was in the hands of the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt. Thanks are due particularly to Bettina Hollstein and Ilona Bode from the staff of the Max Weber Centre and to Mechthild Bock from Humboldt University, Berlin, for her organizational help and her assistance in the preparation of this volume. Due to medical reasons, David Martin was not able to attend the conference, but the editor would like to express his gratitude for his lively interest in this volume and his willingness to contribute a thorough and extensive response. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Christian Scherer who prepared the index and helped correct the proofs; once again his assistance in preparing a volume for publication has been invaluable. Hans Joas Berlin, January 2018


Introduction: more Weberian than Weber? David Martin’s political sociology of religion Hans Joas

When I was asked, in the year 2011, to contribute a so-called blurb for David Martin’s book The Future of Christianity. Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization, what I came up with was the characterization of the author’s main achievement as having pioneered a “political sociology of religion”. Fortunately David Martin, while to my knowledge never having used this as a self-characterization, accepted this formula. I did, of course, not mean to say that Martin tended to reduce the authentically religious to the political as if religions were nothing but distorted articulations of political claims and grievances. That would do grave injustice to David Martin’s sophisticated combination of sociological research and theological reasoning. What I tried to refer to, however, was the fact that Martin, more than many other sociologists of religion, does not base his theory of secularization and of the causes for religious revitalization on the assumption that these processes are mostly the result of an aggregation of individual religious experiences, acts of conversion and decision-making. According to him, the crucial dimension in explaining such processes is the attitude of churches and other religious communities or organizations to a number of key issues: the so-called national question, the social question, the democratic question, the rights of the individual and religious pluralism. In this perspective the effects of economic, scientific or cultural developments on religion, like the impulses emanating from religious doubt or experiences of religious certainty, are always mediated by institutional arrangements and the respective fields of tension. It is this that gives them their secularizing or desecularizing force.1 In Martin’s own words, the sociology of religion and the sociology of politics are “joined at the hip” (Martin 2017: 13). He thinks that we cannot, for example, analyze the history of nationalism or the myths and rituals that are constitutive for secular states if we don’t deal with them in a conceptual framework that integrates religion and politics or, as I would prefer to say, the dynamics of power and the dynamics of sacralization processes. It is worth mentioning that this is not identical with the claim, for example in Eric Voegelin’s work, that nationalism and secularism are political religions or quasireligions that should be analyzed by means of the sociology of religion. David


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Martin’s theory is not based on ahistorical assumptions about an anthropological need for religion. Moreover, “power” and “the sacred” are clearly not identical, but in our world nothing can be sacred without any implications of power, and no power-relation can be stabilized without legitimation – for example in the charisma of a leader, the sacred quality of a tradition or in a formal procedure that necessarily at some point is based on a belief in its own legitimacy. This, one may say, is not a new idea, but crucial in the work of Max Weber, who already combined the sociology of religion with a sociology of domination and developed an important typology of the forms of legitimation. There are good reasons indeed to call Martin a Weberian, and to the one just mentioned one could add his historical and comparative approach in a more general sense. Martin is a Weberian, but not just as a disciple of the great classic of sociology or a member of a school. I find him more Weberian than Weber. This can easily be misunderstood. When we call somebody “more Catholic than the Pope”, for example, this is hardly a compliment. In the same way, the apocryphal quotation from Marx “Moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste”, is mostly used to say that certain Marxist thinkers are more narrowminded than their great master ever was. When I call Martin more Weberian than Weber, my message is the opposite. Martin does not belong to the rather large group of Weberians who use or misuse Weber’s enormous reputation for propagating their own “approaches” or “paradigms”. My point is that Weber is famous both for his historical-comparative method and for some claims concerning long-term social change, but that there is a tension between method and substantive claims in his work. While some commentators of Weber’s work present his theories of rationalization, bureaucratization and disenchantment as empirical discoveries reached by his method, I dispute this close connection of method and substance in Weber. It is more plausible to see Weber at a certain point in his intellectual development being swamped or drowned in the varieties of his historical reconstructions and, as a consequence of or a remedy to this fragmentation, imposing on his material certain concepts that David Martin would call “dangerous nouns of process” (Martin 2011). Weber clearly did not start out with an intuitive sense of a “universal historical process involving the rationalization of all spheres of life in all cultures and at all times” (Kaesler 2006: 199–200), but instead subsequently hit on the idea of using this concept to unite his disparate studies on bureaucratization, industrialization, intellectualization, the development of rational enterprise, capitalism, specialization, objectification, methodization, disciplining, disenchantment, secularization and dehumanization. But there is a huge question mark over the plausibility of this retrospective self-systematization, over whether it can be correctly understood as the “unintended product of his many individual pieces of research” (as Dirk Kaesler puts it), or even as a “discovery” (as Weber’s widow Marianne [1926: 349] or Wolfgang Schluchter [1991: 102] suggest), or whether, as I think, we might not make

Introduction: more Weberian than Weber?


better use of Weber’s work by eschewing the notion that these discrete processes are subprocesses of an overarching rationalization. There are two main reasons for skepticism about this overarching processual notion of “rationalization”. First, there are clearly radical differences between rationalization in the sense of an increasing orientation toward profit-making principles, and, for example, rationalization in the sense of theologians’ intellectual systematization of religious content. It makes no sense at all, one might say, to use the same term for both processes – unless one assumes that there is some kind of causal relationship between them. But this – and here is the second reason – makes sense only if we assume the existence of a specific process of rationalization within a particular culture over very long periods of time, in other words something like the development of an “Occidental rationalism”. This notion, however, is underpinned by specific assumptions about, on the one hand, the West’s enduring uniqueness and, on the other, culturally induced inabilities of the non-Western world, assumptions that are becoming increasingly implausible today in light of the tremendous economic rise of East and South Asia. One can argue that Weber’s notion of “disenchantment” is also deeply ambiguous.2 It makes the demagification of the world by the ancient Hebrew prophets, the detranscendentalization in connection with the rise of the “secular option” and the “immanent frame” – to use Charles Taylor’s (2007) terms – and the desacralization in the sense of a loss of existential meaning encountered in the world seem similar to one another. This conceptual ambiguity is the foundation on which the assumption of a 3000-year process of disenchantment is based; again, if we overcome the conceptual ambiguity, the narrative loses much of its plausibility. Wolfgang Knöbl has come forward with the interesting idea (2011: 288) that these “hard” nouns of process played an important epistemological role in Weber, namely to claim that his own historical reconstructions are not purely subjective and in this sense arbitrary, but follow from historical tendencies that make at the same time all Hegelian “rationalization” of history impossible. Be that as it may; this reference to Weber is intended to make clear that Martin’s political sociology of religion is both a culmination of the Weberian historico-comparative research program and a way out of the impasse of Weber’s diagnosis of modernity and the paths to it. This tension in Weber’s work and David Martin’s achievements in dissolving it can serve as the guiding thread of an interpretation of Martin’s lifework. This volume offers a collective attempt to follow Martin into many, if not all, of the ramifications of his thinking. In the first part of this introduction, I will restrict myself to two areas, namely first his so-called “General Theory of Secularization”, and second, the wider framework of a historical sociology of religion as it is being developed particularly in Martin’s contributions to the Axial Age debate. In the third part, the contributions to the volume will be briefly characterized.


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A general theory of secularization? As is well known, Martin’s book title has been ridiculed by many, including Kevin Christiano who spoke of “one of the most gloriously mistitled works in our field” (Christiano 2008: 20). David Martin is not happy with these mockeries and feels himself misunderstood. It all depends obviously on what a “general theory” in the social sciences is expected to look like. If we followed nineteenth-century positivism and twentieth-century logical positivism, the expectation would be that the social sciences should aim at ahistorical propositions about the connections between causal variables and their effects. Such propositions can be developed as hypotheses independently from actual empirical research. They have to be applied as the ahistorical propositions they are to the historical empirical material of the researcher, and these tests of application will then lead to their falsification or – necessarily provisional – verification. According to this view, general theory has the same meaning whether we talk of the study of human action and history or not. From the tradition of German hermeneutics and historicism we can derive an alternative view. For thinkers in this tradition there are no such laws in the area of human action; sociology will never become social physics. We can only closely study individual cases and develop out of these studies, by comparing one plausible narrative of a case with an empirically grounded plausible narrative of another case, step by step generalizing statements that are in turn a fruitful preparation for an attempt to explain further cases. If a new case we study does not fall under the description in the way we had expected, this does not falsify our generalization completely. It forces us to modify the pattern of our explanation so that it now can subsume the new case as well. In this way our explanatory theory becomes richer and richer with regard to history, not more ahistorical. This is the logic of historical-comparative research in the classical tradition. This is not the place to discuss the question of whether Max Weber himself in his methodological writings came to the same conclusion, and that one should consider the consequences of the transformation of historicism into the modern social sciences by great scholars like Ernst Troeltsch and Otto Hintze. David Martin’s book of 1978 clearly aims in that direction, but it seems that he also vacillated between the two competing understandings of general theory there. In his introduction he lists “certain broad tendencies towards secularization in industrial society” that, he claims, “have already been fairly well established” (Martin 1978: 2), for example that religious institutions are adversely affected to the extent that an area is dominated by heavy industry; that they are the more adversely affected if the area concerned is homogeneously proletarian; that religious practice declines proportionately with the size of an urban concentration. (Martin 1978: 3)

Introduction: more Weberian than Weber?


One might actually find several of these propositions neither convincing nor well established. They are based on assumptions about “industrial society” and functional differentiation, and clearly would not fall under the description of a “political sociology of religion”. It was Martin’s ambition, of course, not simply to repeat the assumptions of the conventional sociological theories of the time and their explanations of secularization as a corollary of modernization. But he accepted these assumptions as being correct “other things being equal”, as he wrote: “But things are not equal – ever”, particularly not “with respect to the particular cultural . . . complex within which they operate”. Hence, for him, “the general theory is general in that it relates ‘universal processes’ which are empirically quite well established to a typology of cultural contexts and then specifies the type of refraction which the processes then undergo” (Martin 1978: 3). This formula seems to me not satisfactory. It is neither in conformity with the logical-positivist, nor with what I called the hermeneutical-historicist understanding of general theory, but a mere compromise between the available alternatives. Neither the theory of industrial society to which he refers nor the theory of functional differentiation, which should rather be classified as another “dangerous noun of process”, are the result of a gradual generalization from the study of individual cases, and certainly not from a close investigation of the dynamics of power and of sacralization processes. No wonder, therefore, that those with a strictly positivist understanding did not find Martin’s “general theory” acceptable. Those with a more historicist understanding were able to learn a lot from Martin’s study of individual cases and from his comparisons, but also found these studies and comparisons a little bit distorted by the unexamined framework of assumptions about industrial society and functional differentiation. There can be no doubt that the patterns Martin describes are extremely valuable. It is obvious that Martin’s starting point was his home country, Britain, and that his diagnosis of religion there is one of “institutional erosion, erosion of religious ethos, maintenance of amorphous religious beliefs” (Martin 1978: 7). His two most important contrast cases, at the beginning at least, were the U.S. and France. The American case differs from the British, mostly because of institutional expansion, while the French is totally different. Like many others, Martin describes the division into two radically different milieus in France: “massive religious beliefs, ethos and institutions confronting massive secularist beliefs, ethos and institutions” (Martin 1978: 7). To these three main patterns, Martin added a “Russian” pattern by which he meant the state-enforced “massive erosion of religious beliefs, ethos and institutions but maintenance of the beliefs and the ethos within the surviving religious institutions”. The French pattern is said to apply in more “Latin European” countries, all other patterns are allegedly “sub-variants within this range” (Martin 1978: 8). This distinction of patterns is handled very deftly in Martin’s analysis of the individual cases. These analyses sensitize him to many aspects that


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cannot be subsumed under the concepts of “industrial society” and “cultural refraction”. Under the influence of Edward Shils – with whom he cooperated in matters of higher education policy – the distinction between center and periphery with regard not only to geography, but also to the sacred core of a legitimation system became important for his analyses. As an example of the book’s richness, and because of the timeliness of the topic, one could quote Martin’s claim that “foreign migrants tend to cluster at the cultural centre rather than the periphery, and so may increase the alienation of periphery from centre” (Martin 1978: 142). Among the important conditions for the maintenance of religious identity and practice with respect to migration he mentioned the following: whether or not the migration is seasonal; whether or not whole families are involved; whether or not the roles available in the host culture allow clustering in given urban sectors; whether or not the religion of the host culture is significantly different from that of the migrants; whether or not there are historic mutual perceptions as between members of the two cultures which are hostile or involve superiority and/or inferiority; whether or not religion has been a major focus of such perceptions; whether or not adequate numbers move to form a supporting environment; whether or not other foci of identity like language have to be dropped; whether or not the group achieves forms of social mobility which break down endogamy; whether or not historic “peculiarities” (like the role of women or wearing of turbans) are defined as jointly crucial for the identity of the religion and of the culture. (Martin 1978: 143) Furthermore, José Casanova makes an important point when he writes in a review of Martin’s book The Future of Christianity: “Well before the category of path-dependency became fashionable in comparative social science, Martin had made such analytical practice the core of his comparative historical approach” (Casanova 2011: 436). Martin reconstructs the influence of military defeats or victories on the prestige of states and churches and the role of learning processes in churches. But it is difficult or impossible to see that the book concludes with a theoretical synthesis that really integrates its findings. In that sense the “general theory”, despite its enormous richness, has certainly not reached its aim. Its findings are more sophisticated than the theoretical framework presented at its beginning, and the focus of the book is so exclusively on Europe and North America and, of course, on Christianity that it is not a general theory of secularization and even less of religious revitalization in a wider sense. These critical remarks should not be misunderstood as if they were intended to deny the epochal importance of Martin’s 1978 study. There was certainly no superior work available then, and nobody had gone farther in the direction of a general theory than Martin. Instead of offering a detailed

Introduction: more Weberian than Weber?


analysis of the inner tensions in this early masterpiece – this is being done in the contributions by Carroll and Koenig – one should emphasize here that a considerable part of Martin’s later writings, both empirically and theoretically, remedies the deficiencies of the earlier work. Not only the 2005 book On Secularization, which explicitly is subtitled “Towards a Revised General Theory”, but also many other works enlarge the empirical range and revise the general theory. Empirically a revision proved to be necessary mostly for two reasons: the collapse of communism in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia on the one hand, and the ongoing secularization of Britain that went beyond what Martin had anticipated.3 Nobody had predicted the fall of communism. Martin’s extrapolation of trends in the Russian pattern had to be revised, therefore, and the revitalization of religion in a few post-communist countries (Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia, also – but in a different way – Albania) confirms Martin’s emphasis on the role of institutional continuity. The very diverse developments in the other post-communist European countries are the subject matter of several new chapters and articles by Martin (for example Martin 2011: 135–164). His political sociology of religion is very helpful there because it emphasizes the importance of pre-communist history and institutional arrangements for the understanding of post-communist developments. The most important enlargement is, of course, that Martin has more and more become a sociologist of global Christianity. His pioneering studies of the unexpected global expansion of Pentecostalism (Tongues of Fire and The World Their Parish), controversial as they are, definitely constitute an important step in the historical sociology of Christianity, particularly with regard to some fundamental institutional reconfigurations in Latin America and Africa and to the formation of transnational religious networks. They allow a comparative study with similar networks of non-Christian religions and with the less network-like forms of transnational religious organization as we find it prototypically in global Catholicism. For Martin, even the Catholic “preferential option for the poor” smells hierarchical and authoritarian, coming from above and not from below. It is one of the highlights of this volume that the leading Spanish-American sociologist of religion José Casanova has contributed an extensive critical evaluation of David Martin’s studies about Pentecostalism in Latin America and of a possible anti-Catholic bias in them – and that David Martin himself in his response tries to set the record straight.

Religion and violence Instead of discussing here the revisions and enlargements of Martin’s research program after his “General Theory”, I would like to turn to his second main area, namely the history and sociology of pacifism and of war, the state and international relations. As he describes it in his autobiographical book The Education of David Martin (2013), the turn away from the religiously-based, radically pacifist convictions of his youth was like a “second conversion”: a


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conversion away not only from religious fundamentalism, but also from a pacifism that could have survived the first conversion in secular guise. This has led to several books on pacifism and one on the question “Does Christianity Cause War?”. These books deserve to be discussed in detail; in this volume it is mostly Andreas Hasenclever, a leading German peace researcher, who submits them to critical scrutiny. David Martin has made it clear in many of his texts and in his response to the contributions in this volume that it was his encounter with the writings of the American Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr that triggered or at least played a crucial role in this conversion, above all the book Moral Man and Immoral Society, originally published in 1932. Martin was not the only Christian intellectual deeply affected by this book in the development of his political attitudes, although Reinhold Niebuhr’s influence mostly remained restricted to the English-speaking world. One could describe the main effect of Niebuhr’s book as a Christian justification of the potential legitimacy of the use of violence in politics, mostly with regard to interstate war. This was a claim that could not be experienced as sensational among people trained in the Catholic tradition with its reliance on “just war” thinking, and this may explain why neither German nor French intellectuals, and even the Christians among them, were moved by Niebuhr in ways similar to what David Martin describes with regard to his own intellectual development. But the justification of the potential use of violence on an abstract level cannot be the last word here. On the one hand, Niebuhr’s argument with its sharp distinction between “moral man” and “immoral society” is not necessarily the most convincing argument for a Christian realism in politics. Reinhold’s younger brother, H. Richard Niebuhr, himself also one of the greatest American Protestant theologians of the twentieth century, had doubts in this regard at an early point and criticized Reinhold for ignoring the evil character even of “moral man”, illustrating this with the ambivalences in fraternal love (Fox 1996: 143–147). But, more importantly, no “realist” perspective as such is enough to justify all specific acts of the use of violence, the specific form of violence used, the “collateral damage” as a present euphemism puts it, etc. David Martin agrees with me on this point, but his writings do not offer much with regard to the normative questions regarding large-scale violence, for example the bombing and destruction of the city of Dresden or the nuclear destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Second World War. One can be, as he himself says, a “realist” and still find these particular acts unjustifiable. There is a rich literature on these questions, and doubts about the strategic importance of Dresden or the lack of preparations for medical help for the survivors in Japan can certainly not be silenced by a confession of political realism. Any serious normative discussion here has empirical presuppositions and implications. This is not the place to deal with such deeply emotional moral questions of greatest historical significance.4 A serious critical evaluation of David Martin’s writings on violence and pacifism

Introduction: more Weberian than Weber?


and his plea for realism would, however, have to deal with them even or just because they have not been in the focus of David Martin’s attention. In a volume devoted to David Martin’s sociology of religion, the most important aspect is a different one, namely how his competence in the study of war and violence has enabled him to make contributions to the study of religion. Matthias Koenig, in his chapter, spells out to what extent Martin’s historical-comparative approach can already be found in his early book on “Pacifism”. But there are three more areas of crucial relevance here. The first is the area of research about what has originally been called by Karl Jaspers the “Axial Age”. David Martin is an important contributor to it. Jaspers was referring to cultural and religious changes in four ancient civilizations (Israel, Greece, India, China) between 800 and 200 before Christ and aimed at phenomena that earlier authors like Max Weber tried to grasp with the term “prophetic age”. Like Shmuel Eisenstadt, Robert Bellah and the other major contributors to this debate, David Martin considers the axial innovations as a fundamental rupture in the world history of religion, so much so that generalizations about religion that neglect the fundamental differences between pre- and post-axial religion become problematical. In these debates, as I have tried to show (Joas 2014b), there is a variety of attempts to identify the main characteristic of the axial innovation: the emergence of the idea of transcendence, the critique of existing political power structures, reflexivity with regard to empirical and normative questions, moral universalism, the clear distinction between the material qualities of symbols and their symbolicity. All the important contributors – from Jaspers to Eisenstadt and Bellah, from Ernst Cassirer to Karl-Otto Apel and Björn Wittrock – emphasize one of the features more than another one without denying the role of other aspects. David Martin’s take on the Axial Age is the problem of violence or the emergence of the ideal of non-violence. His point is that violence has always been part of human social life. In that sense “we do not need to explain violence but rather the astonishing emergence of a principled rejection of violence as a component in the Axial Revolution” (Martin 2017: 134, n. 1). The tension between the requirements of states both domestically and in their relations with other states, and an ethos of non-violence is particularly intense, and it is a very fruitful question how all axial civilizations have dealt with that tension in their history. Martin introduces the notion of an “angle” of transcendence here to characterize different types and degrees of the intensity of this tension. He pays constant attention to the potentially fruitful influence of an ethos of non-violence on processes of social change. That predisposes him to the so-called Halévy thesis, the interpretation of English history by a French nineteenth-century historian who contrasted Methodism and Jacobinism as non-violent versus violent forms of social reform. But Martin is also sensitive to the possibility that a failure of non-violent movements may give rise to violent ones drawing on the same religious and symbolic sources. Eschatological violence can be seen as a way to realize the brotherhood of men. This is a point that had already played a


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considerable role in the early attempts to develop a historical sociology of Christianity in the writings of Max Weber and, above all, Ernst Troeltsch. Secondly, from his early work on, David Martin has been interested in the typology of the social organization of Christianity, as it has emerged out of the cooperation between these two classical figures – the famous Weberian dichotomy of church and sect and Troeltsch’s threefold distinction that adds highly individualized forms of spiritual communities should not simply be considered as typologies, but as attempts to analyze the connections between the social organizations of Christians and their doctrinal views. Martin in his earliest phase already took up ideas from H. Richard Niebuhr, who had explicitly taken his point of departure in Troeltsch (Niebuhr 1929). Going beyond him, Martin introduced the “denomination” as an additional type (Martin 1962). In connection with his interest in violence he underlines – in more recent writings – that voluntary denominations tend to adopt “positions between the radical pacifism of the sect and the ecclesiastical acceptance of the just war” (Martin 2017: 125), positions that show a certain affinity to liberal positions concerning war. Again, the point here is not so much to say that this is definitively true, but to reflect on the possibility of an understanding of the social organization of religions that takes their attitude to violence seriously. Again, this would apply not only to Christianity, but to other religions and secular political organizations as well. Thirdly, for those who are familiar with Shmuel Eisenstadt’s crucial role in the revitalization of the Axial Age debate and in the critique of modernization theory and the emergence of the “multiple modernities” approach, the question might arise how Martin’s work is related to Eisenstadt’s. There are clear parallels, but Martin is more radical than Eisenstadt in his critique of modernization theory and of all theories that claim to know a direction of history. Their views on Pentecostalism and what we should classify as “anti-modern” differ considerably. What is more important is that Martin like Eisenstadt sees a constant tension between the ethos of the axial religions and a given political order and, again like him, interprets institutional arrangements as emerging out of this tension. But he denies any “vector” (Taylor 2007) in one direction here. There is not one history of Christianization for him, followed or not by a history of secularization, but a sequence of waves of attempted Christianization which always become particularistic again and against which the universalism of axiality will be mobilized again and again – there was Christianization as its adoption by monarchs seeking to accede to what was for them the civilised centre in Rome or Byzantium, its promotion by friars preaching in hall churches to the urban masses, and attempts to universalize monastic aspirations in Puritanism, Pietism and Evangelicalism. (Martin 2017: 14; Martin 2005: 3–7) If there is no vector toward or away from Christianization, we have to study the tensions themselves, the ambiguity of the symbolic repertoire of

Introduction: more Weberian than Weber?


religious traditions and the imaginary of possible transformations in their respective contexts. There are many extremely important achievements in David Martin’s lifework and many impulses for further research and theory-building, and although the focus of his work and of this volume clearly is in the sociology of religion, both these achievements and these impulses go far beyond the limits of this subdiscipline. We have to see in David Martin’s political sociology of religion the groundwork for a historically informed, highly promising non-teleological theory of social change.

On the way to a socio-theology? After this introduction, the volume begins with two chapters that offer a detailed presentation and evaluation of David Martin’s crucial contributions to the theory of secularization. The British philosopher and theologian Anthony Carroll, author of a highly important study of the Protestant presuppositions in Max Weber’s sociology (Carroll 2007), presents an overview of the major elements of David Martin’s theory. Although originating as a political sociology of religion, he sees it as evolving into a disciplinary hybrid which Martin now terms a “socio-theology”. Carroll analyzes some of the background influences and themes which have fed into the general theory and describes how Martin’s lifework, although clearly originating in mainly European and Christian investigations, has more and more encompassed non-European contexts and to some extent also non-Christian religious traditions. Martin constructs an empirical account of varying contingent developments that shape constellations of the relations between religion, power and violence. He is interested in comparing how sociology and theology envision ways of bringing into creative dialogue the reality of the world with religious and secular aspirations for its improvement. The sociologist Matthias Koenig, one of the most interesting younger figures in the German sociology of religion, covers similar ground, but he evaluates Martin’s achievements with regard to more strictly sociological criteria. He is interested in the connections between the secularization thesis and the theory of functional differentiation – a theory that has been constitutive for the sociological understanding of “modernity” at least since the beginning of modernization theory after the Second World War, if not – as its proponents would claim – since Durkheim, Weber and other founders of the discipline. Koenig emphasizes that Martin has repeatedly endorsed this theory, calling it the viable core of the secularization thesis. Upon closer scrutiny, however, Martin is shown to have prepared important ground for a comparativehistorical sociology of secularization. Koenig connects David Martin’s pioneering achievements with broader trends in historical sociology – trends in which Martin’s name is only rarely mentioned. Koenig also contrasts Martin’s descriptive and explanatory accounts with contemporary efforts to identify causal mechanisms of differentiation and criticizes Martin for


Hans Joas

too frequently relying on implicit causal assumptions and neglecting certain causal mechanisms that should also be brought into play. The following chapter, by the Italian philosopher Paolo Costa, poses quite a different problem. Costa, who is deeply influenced by the thinking of Charles Taylor for whose reception in Italy he has been crucial, investigates the reasons why David Martin’s important contributions have never received the same public attention as Taylor’s. He wonders whether there is anything in Martin’s approach itself that, in addition to the contingent factors of reception, has contributed to this relative neglect. Costa’s claim is that indeed Martin’s “aversion to anything that smacks even vaguely of historicism runs the risk of delegitimizing the hermeneutical sensitivity that is paradigmatically instantiated by his theory of secularization”. Costa draws on a sophisticated understanding of the logic of narration and tries to steer a middle course between what Popper had called “historicism” and a refusal to offer comprehensive narratives. A similar attempt was undertaken by Paul Ricœur when he stressed the need for an integrated history that does not succumb to the “Hegelian temptation” (Ricœur 1988: 194). While the first three chapters focus on the achievements and possible deficiencies of Martin’s general theory of secularization, the following three concentrate on three geographical areas that play a particularly important role in Martin’s empirical work: Latin America, Britain and Scandinavia. Grace Davie, herself one of the world’s leading sociologists of religion and an expert on religion in Britain, gives an overview and critical evaluation of Martin’s contributions in this area that span a period of more than half a century. She includes Martin’s own retrospective self-evaluations and the impulses her own work has drawn from his over almost the same span of time. The slight differences between these two authors and the insight into their mutual influences are highly instructive as is the British case itself which has given rise, in Davie’s work, to such catchwords as “believing without belonging” and “vicarious religion” that are to some extent prepared in Martin’s writings. Davie also more than any other contributor to this volume stresses the role of David Martin as public intellectual and cultural critic. Her chapter is the appropriate place for that since this role of David Martin has so far been restricted to the public sphere in Britain. As already mentioned in this introduction, the chapter on Latin America by the world-renowned Spanish-American sociologist of religion José Casanova acknowledges the crucial relevance of the explosive growth of Pentecostal Christianity in Latin America and, more or less, affirms the validity of David Martin’s pioneering interpretation. But it places this growth within the larger context of the transformation of Latin American societies, politics and cultures since the 1960s. Its main thesis is that the growth of Pentecostal Christianity and the transformation of Latin American Catholicism are parallel reformations that even reinforced each other, contributing to religious pluralism, political democratization and more open and pluralist civil societies throughout the region. In his response, David Martin points to the

Introduction: more Weberian than Weber?


fact that Pentecostalism has become a global phenomenon and that in other regions of the world Catholicism did not play the same role; he also defends himself against any insinuation of an anti-Catholic bias. One of the authorities on religion in Scandinavia, the Norwegian sociologist Pål Repstad, presents and discusses Martin’s analyses on this area of Europe in which there still are strong national majority churches with relatively harmonious relations to the state. Repstad adds some nuances to the picture, based on his understanding of recent developments. The national churches have become more independent of the state, especially in Sweden and Norway, and an increasing diversity of religions and worldviews have emerged in these countries. Repstad also is critical of assumptions in Martin that the Scandinavian welfare state can be rather directly traced back to impulses from the Reformation. Since the problem of religious influences on the shape of modern welfare states is of only marginal relevance for the evaluation of Martin’s sociology of religion, no special chapter has been devoted to this highly relevant question in the research about the history of the welfare state. Repstad, who himself is also very much interested in the empirical study of church music in Scandinavia, uses Martin’s typology of Christian attitudes to music in his own research and thus contributes to another important strain in Martin’s work. As becomes clear in David Martin’s response, this particular reception is rather selective. The sociology of music in Martin, itself deeply influenced by Max Weber, is much more comprehensive and profoundly integrated with his understanding of secularization (and Christianization) processes. Martin’s aesthetic interests also go beyond music. In many of his writings, he uses architectural examples, and in his most recent (and still unpublished) work (Martin forthcoming) his life-long passion for poetry has found expression in a book-long study about English poetry from the year 800 to the present. Few topics in the field of religious studies currently find more attention in the public discussions than the topic of religion and violence. David Martin, as has already been shown, is particularly well disposed to offer insights on the questions here. For critics of all religion the claim that religions are divisive forces in human societies, making armed conflicts more likely, increasing their intensity and extending their duration, has for a long time been a staple. David Martin has in many of his writings criticized this claim as ideological. For him, armed conflicts follow the logic of group conflicts under conditions of scarce resources or of an anarchical system of interstate relations. Religions as such do not contribute to such secular dynamics. In his chapter, the German peace researcher Andreas Hasenclever, by discussing cutting-edge research on the dynamics of armed conflict, mostly supports the position of David Martin, adding very important material from this research. But Hasenclever also takes issue with Martin’s power-political realism, blaming him for too strong an emphasis on the unavoidability of war. This, in the perspective of this author, leads Martin to underestimate


Hans Joas

the impact that religious communities can indeed have on the prevention of conflict escalation and the promotion of conflict de-escalation. Hasenclever is more optimistic than Martin that religions can be a decisive force for the prevention of armed conflicts and for post-conflict peace building – at least under certain empirically analyzable conditions and if they seriously mobilize the potential of the Axial Age innovations. The last chapter returns to a theme that had already appeared in the second one: the connection between sociology and theology, their demarcation from each other, their possible cooperation or – in Martin’s work – the exploration of the possibilities for their fusion in a disciplinary hybrid called sociotheology. No sociologist of religion can evade these questions, but many will find the idea of such a fusion or hybridization problematic. The young Catholic Polish sociologist Michal Luczewski enthusiastically endorses Martin’s ventures here and brings two other authors into the picture in order to determine the specific character of Martin’s lifework: René Girard and Carl Schmitt. From Girard he also takes a specific concept of conversion that he applies in a highly original way to the conversions in Martin’s life and to a better understanding of the complex personality behind the writings that are being discussed in this volume. In his own self-presentation at the beginning of his response, Martin confirms the impression that his lifework cannot be fully understood apart from his in many respects unusual biography. The volume ends with a complete bibliography of David Martin’s scholarly publications and an (incomplete) list of interventions in the public. It is my hope as editor that this volume becomes the point of departure for more attempts to appropriate the manifold insights contained in this impressive lifework in contemporary and future discourse.

Notes 1 I have followed David Martin’s inspiration in this regard in Joas (2014a), particularly in Chapter 3. 2 This is a point developed at length in Joas (2017). 3 At several places in his writings David Martin has reflected on his underestimation of destabilizing tendencies in British religion at the time. See, for example, Martin (2015: 219). See also the contribution by Grace Davie in this volume and the further bibliographical references there. 4 For my own views, see my books on war (Joas 2003, Joas and Knöbl 2013).

References Carroll, Anthony 2007, Protestant Modernity: Weber, Secularisation, and Protestantism. Scranton, PA, University of Scranton Press. Casanova, José 2011, Religions, Secularizations and Modernities, in: European Journal of Sociology 52: 423–445. Christiano, Kevin 2008, Clio Goes to Church: Revisiting and Revitalizing Historical Thinking in the Sociology of Religion, in: Sociology of Religion 69: 1–28. Fox, Richard Wightman 1996, Reinhold Niebuhr: A Biography. Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press.

Introduction: more Weberian than Weber?


Joas, Hans 2003, War and Modernity. Oxford, Polity Press. Joas, Hans 2014a, Faith as an Option: Possible Futures for Christianity. Stanford, Stanford University Press. Joas, Hans 2014b, Was ist die Achsenzeit? Eine wissenschaftliche Debatte als Diskurs über Transzendenz. Basel, Schwabe. Joas, Hans 2017, Die Macht des Heiligen. Eine Alternative zur Geschichte von der Entzauberung. Berlin, Suhrkamp. Joas, Hans, and Knöbl, Wolfgang 2013, War in Social Thought: Hobbes to the Present. Princeton, Princeton University Press. Kaesler, Dirk 2006, Max Weber, in: Dirk Kaesler (ed.), Klassiker der Soziologie. Vol. 1. Munich, C.H. Beck: 191–214. Knöbl, Wolfgang 2011, Makrotheorie zwischen Historismus und Pragmatismus, in: Bettina Hollstein, Matthias Jung, Wolfgang Knöbl (eds.), Handlung und Erfahrung. Das Erbe von Historismus und Pragmatismus und die Zukunft der Sozialtheorie. Frankfurt/Main, Campus: 273–315. Martin, David 1962, The Denomination, in: British Journal of Sociology 13, 1: 1–14. Martin, David 1978, A General Theory of Secularization. Oxford, Blackwell. Martin, David 2005, On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory. Aldershot, Ashgate. Martin, David 2011, The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization. Farnham, Ashgate. Martin, David 2012, Axial Religions and the Problem of Violence, in: Robert N. Bellah, Hans Joas (eds.), The Axial Age and Its Consequences. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press: 294–316. Martin, David 2013, The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist. London, SPCK. Martin, David 2015, What I Really Said about Secularisation, in: Dedong Wei, Zhifeng Zhong (eds.), Sociology of Religion: A David Martin Reader. Waco, TX, Baylor University Press: 205–222. Martin, David 2017, Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion. Abingdon/New York, Routledge. Martin, David 2019 (forthcoming), Christianity and “the World”: Secularisation Narratives through the Lens of English Poetry 800 AD to the Present Time. Eugene, OR, Cascade Books. Niebuhr, H. Richard 1929, The Social Sources of Denominationalism. New York, Henry Holt. Ricœur, Paul 1988, Time and Narrative. Vol. 3. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Schluchter, Wolfgang 1991, Religion und Lebensführung. Vol. 1. Frankfurt/Main, Suhrkamp. Taylor, Charles 2007, A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Weber, Marianne 1926, Max Weber. Ein Lebensbild. Tübingen, Mohr.


David Martin’s theory of secularisation Anthony Carroll

Introduction In this article, I present an overview of the main elements of David Martin’s theory of secularisation and an interpretation of its interdisciplinary significance for the contemporary study of religion. As this theory has evolved over fifty years it will not be possible here to outline all the details. However, in sketching the main contours of his account of the socio-political dynamics of religion a clear idea of the key elements and inner logic, which have constituted Martin’s theory of secularisation, will be elucidated. Originating as part of a political sociology of religion, Martin’s theory has developed into a disciplinary ‘hybrid’, as he calls it, in his later work designated by the term ‘socio-theology’. In forming part of a new discipline, which correlates sociology and theology, his theory of secularisation represents an account of how relations between ‘the world’ and religions can be reflected upon in an integrated manner. Bringing sociology and theology into such a creative dialogue, Martin’s work also allows us to both contrast the dynamics of a world governed by force and the emergence of non-violent options in the form of the religions of Christianity and Buddhism, and to compare how sociology and theology suggest practical ways of aligning the reality of the world with various visions of its improvement (Martin 2015). I begin by discussing the major structuring themes and influences which have shaped Martin’s general theory of secularisation. Initially concerned chiefly with European and Christian investigations, Martin’s theory opened out to consider the dynamics of other religious traditions and of other expressions of religion and secularity in different continents than Europe. This expanding of the geographical horizon of his investigations into secularisation theory has gone hand in hand with a deepening of his historical analysis of various waves of Christianisation in both Catholic and Protestant forms. I discuss the significance of this for his overall general theory and highlight its importance for the elucidation of his disciplinary venture into ‘socio-theology’. In order to provide some background to the evolution of his theory of secularisation, I also trace the changing contexts and debates within which it has emerged and developed. Furthermore, I signal the importance he has given to both constructing a non-teleological account of secularisation

David Martin’s theory of secularisation


and to the significance of debates and empirical material that he drew upon from Franco-Belgian research gathered in journals such as Social Compass and Archives de Sociologie des Religions. I note also the importance of other elements in his theory such as his reflections on Scandinavia, on societies with two major confessions, on ‘communist over-printing’, on the French and Spanish patterns of secularisation, and also on the spread of conservative Protestantism chiefly in the form of Pentecostalism as a global phenomenon of recent times. I conclude by suggesting that Martin’s work has dramatically changed how we think about secularisation theory and points the way towards a new interdisciplinary manner of conceiving the complex relations between religions and societies in global perspective.

David Martin’s overall logic of secularisation Structuring themes and major influences From David Martin’s 1965 article, ‘Towards Eliminating the Concept of Secularization’ until his 2016 ‘socio-theology’ of Ruin and Restoration. On Violence, Liturgy and Reconciliation, there has been a general theme running through his theory of secularisation, namely, articulating the sociological significance, in its empirical tendencies and historical inflections, of the interpenetration of the Kingdom of God in the world in its chiliastic and eschatological (Christian millenarian) dimensions under the new historically contingent conditions of modernity.1 This interpenetration institutionally shapes a diversity of path dependent patterns of the historically plural religion-power combinations (Martin 2013: 132–133). Martin’s theory of secularisation aims to reflect on this interpenetration as a set of general patterns and processes, without an overarching teleology, of either the 1960s secular variants or of the recent religious variants (Martin 2016: 1–2). This ‘post-teleological’ theme runs through his work on secularisation theory in the early 1960s up to his 2017 Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence (Martin 2017: Part I). The central theme of the religion/power dialectic, which is echoed in the eschatological reserve expressed in biblical passages such as the parable of the Weeds and Wheat in Mt 13: 24–30, was gradually worked through in his publications and showed itself from the start in his personal interest in pacifism (Martin 1965a). This interest in questions concerned with peace and violence was fostered by a number of influences (Joas 2003). Central among these was his attraction to the pacifist withdrawal strategies gained through reading Tolstoy’s Christian pacifism, in his ‘The Kingdom of God is Within You’ (Martin 2016: 7). Here Tolstoy sets out philosophical reflections directly inspired by his reading of the Gospels and develops a social theory of how these can be used to justify non-violent resistance to forces contrary to the Gospel. Tolstoy also influenced another of Martin’s minor mentors, Mahatma Gandhi, and in his early days, Martin was attracted to

18 Anthony Carroll his views on ahimsa, or non-violence, though much more important for the formation of his views on pacifism were the great charismatic Christian figures such as Donald Soper and George MacLeod of the Iona Community, together with the soft leftwing politics of people in the liberal-labour (LibLab) tradition of British politics (Martin 2013: 67). This interest in pacifism was later reflected in his 1964 PhD thesis, supervised by the polymath and Reader in the Department of Sociology at the LSE, Donald Gunn MacRae, and which became the basis of his first book, Pacifism: A Historical and Sociological Study published a year later in 1965. It was by reading figures such as Tolstoy, and through the inspiration provided by charismatic personalities like George MacLeod, together with his love for hymns written by figures such as the English poet and literary critic John Addington Symonds (‘These things shall be! A loftier race – A Regenerated World’), and the Buddhist writer Clifford Bax (‘O brother man, fold to thy heart brother’) that Martin would develop an interest in one of the structuring themes of his theory of secularisation, namely, the relations between religion, power, and violence.2 He eventually rejected absolute pacifism under the influence of Reinhold Niebuhr (Martin 2016: 8, 107–108). In Niebuhr, he found a way to understand the relationship between faith and the dynamics of society and international relations, above all the problem of violence that has influenced his recent effort to articulate a sociotheological analysis of society as a naturalistic account of the atonement in which the expiation of sins takes place through ordinary social dynamics (Martin 2016: 29). Martin’s earlier work reveals the origins of his 1978 A General Theory of Secularization, which attempted to decouple secularisation theory of its universalist-teleological dimensions. Under the influence of colleagues at the London School of Economics (LSE), secular, Jewish, and Marxist, and of course his so-called ‘significant other’ Bryan Wilson at Oxford, he sought to develop an empirically based account of socio-religious developments which was attentive to the various inflections that exhibited general patterns of secularisation. Avoiding the reduction of religion to an epiphenomenal effect, he was also cautious not to attribute causal priority to religion. In a way which is reminiscent of the use of the concept of Wahlverwandtschaften (‘elective affinities’) by Max Weber, Martin is now developing the intuition of his early work in a way which is more socio-theologically radical. As a non-teleological, non-providential sociotheological portrayal of societal dynamics, he naturalises the theodicy question through a sociological account of the means through which ordinary social processes result in the innocent expiating the sins of the guilty (Martin 2016: 104). This is enacted and reproduced in its most intense form in the liturgy in which the sacrifice of the sinless Christ redeems the world. Liturgy, understood in this manner, manifests and enacts an effective mode of reconciliation and so functions as a causal agent of individual and social change.

David Martin’s theory of secularisation


Expanding the horizon of secularisation Whilst his 1978 A General Theory of Secularization had only dealt with religion under its Christian ethos, institutions, and beliefs, his 2005 On Secularization. Towards a Revised General Theory, broadened this understanding of religion. Here, he uses the idea of multiple pathways of the secular and the religious and proposes five major global metanarratives as live options for the twenty-first century: liberal secularism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, and Pentecostalism (Martin 2005: 152). This represents an important development in Martin’s work as it takes his earlier theory of secularisation beyond the confines of Europe (including Russia) and North America. This entry into reflection on global patterns of secular and religious development also represents a further departure from the so-called ‘standard model’ of secularisation (Martin 2005: 123). Whilst in earlier accounts of secularisation the dominant presupposition that Martin’s work was combatting was the assumption that secularisation was an inevitable process that led in the singular direction of world-historical development, by his 2005 On Secularization, Martin is expounding his original theory in a context in which the assumption of a singular direction to world-historical development had been already significantly undermined (Casanova 1994: 11–39). In this new context, the notion of plural patterns of modernisation in a global world had gained traction in the academy that in the 1970s was not the case. Moreover, in On Secularization, he also articulated four chronological patterns of evangelisation or ‘successive Christianizations’ that were overlapping, two Catholic and two Protestant, which further departs from the classical secularisation theories that relied upon a unilateral process that directly and absolutely correlated modernisation and secularisation (Martin 2005: 3–7). In this second account, the Catholic Christianisations pass firstly through the conversion of the monarchs, which leads to mass conversion of the people and then through a second phase in which the medieval religious orders, such as the Franciscan and Dominican friars, move out into the cities and convert the urban masses directly. The Protestant Christianisations pass firstly through the Lutheran impulse of intending to democratise the notion of vocation from the exclusive realm of the monastic orders to the universalisation of the ‘priesthood of all believers’, to the second phase in which evangelical and pietistic sub-cultures are formed. Through Martin’s account of these successive patterns of missionary incursion of the Christian faith into the secular realm a key notion is articulated that will resurface in his later work, Ruin and Restoration, namely, that the attempt to universalise Christianity in any particular society always comes up against losses or costs in the purity of the message. In the case of Catholicism these costs tend to be in the areas of compromise with earthly powers such as the monarchs, in the case of Protestantism these costs tend towards collusion with nation states. In both cases, Christian missionary expansion to whole populations falls prey to what Martin refers to as the

20 Anthony Carroll ‘dialectic of faith and nature’ (Martin 2005: 3–7). This theme, already present in germ since his earliest work on pacifism, lies behind the suggestive phrase used in his 2015 article, ‘With and Against the Grain of “the World”’ (Martin 2015: 159–175), and forms the core structuring idea of his Ruin and Restoration. Namely, that whilst individuals may be able to at least approximate to the perfection and full realisation of the Gospel in their lives this runs against ‘the grain of the world’ at the social level, which naturally separates ‘us’ out from ‘them’ (Taylor 2016: vii). Consequently, attempts of the church, of whichever variety, to take full control of society will always fall prey to this dialectic in history and unilateral assimilations of secular society to Christianization will always betray the true spirit of the Gospel in one way or another. This is why Martin’s theory of secularisation is now better understood as a ‘socio-theological’ account of the plural ways in which the always incomplete but ever present interpenetration, or as he calls it ‘alignment’, of the Kingdom of God with the world in history, is empirically and historically detected using the overlapping disciplines of sociology, theology, and history (Martin 2016: 17). Primarily engaging with the work of Ernst Troeltsch, Max Weber, Karl Jaspers, and Reinhold Niebuhr, he makes explicit the overlapping narrative and historically contingent character of both sociology and theology as well as their respective ‘ideological loadings’ (Martin 2016: 5). Few contemporary social theorists have both the breadth of interest of this new form of interdisciplinary endeavour and the depth of knowledge to bring it off so successfully. But Martin is certainly one of them and so in outlining his theory of secularisation, this article also sketches the contours of the emergence of new disciplinary boundaries delineated by the concept of ‘socio-theology’.3 The evolution of a theory As Martin’s theory has evolved over fifty years it is unsurprising that much has changed both within his own theory and also in the world during this time. Consequently, it is useful in sketching his theory to trace its evolution in the various contexts in which it has developed and to highlight the debates and institutional locations within which his ideas have been situated. In this light it is interesting to note that his initial theory of secularisation evolved through the correction of a genuine mistake. In his 1965 article ‘Towards Eliminating the Concept of Secularization’, the final sentence of that article, ‘Secularization should be erased from the sociological dictionary’ (Martin 1965b: 182), was added, as indeed was the first sentence, because the editor said that the article fizzled out and should really go out with a bang!4 Martin now considers his responding to the editor’s request to light a firework at the beginning and the end of this article, to have been a genuine mistake.5 Rather than definitively wanting to erase the concept from the sociological dictionary (Martin 1965b: 182), his actual intention was not as the modified opening sentence of the article would also suggest that, ‘This is a work

David Martin’s theory of secularisation


of “demolition”’ (Martin 1965b: 169), but rather it was much more tentative than these ‘theoretical pyrotechnics’ would imply. His real purpose in this article was to show that the misuses of the concept of secularisation had led to a cul-de-sac in the sociology of religion. His actual intention was therefore not simply deconstructive, of wanting to expunge a word, but rather, it was much more reconstructive in that he wanted to open up pathways to progress in the sociology of religion (Martin 1965b: 169). As he says in the introductory comments of his 1978 A General Theory of Secularization, he ‘intended to open a debate rather than to banish a word’ (Martin 1978: viii). As ‘Towards Eliminating’ makes clear, he also wanted to avoid the teleological assumption of religious decline and rather to view theories of secularisation as a way to refer, ‘to similar processes in relation to institutions having at least some common characteristics’ (Martin 1965b: 175). Continuing, he further comments, ‘Thus having been forced away from a definition in terms of certain characteristics towards a definition based on usage, the examination of usage forces one back towards precisely the sort of definition originally rejected’ (Martin 1965b: 175). This dialectical requirement of a functional definition for an essentialist definition is earlier clarified, when he says, ‘the only useful employment of the concept of secularization requires that religion is designated in terms of particular modes of thinking and acting rather than in terms derived from usage’ (Martin 1965b: 175). In this 1965 article, he implicitly draws upon Émile Durkheim’s definition of the sacred (‘A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and surrounded by prohibitions – beliefs and practices that unite its adherents in a single moral community called a church’) (Durkheim 2008: 46), and Max Weber’s religious typology of ‘world relations’ (Weber 1988: 536–573) in his own methodological and ontological position.6 His proposal is dialectical in that it both rejects and affirms conventional and analytic definitions of religion in his use of the notion of the ‘Kingdom of God’. This is variously manifested in the ‘Catholic’ conventional usage of the term ‘religion’, namely, the social role played by religious institutions (Martin 1965b: 169–174), and the Protestant conventions of understanding religion as individual belief, sola fide, sola scriptura, sola gratia. Secularisation understood through the empirical trends of historically inflected patterns of the manifestation of the Kingdom of God is never completely graspable in any conceptual schema, Protestant or Catholic, and indeed religious or secular in history. In other words, Martin holds to the eschatological reserve also at the conceptual level of theorisation analogically expressed in biblical passages such as the Weeds and the Wheat/Tares. Nevertheless, he holds that the terrain is sufficiently circumscribed to make general theoretical claims about secularisation as both the ‘already here’ and ‘still yet to come’ dialectical patterns of the interpenetration of the Kingdom of God and the world (Martin 2016: 8–23). He is thus thoroughly dialectical in his understanding of religion and secularisation understood as the various ways in which the Kingdom of God is

22 Anthony Carroll sociologically manifest in history already at this early stage of his theory of secularisation: Catholic (institutional); Protestant (individual); Durkheimian ‘unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things’; and Weberian typologies of world rejection and world flight (asceticism and mysticism). The new departure in Ruin and Restoration is his attempt to formulate a socio-theological answer to the theodicy (moral) question for our times (namely, the suffering of the innocent) by developing a non-teleological approach to secularisation, which extends his former rejection of existentialisttheological secular theologies to a full-blown rejection of the providential view that God ‘micro-manages history’ (Martin 2016: 104). This marks a significant shift from his earlier work, and as he himself says, as an Anglican priest this, ‘makes preaching rather difficult!’,7 and indeed is causing him a considerable degree of perturbation.8 Whilst this recent work can be viewed as a new departure, in focussing on empirical and historically inflected features, his general theory of secularisation was already constructed in such a way as to avoid unhelpful dogmatism, and it limited itself to specifying the circumstances in which various developments tended to occur. Teleological irreversibility was never a characteristic of David Martin’s general theory of secularisation. As he puts it, ‘certain “general” processes in modern society are funnelled through varied patterns which alter their form, colour, pace, and detailed impact. The book which is shortly to follow contains varied commentaries on these broad processes and particular patterns’ (Martin 1978: viii). His desire to remove teleological narratives from the investigation of processes of secularisation was his attempt to purify secularisation theory of its secular and theological-teleological implications, which embodied an implicit philosophy of history, and which he saw as motivating theories of secularisation in different disciplinary domains, secular-sociological and secular-theological, during the 1960s.9 Moreover, unlike his secular and Marxist colleagues at the LSE, David Martin was very aware of the popular ‘secular theology’ of the time, in the work of people such as Harvey Cox and his The Secular City, 1965, and the Anglican Bishop of Woolwich John A. T. Robinson’s Honest to God, 1963 (that argued for a secular theology rooted in the existentialist theology of Paul Tillich in which God is considered to be the ‘ground of being’ and was supportive of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Religion-less Christianity) (Martin 1965b: 180). Martin’s own theory of secularisation was also intended to advance a critique of these existential theological teleologies, as he thought they were both destructive and unrealistic theories of Christianity. At the same time, he was convinced by sociology that the transcendent required some concrete form of institutional embodiment and so any attempt to de-institutionalise Christianity was counter-productive and merely utopian. As a sociologist, he understood institutions to provide ideas with social purchase on reality and without this institutional support, free-floating ideas

David Martin’s theory of secularisation


would have little social influence. Furthermore, his energetic attempts to save the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible in the Anglican liturgy (Martin 2002a: 127–134), bear witness to this concern that with the losing of these traditional forms of language, music, ecclesiastical order, and ritual, there was a tendency to un-anchor emotionalism, a danger he was well aware of from his non-conformist background, and which was potentially destabilising of the ecclesial and indeed social order (Martin 2013: 161–177). The aesthetic anchoring of our emotional lives in the structuring forms of these liturgical rites is a motif which he has repeated in his analyses of music, spatial geography and architecture. Translating his theory of secularisation in spatial terms, he adopts the motif of secularisation understood as the ‘spatialisation of time’ also spoken about in the work of thinkers such as John Milbank (Milbank 1990), and picks up on the etymological meaning of saeculum as that which belongs to a period of time and will not take part in the age to come of Christ’s universal kingship (Markus 2006: 14). Moreover, it allows Martin the possibility to develop ideas originating in the work of Edward Shils and his distinction between centre and periphery (Martin 1978: 78). He uses Shils’s idea to depict Christianity as a religion of protest that arises on the margins of society in Galilee opposing the imperial centre and powerhouse of Rome based in Jerusalem (Martin 2002a: 97). Using these spatial and architectural categories, Martin depicts relations of power between religious and secular spheres through analysis of the urban geography of capital cities such as London, Paris, and Berlin, and peripheral cities such as Liverpool, Strasbourg, and Munich (Martin 2014: 203–260, 2002a: 95–122). His interest in music also draws on motifs of power and dominance through tracing the changing nature of the dialectic of the sacred-profane as a means to represent the polarity of legitimation and protest in church and society (Martin 2002a: 45–81). Moreover, in his recent work, he investigates the place of music and poetry in the liturgy since the advent of modernism as a means to embody the eschatological hope and vision which prefigures the final reconciliation promised in Christianity (Martin 2016: 81–98).10 The presence of sacred music in modernism further supports Martin’s thesis that the process of secularisation is not unilinear but complex and dialectical involving multiple incursions and fusions of one sphere into the other.11 In liturgy, the creative and destructive forces of human relations are celebrated and an eschatological reconciliation enacted and reproduced through the rhythms of the liturgical calendar. In liturgy, Martin finds a space of encounter between the social ruin of violence endemic in the world and the promise of restoration materialised in religion. At a time of such ‘fragmentation’ and ‘dislocation’, Martin finds it unsurprising that modernity has preserved a nostalgia for liturgy even when it is not fully conscious of why this is the case (Martin 2016: 81–98).12 In thinking through the ambivalence of these relations between religion and modernity, Martin was influenced by the great Protestant theologian

24 Anthony Carroll Reinhold Niebuhr (Martin 2016: 5). Niebuhr’s view of secularisation theory was that it embodied its own mythic utopia and Martin developed this theme in his critique of ‘classical’ secularisation theory in the essays collected in the 1969 The Religious and the Secular (Martin 1969). Martin, like Niebuhr, had undergone a conversion from a religiously grounded pacifism to a Christian realism which was critical of utopian attempts to sidestep the violent ruptures ineluctably present within the world. He came to believe that such religiously inspired ways of ‘opting out’ or of ‘withdrawing’ from the complexities of the world represented ineffectual utopian strivings and that they were irresponsible ways of dealing with reality. Niebuhr helped Martin to see that utopianism in either secular or religious forms could not deal with the violence of the world and it would be this impulse that led him towards a critique of teleological theories (Martin 2013: 217–242). Primarily, his theory of secularisation embodies a critique of three teleological theories of modern history: the Enlightenment rationalist version, the Marxist version, and existentialist theological version (Martin 1965b: 169). Having read Karl Popper’s Poverty of Historicism early in his career (Martin 2013: 128), he had a general objection to teleological versions of history, which were so interesting to his Marxist colleagues at the LSE. As his Marxist colleagues said to him, they believed that he was ‘studying the vanishing smile on the Cheshire cat’ (Martin 2013: 127–128), in doing the sociology of religion (that’s to say, he taught a subject that had no subject matter!). This is why, at the start of his General Theory, he comments, alluding to the pressures of his own institutional location at the LSE, that, ‘A general theory such as is outlined need not pronounce on such questions as the epiphenomenal character of religion’ (Martin 1978: 1). In avoiding taking a stance on the positions which considered religion to be merely epiphenomenal, Martin skilfully side-stepped the critique of his Marxist colleagues at the LSE as to the causal irrelevance of religion in providing an explanation of historical change and rather, he concentrated on the less controversial empirical effects, as they were historically inflected. A final influence was vital to the evolution of Martin’s general theory of secularisation, namely, the Catholic research in the mainly Franco-Belgian tradition which offered him considerable empirical material in journals such as Social Compass and the Archives de Sociologie des Religions. This material allowed him to depict the very different variable consequences of these effects as they were historically inflected. It was precisely these different variable consequences which were of particular interest to Martin. He arrived at an understanding of the effects of these variable consequences through reading French history, as this allowed him to see that there was a different secularisation history unfolding in French history as compared with English history (Martin 2007: 139). He notes that this contrast between French and English patterns of secularisation, ‘led me to assume from the start that data would be inflected by specific histories of all the different countries examined, and these histories

David Martin’s theory of secularisation


I reduced to a basic set, above all the difference between Protestant and Catholic societies. Secularisation is filtered by history’ (Martin 2007: 139). He linked this idea of an ‘inflection by specific histories’ with the French philosopher and historian Élie Halévy, who sought to explain the contrast between England and France, with respect to violent social change in France and peaceful change in England, in terms of the role of Evangelicalism and Methodism in diverting or preventing a revolutionary overturning of the social order in England as compared with the constant overturning of the social order in France; a switching backwards and forwards between a return to the old regime and a setting up of the new revolutionary world from around 1792 onwards (Martin 1962: 1–14, 2014: 22–23). For Halévy, Methodism was the English antidote to French Jacobinism (Itzkin 1975; Walsh 1975). This contrast was supplemented by a third contrast, namely with the United States, which he thought had a very different variant of the English version of secularisation that depended upon the separation of the church and the state. So, in broad terms, we can summarise the variable patterns in his General Theory as: in France it was the church versus the state; in England it was the church and state in an evolutionary collusion; and in the United States it was the separation of church and state. This framework provided Martin with an explanation for how, in the American case, the Enlightenment could be reconciled with Christianity, whereas in France it could not (Berger et al. 2008). The oppositional stance, which had developed historically in France, was circumvented in the United States by a clear demarcation between the religious and secular domains as enshrined in both the ‘Establishment Clause’ and the ‘Free Exercise Clause’ in the American Constitution. Both of these clauses protect the freedom of religion in the United States Constitution by stopping the state establishing a religion and protecting the rights of the individual to choose their own religious beliefs and to practice their religion respectively. In outlining these plural patterns of secularisation, Martin inaugurated a much more nuanced reading of secularisation theory and connected his work to the ideas of theorists such as Karl Jaspers and later Robert Bellah on the Axial Age, Shmuel Eisenstadt working on ‘multiple modernities’, and José Casanova on the ‘de-privatization’ of religion (Martin 2014: 23–24, 2016: 5). Displaying family resemblances with these other thinkers and their ideas, Martin’s own theory of secularisation has taken its place in the interdisciplinary research on religion and patterns of societal and cultural change that now sets the agenda for future research in these areas. These are the central elements and the inner logic of the structuring framework of David Martin’s theory of secularisation. Other elements in David Martin’s general theory of secularisation Martin also had to build in some other elements to his general theory such as the analogues of the English situation in Scandinavia (Martin 1978: 33–36,

26 Anthony Carroll 65–69, 73–74). Here, he observed a church-state collusion in Scandinavia, which resulted in a high rate of identification with the church but a low level of practice. This differed from Britain in that it did not have major dissent. Dissent in Scandinavia was actually quite minor, it showed itself in the concept of ‘personal religion’, and consequently it mostly occurred inside the Scandinavian churches (Martin 1978: 23). The next element that he factored into his general theory was situations in which there were two major confessions, as in Holland, Switzerland, and in Germany (Martin 1978: 20, 113–119). Here he asked the question about what the effects were of having a strong and dominant Protestant elite with a significant Catholic sector in the society. This produced another set of possibilities in which Catholicism might emerge as the ‘carrier of the future’ in the sense that it might emerge as the group which was fighting for its place within the wider social order and so have a more likely chance of survival (Martin 2005: 143–144). The other major element, he called ‘communist over-printing’ (Martin 1978: 135–140). This was meant to cover those sets of countries which had been overrun by communism and were subjected to communist re-socialisation. In the case of this ‘communist over-printing’ element, his problem was to work out why this resocialisation worked in different ways in these countries. He saw from his research how it had been maximally successful in Estonia and the Czech Republic and minimally successful in Romania and Poland. As a consequence, his use of the broad category of ‘Russian’ or ‘communist over-printing’ was further inflected by its variable effects on different Christian denominations. He did this through asking the questions of why it was that Catholicism was easily subordinated in the Czech Republic and Lutheranism easily subordinated in Estonia, whereas in Poland and Romania the various denominational subordinations somehow did not happen. Moreover, he also concluded that the French pattern was partially repeated in the countries of southern Latin Europe and that another version of this had emerged in Latin America (Martin 1978: 122–140). This mutation of the French radical versus the Catholic pattern, which was so central to the French pattern, was further supplemented by another mutation. This was the Spanish version, which had reproduced itself throughout Latin America (Martin 1978: 248–260). So, in effect, Latin Europe had an echo in the whole of Latin America (Martin 1990: 3). It was this latter Spanish version which he used to investigate the extraordinary growth of Evangelical Protestantism, or Pentecostalism in Latin America in his 1993 Tongues of Fire. The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America and his 2002 Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. In Tongues of Fire, Martin broke new ground in charting the extraordinary growth of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity in Latin America (Martin 2017: Chapter 8). The rise in conservative Protestantism had been little noticed at the time that Martin published his results, and he distinguished three waves of cultural-revolution brought about by Protestantism, namely, the Puritan, the Methodist, and the

David Martin’s theory of secularisation


focus of his study in Latin America, Pentecostalism. This continued Martin’s analysis of patterns of secularisation by illustrating how initially separate patterns of Protestant and Catholic modernisation had crossed over one another and produced a new moment in modern history in Latin America (Martin 1990: 3). It marks a further decisive break with unilinear and universal models of secularisation that saw ‘all Catholic societies as prefigured by France and all Protestant societies as prefigured by Sweden’ (Martin 1990: 4). In this work, Martin took a decisive step towards decoupling secularisation theory from its European origins and points towards a crossing of the ‘Anglo’ and ‘Hispanic’ patterns that continue to have enormous global significance (Martin 1990: 293–295). In Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish, Martin extends the argument of Tongues of Fire to a global analysis including Africa and Asia. This prefigures his development of a socio-theological analysis by paying particular attention to the connections between theology and strivings for social advancement that occur in the spiritual agency of Pentecostalists. In providing a voice to the voiceless, Pentecostalism acts as a theological source of social agency, which Martin’s account attempts to interpret from within the imagery of the participants in the process. This transformative process has both individual and social repercussions which, for Martin, can only be understood when one interprets them on sociological, historical, and theological levels (Martin 2002b: 167–176). In subjecting secularisation theory to this interdisciplinary approach Martin has opened a new chapter in attempts to better understand the changing and multi-faceted dynamics of religions and secularisation in the modern world.

Conclusion There is no doubt that David Martin’s theory has reoriented how we think about secularisation and the socio-theological effects of religion in different societies. Whilst former traditional theories of secularisation had posited a direct and unilinear correlation between secularisation and modernisation, Martin has helpfully muddied the waters. Rather than presupposing onedirectional developments patterned on a European standard model, Martin has allowed the religious and secular dynamics of other continents to come to the fore and also complexified the internal dynamics within European societies. His work has undermined the ‘one size fits all’ approach of much former standard and dominant theorisation about secularisation patterns and provided us with much more nuanced accounts of how different societies undergo social and religious evolution. Through articulating the sociological significance, in its empirical tendencies and historical inflections, of the interpenetration of religion, understood as the Kingdom of God, in the world in its chiliastic and eschatological dimensions under the new historical conditions of modernity, he has reconstructed secularisation theory in what we might call a ‘post-teleological’ direction. In

28 Anthony Carroll common with thinkers such as Charles Taylor, Robert Bellah and Shmuel Eisenstadt, Martin has taken the modern unilinear discourse of modernity and subjected it to the plurality and historically differentiated contexts of particular regional, national, and international pathways (Martin 1996). As well as these socio-historical innovations, Martin has also succeeded in bringing the comparative historical sociology of religion into deep and intimate dialogue with theology and the Axial Age paradigm of religious enquiry.13 Convinced of the interconnections between these disciplines, when appropriately considered as operating on different linguistic levels, Martin’s work now points in the direction of a new disciplinary alliance between sociology and theology coined in his concept of ‘socio-theology’, which affords the possibility of ‘mutual enrichment rather than mutual destruction’ (Martin 1980b: 58). Adopting the Weberian and Axial Age notion of transcendence as a form of ‘rejection of the world’, he has developed the idea that in Christianity and Buddhism a unique ‘angle of transcendence’ has emerged in which non-violent ways of thinking and living have entered into a world which is ineluctably conditioned by the violent struggle for scarce resources. Realistic and yet hopeful, Martin offers the notion of ‘peaceable wisdom’ as a third option that mediates between the binary choices of radical eschatology and brute reality. It is above all in moments of liturgical celebration that we glimpse this third option of ‘peaceable wisdom’. Embracing reality in all its cruelty and brutality, liturgy nevertheless succeeds in opening a window on the healing of atonement which permeates history like a hidden mustard seed (Martin 2016: 58). This glimmer of hope in ultimate reconciliation is crucial in a modernity which is fragmented and seemingly bent on ushering in its own versions, religious and secular, of the violent eschatological foreclosure of history (Martin 2011: 207–209). At the same time as these theoretical innovations, he has grounded his theory in a study of empirical tendencies associated with different Christian denominations and indeed different religions. Moreover, in liberating secularisation theory from its necessarily teleological philosophy of history structure, he has allowed for a theorisation of historical contingencies which characterise the normative conditions of modernity, through it values of freedom, justice, and peace. In decoupling both theological and social scientific theorisation from such deterministic teleologies, Martin has, and with some perturbation, accepted the radical contingency of the evolution of religion, and hence of the Kingdom of God in history. It is precisely because he has provided us with such a sophisticated combination of empirical detail together with an extraordinarily rich theoretical vision that we are privileged to be students and interlocutors with David Martin’s theory of secularisation.

Notes 1 His early experience of revivalism in Methodism and of his father’s preaching in Hyde Park are well documented in Martin (2013), and they provide interesting biographical material to understand the origins of his later theories of

David Martin’s theory of secularisation


3 4 5 6 7 8


10 11


Pentecostalism and radical forms of religiosity. See, for example, Martin (2013: 15, 33–35); and Martin (2016: 107). David Martin’s private reading of theology and biblical criticism between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four, especially Albert Schweitzer, helped to shift him away from the revivalism of his parents. Though, he was very careful to ensure that this development was discrete and did not offend the sensibilities of his parents. However, it is important to underline the influence of hymns on his own intellectual formation in theology and on his own emotional development as a young man. As a fine keyboard player, a skill which he used in playing church music in various parishes that he attended, music was and remains of great importance to him. The hymns by Symonds and Bax were in the 1933 Methodist hymn book, which contained over 900 hymns, which Martin knew intimately. However, these hymns were not at all Methodist, but rather they helped to open out the young Martin to other forms of spirituality. The presence of many hymns by the Wesley’s also helped to introduce Martin into the classical Evangelical theology, which was very different from the revivalism of his home background with its simple choruses. These hymns provided a pathway towards a high Methodism, represented by Charles Wesley’s Eucharistic hymns, which were rooted in Anglican and Roman Catholic traditions. Such musical connections were vital for Martin’s intellectual formation in theology and through association, but not membership, of the Methodist Sacramental Fellowship, led him towards a scholarly form of Methodism, exemplified by the Caroline divines such as William Law and Jeremy Taylor. No less important in this regard was his introduction to the importance of Lutheran theology on Methodism. But at the same time as this great attraction to the classic hymnody of the Wesley’s, Martin gravitated towards seventeenth-century English poetry, especially the metaphysical poets, John Donne, George Herbert, and Henry Vaughan. These seventeenth-century poets, together with his reading of T. S. Eliot, brought Martin into contact with a high Anglicanism that reinforced his already Eucharistic Methodism. Through acquaintance with Pascal, his theology came to be informed by both the misery and the glory of man, a theme which has surfaced again in his work on liturgy, Ruin and Restoration. For earlier attempts by Martin to bring sociology and theology into a constructive dialogue, see Martin (1980a, 1980b, 1997, 2002a). Noted in a conversation with David Martin on 20 June 2016. At the time of writing this article, David Martin was a junior lecturer which made it very difficult to resist the suggestions of the editor, Julius Gould. For a summary and interpretation of Weber’s Zwischenbetrachtung (‘Intermediate Reflections’), see Carroll (2007: 107–123). Noted in a conversation with David Martin on 20 June 2016. This raises the theological issue of just how one should understand the relation of God’s action to the unfolding events of human history. In decoupling this relation in this way, Martin follows in the tradition of one reading of St. Augustine’s City of God, which sees the ‘two cities’ as intermingled but proceeding according to very different inherent logics. On various interpretations of St. Augustine’s City of God, see Williams (2016: Chapter 5). Karl Popper’s critique of deterministic teleological readings of history is an important source for Martin in his own attempts at the LSE to carve out alternative readings to those of his Marxist colleagues at the time. See Martin (2016: 107); and Martin (2013: 128). For his consideration of secularisation in poetry, see his forthcoming Martin (2019). Martin had initially wanted to study music as a young man. It was indirectly through being rejected to study music at University and at the Royal Academy of Music that inadvertently a career in sociology opened up for him.

30 Anthony Carroll 12 One can detect this nostalgia in a thinker such as Jürgen Habermas, see his reflections on a secular funeral in Habermas (2010: 15–23). 13 On the importance of theology for David Martin’s sociology, see Martin, Bernice (2001: 203–224). On David Martin’s theology itself, see Martin, Jessica (2001: 138–150).

References Berger, Peter, Grace Davie and Effie Fokas 2008, Religious America, Secular Europe? A Theme and Variations, New Edition, Abingdon, Taylor and Francis. Carroll, Anthony J. 2007, Protestant Modernity: Weber, Secularisation and Protestantism, Scranton, University of Scranton Press. Casanova, José 1994, Public Religions in the Modern World, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press. Durkheim, Émile 2008, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, edited by Mark S. Cladis and translated by Carol Cosman, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Habermas, Jürgen 2010, An Awareness of What Is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular Age, Cambridge, Polity Press. Itzkin, Elissa S. 1975, ‘The Halévy Thesis: A Working Hypothesis? English Revivalism: Antidote for Revolution and Radicalism 1789–1815’, in: Church History, 44, 1: 47–56. Joas, Hans 2003, War and Modernity, Cambridge, Polity Press. Markus, Robert 2006, Christianity and the Secular, Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press. Martin, Bernice 2001, ‘Restoring Intellectual Day: Theology and Sociology in the Work of David Martin’, in: Andrew Walker and Martin Percy (eds.), Restoring the Image: Essays on Religion and Society in Honour of David Martin, Sheffield, Sheffield Academic Press: 203–224. Martin, David 1962, ‘The Denomination’, in: British Journal of Sociology, 13, 1, March: 1–14. Martin, David 1965a, Pacifism: A Historical and Sociological Survey, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul. Martin, David 1965b, ‘Towards Eliminating the Concept of Secularization’, in: Julius Gould (ed.), Penguin Survey of the Social Sciences, London, Penguin. Martin, David 1969, The Religious and the Secular: Studies in Secularization, New York, Schocken Books. Martin, David 1978, A General Theory of Secularization, New York, Harper and Row Publishers. Martin, David 1980a, The Breaking of the Image: A Sociology of Christian Theory and Practice, Oxford, Blackwell. Martin, David 1980b, ‘The Sociological Mode and the Theological Vocabulary’, in: David Martin, John Orme Mills, and W.S.F. Pickering (eds.), Sociology and Theology: Alliance and Conflicts, Brighton, Harvester Press: 46–58. Martin, David 1990, Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America, Oxford, Blackwell. Martin, David 1996, ‘Religion, Secularization, and Post-Modernity: Lessons from the Latin American Case’, in: Pål Repstad (ed.), Religion and Modernity: Modes of Co-Existence, Oslo, Scandinavian University Press: 35–43. Martin, David 1997, Reflections on Sociology and Theology, Oxford, Clarendon Press.

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Martin, David 2002a, Christian Language in the Secular City, Aldershot, Ashgate. Martin, David 2002b, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish, Oxford, Blackwell. Martin, David 2005, On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory, Aldershot, Ashgate. Martin, David 2007, ‘What I Really Said about Secularisation’, in: Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 46, 2, Summer: 139–152. Martin, David 2011, The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization, Aldershot, Ashgate. Martin, David 2013, The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist, London, SPCK. Martin, David 2014, Religion and Power: No Logos without Mythos, Aldershot, Ashgate. Martin, David 2015, ‘Sociology and Theology: With and Against the Grain of “the World”’, in: Implicit Religion, 18, 2: 159–175. Martin, David 2016, Ruin and Restoration: On Violence, Liturgy and Reconciliation, London, Routledge. Martin, David 2017, Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion, London, Routledge. Martin, David 2019 (forthcoming), Christianity and the World: Secularisation Narratives through the Lens of English Poetry 800 AD to the Present Time. Eugene, OR, Cascade Books. Martin, Jessica 2001, ‘Reason Delivered in Sweet Language: Image and Argument in the Theology of David Martin’, in: Andrew Walker and Martin Percy (eds.), Restoring the Image: Essays on Religion and Society in Honour of David Martin, Sheffield, Sheffield Academic Press: 138–150. Milbank, John 1990, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason, Oxford, Blackwell. Taylor, Charles 2016, ‘Foreword’, in: David Martin (ed.), Ruin and Restoration: On Violence, Liturgy and Reconciliation, London, Routledge: vi–xiii. Walsh, John D. 1975, ‘Elie Halévy and the Birth of Methodism’, in: Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th Series, 25: 1–20. Weber, Max 1988, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie, vol. 1, edited by Marianne Weber, Tübingen, J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck). Williams, Rowan 2016, On Augustine, London, Bloomsbury.


Revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core David Martin on general processes, basic patterns and causal mechanisms of differentiation between religion and politics1 Matthias Koenig

1. Introduction “Secularization should be erased from the sociological dictionary”, or so David Martin suggested in a famous article (1969 [1965b]: 22), which marks the beginning of an entire wave of criticism aimed at the theory of secularization. The theory was criticized for being premised upon ill-founded dichotomies of the religious and the secular, for being informed by nineteenthcentury narratives of human progress, for being inherently linked to ideological projects of various kinds – in short, for being a myth itself (see e.g. Glasner 1977; Luckmann 1980; Ausmus 1982). Charles Taylor (2007) has prominently suggested that conventional theories of secularization are so intricately linked with the epochal self-understanding of modernity that they are ill-placed to explain how cultural transformations have historically altered the place of religion in contemporary societies. Even former proponents of secularization theory have joined the choir of critics, citing contemporary religious vitality in almost all places – except Europe – as evidence for what they call “de-secularization” (see Berger 1999). Yet despite all these attacks, the concept of secularization seems far from being erased from the sociological dictionary. Just consider the enormous attention given to Taylor’s own narrative of the “secular age”, which shows that some notion of secularization seems inescapable in coming to terms with modernity. Or consider Berger’s recent account of the “pluralist age” which, upon closer scrutiny, restitutes some of his earlier assumptions about the emergence of thoroughly secularized social sectors in modernity (Berger 2014). Indeed, Martin himself, notwithstanding his devastating critique of the concept, has on various occasions prominently contributed to revising and refining secularization theory. As a matter of fact, sociological debates have moved far beyond the simplistic subtraction stories which continue serving as strawman in much of the critical literature, not least by acknowledging the multi-dimensional character inherent to the concept of secularization (for review see Tschannen 1991).

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Drawing on Casanova’s (1994) well-known distinction of three dimensions or components of secularization, recent sociological debates can be summarized as having proceeded in three rounds (see Koenig and Wolf 2013). The first round concerned the thesis that the transition to modernity necessarily entailed a decline in religious beliefs and practices. That thesis was criticized by Thomas Luckmann (1991 [1967]) for being premised on an impoverished notion of religion, ignoring the multiple ways in which individual experiences of transcendence – an anthropological constant on his account – are symbolically articulated in modern society. Luckmann’s theory of “invisible religion” does agree, however, with secularization theory to the extent that it assumes that modernity entailed the de-institutionalization of religious beliefs. That assumption was challenged by proponents of the so-called new religious economics, arguing that dynamics of churching and unchurching were an effect of variable supply structures for meeting otherwise stable religious demands rather than being a corollary of modernization (e.g. Stark 1999). The second round in the secularization debate took issue with the proposition that religion had become structurally privatized in modern society. Casanova’s (1994) argument about the re-entry of religion into the public spheres of modern liberal democracies has set the agenda for this debate, demonstrating the continuous appeal of religion as a resource of solidarity, moral values, and political protest. Both the first and the second round in the secularization debate left largely intact another component of secularization theory, namely the assumption that modernity entailed the functional differentiation of religion from other social systems. There is in fact a large consensus, among proponents and critics alike, that differentiation constitutes the paradigmatic core of secularization theory (Tschannen 1991; Casanova 1994). It is precisely this assumption of functional differentiation that the third round in the secularization debate has called into question. Conceptually, it has been suggested by Talal Asad (1999: 179), and later conceded by Casanova (2006), that dropping the privatization thesis logically entails dropping the differentiation thesis altogether. Descriptively, it has been highlighted that modernity has not only entailed processes of differentiation, but also of de-differentiation as evinced notably by the close coupling of state, nation, and religion in the confessional age (Gorski 2000). Furthermore, modernity is now regarded as giving rise to quite variable patterns of differentiation between religion and politics as a burgeoning literature on multiple secularities within and beyond the West aptly suggests (Katznelson and Jones 2010: 20; see also Wohlrab-Sahr and Burchardt 2012). Analytically, finally, scholars have criticized the explanatory deficits of differentiation theory calling instead for more fine-grained analyses of the causal mechanisms and historical processes leading to variable patterns of differentiation (Gorski 2000). It is this third round in the secularization debate in the context of which I wish to engage with David Martin’s work. Repeatedly, Martin has endorsed


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the theory of differentiation, calling it the “viable core of secularization” (Martin 2005 [1995]: 17). Upon scrutiny, or so I argue, his oeuvre does make important, yet limited contributions to revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core. It does so by analyzing how general processes of differentiation are refracted through variable patterns or configurations of state, nation, and religion. Martin’s oeuvre thereby prepares the ground for a comparative-historical sociology of secularization, even though, as I shall also argue, it ultimately falls short of spelling out the causal mechanisms which underlie specific episodes of institutional change. In developing my argument, I proceed in three steps. I start by sketching what I see as the broader contours of Martin’s comparative-historical sociology of religion. Then, I reconstruct his general theory of secularization, focusing in particular on his explanatory account of differentiation and its variable patterns. Finally, I contrast Martin’s descriptive and explanatory account with recent efforts of identifying causal mechanisms of differentiation, understood as the core dimension of secularization.

2. Contours of a comparative-historical sociology of religion It is perhaps fair to say that David Martin’s variegated oeuvre – straddling as it does from polemic conceptual critiques, to abstract theoretical analyses, to macro- and micro-historical vignettes, to skillful interpretations of art and music, to liturgically embedded sermons – poses certain challenges for disciplined disciples of sociology. Yet, the intellectual sources of his sociological enterprise are quite easily discernable. It engages intensively with the writings of Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch, and H. Richard Niebuhr, and it is in their tradition that his enterprise of a comparative-historical sociology of (Christian) religion gains profile. In what follows, I shall sketch with broad strokes what I regard as the major conceptual contours of this ambitious enterprise. 2.1. Religion – forms of social organization and ideas of world rejection Perhaps the best entry point to understand the conceptual contours of Martin’s comparative-historical sociology of religion is his early work on pacifism (Martin 1965a). Motivated by a critical reflection about pacifist discourse in twentieth-century Britain, Martin embarks on a nuanced analysis of religious attitudes toward violence and war. For that purpose, he develops a conceptual framework which is far more general than the empirical research problem at hand and which underlies many of his later writings as well. That framework, operating at the levels of ideas and of institutions, allows analyzing religions in terms of both their social organizations and in terms of their attitudes toward the world.

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In terms of social organization, Martin draws upon Troeltsch’s wellknown typological distinction of church, sect, and mysticism, which had exerted a heavy influence upon the sociology of religion at the time (see notably Wilson 1961). He expands this typology in several respects. Thus, he conceptualizes religious orders as sect-like organizations within the church, while subsuming individualistic mysticism under the more general concept of cult and interpreting the concept of denomination, originally introduced by Niebuhr, not simply as a more developed stage of sects, but as a distinctive type of religious organization between church and sect (Martin 1965a: 4, 208–224). In terms of religious attitudes toward the world, Martin largely follows the distinction that Weber develops in his famous Zwischenbetrachtung where, after the treatment of Confucian acceptance of the world, he ideal-typically sketches the directions of world rejection as found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Weber 1988 [1923]). Martin’s crucial conceptual move is to link the types of social organization explicitly to the directions of world rejection inherent in different religions. Basic religious attitudes to the world, as it were, allowed for the emergence of a distinctive range of organizational types. For instance, while Confucianism as world-accepting religion generated only a church-like organization and Manichaean dualism only a passive sect, other salvation religions, Christianity among them, generated a larger variety of organizational types emphasizing distinctive aspects of the religious attitude to the world, respectively. Within Christianity, churches tended to compromise with the social realities of power and authority, whereas sects attempted to uphold the logic of world rejection in purest form (see also Martin 1965a: 21). Martin employs this analytical framework in Pacifism to understand religious positions vis-à-vis war and violence. His focus is on Christianity, which, seen in comparative perspective, is of particular interest in combining elements of world rejection with an acceptance of the world as God’s creation. In this context, the sectarian logic comes in two forms – in the form of pacifist retreat (as in the monastic tradition or, later, with Quakers) and in the form of sanctifying violence as a means to establish the heavenly kingdom on Earth (as in millenarian movements or, later, in revolutions). Protestant denominationalism, which (unlike the sect!) privileges individual conscience, as Martin shows with historical material from the British peace movement, was particularly important in generating opposition to war (Martin 1965a: 163). Martin’s conceptual framework displays obvious similarities with the Weberian research program on Axial Age civilizations as developed since the 1970s by Shmuel Eisenstadt and others (e.g. Eisenstadt 1982; Sharot 2001; Bellah 2011). That program, drawing on Karl Jaspers’s notion of the “Axial Age”, analyzes visions of transcendence as promulgated in Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which transformed political order, stratification systems, and collective identities and created new dynamics of social change. Similar to that program, Martin starkly


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distinguishes religions with transformative visions from “civic religion” as conceived in the Durkheimian tradition (Martin 1978b: 1). Moreover, he distinguishes them typologically in terms of directions of world rejection or of what he later calls their “angles of transcendence” (Martin 2016: 6). Finally, he accentuates the particular character of the Christian transformative vision by emphasizing its inherent potential for revolutionary breakthroughs and, thus, for bringing about modernity. Yet despite following the Weberian tradition, Martin does not fully execute its research program of a comparative historical sociology of religion. Throughout most of his writings, he focuses decidedly upon Christianity and its internal transformations – which brings me to the second point about the contours of his intellectual enterprise. 2.2. Epistemological premises – theology and sociology Martin’s oeuvre rests on epistemological premises that grant autonomous status to, and intimately link, the disciplines of theology and sociology. Both intellectual endeavors are autonomous in that theology hermeneutically reconstructs the transformative vision of faith, while sociology empirically analyzes the social world (Martin 2005: 7). The respective autonomy of both endeavors distinguishes Martin’s position both from the reductionist sociological accounts of religion, so sharply criticized by Taylor (2007), and from the self-secluded theological critiques of sociology as exposed by John Milbank (1990). Theology and sociology are, however, not only autonomous, respectively, they are also intimately interlinked in Martin’s oeuvre. It is precisely this interlinkage that in his view allows analyzing “the modes whereby faith inserts itself in society when it is a faith simultaneously accepting the goodness of the created order and strenuously seeking its transformation by an appeal to the Gospel” (Martin 2005: 7). Owing to these epistemological premises, Martin’s historical-comparative sociology of religion ultimately turns into a cultural sociology of Christianity. Understanding the Christian “symbolic logic” (Martin 2016: 8), with its dialectical tension with the world, lies indeed at the very core of his enterprise. It is also closely linked to his theory of secularization. Far from being a teleological master-process of modern history, secularization is part of the Christian dialectic or, more precisely, of “successive Christianization followed or accompanied by recoils”. In Martin’s own words: “Each Christianization is a salient of faith driven into the secular from a different angle, each pays a characteristic cost which affects the character of the recoil, and each undergoes a partial collapse into some version of ‘nature’” (Martin 2005: 3; see also Martin 2011: 6). Broadly speaking, Martin distinguishes four Christian incursions into the world. The first is the conversion of rural masses achieved through the conversion of kings in medieval times, a process that sets the stage for subsequent conflicts between church and state. The second is the conversion among urban masses by friars, which produced an increasing split between

Revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core


virtuosi and lay people. Building upon these incursions, third, the Protestant Reformation universalized the monastic ideal, thus creating confessions and nations in early modernity. In the contemporary period, fourth, evangelical awakenings, which lie at the center of Martin’s work on Pentecostalism in Latin America (e.g. Martin 1990), resulted in the creation of new religious sub-cultures. In each of these incursions, Christian belief leaves traces in the world without losing its inherent distance to the world. Given this Christian dialectic, it is the task of cultural sociology as envisioned by Martin to detect Christian language in contemporary culture. In fact, in his early critique of sociology, Martin claims that we all remain deeply embedded within a religious culture. “The influence of religion is more pervasive than we have been inclined to acknowledge. Fish it seems are barely aware that the element they swim in is water” (Martin 1969: 67). Martin’s historical sociology of music provides an apt illustration of how to execute the task of detecting Christian language in contemporary culture. In the conventional account, the history of music appeared as a process of increasing emancipation from religion, starting with church music, moving to court music, and reaching its climax in contemporary putatively secular music. Martin criticizes this narrative by showing that it employs inconsistent criteria, collapses different conceptual distinctions – e.g. religious versus secular settings of music; heteronomous versus autonomous purposes of music etc. – and thus overlooks the complex relationships which link the Christian message with music, statehood, and high and low cultures. On that account, the Renaissance, for instance, remained much more clearly within the ambiance of Christianity than the conventional narrative would suggest. Incidentally, Martin’s historical sociology of music foreshadows his emphasis on countryspecific trajectories, in which continental Catholic and Anglo-Protestant patterns of musical culture differ rather starkly (Martin 1969: 114). Martin’s interest in detecting the hidden Christian traces in contemporary culture bears some affinity with Charles Taylor’s (2007) monumental genealogy of secularity’s deep Christian roots. Not accidentally, both intellectual enterprises squarely center attention on hermeneutically reconstructing Christianity’s incursions into the world without embarking on broader cross-cultural comparisons. Yet, unlike Taylor, Martin does not fall victim to the culturalist fallacy for which Taylor has repeatedly been criticized (see Rosa 1998; Koenig 2011). For Martin, the autonomous standing of sociology actually pays tribute to the Eigenlogik of social reality – a reality, which for him essentially amounts to structures of authority, power, and violence. It is precisely at this sociological level of structure that his general theory of secularization operates.

3. Secularization as differentiation – processes and patterns While selectively focusing on Christianity, Martin has been among the first scholars in the sociology of religion to compare systematically the changing


Matthias Koenig

structural location of religion across various modern societies. Thus, covering a large number of cases in the North-Atlantic world, his General Theory of Secularization (1978a) provides a major step toward a comparative historical sociology of secularization. Not accidentally, its publication coincided with the so-called “second wave” of US American historical sociology, which eschewed structural-functionalist theories of modernization, emphasized historical contingency, and, in the spirit of Marx and Weber, regarded resource distribution and power relations as key factors of social change.2 To be sure, compared to that second wave, Martin remains more indebted to the “first wave” of historical sociology, which, represented by Seymour Martin Lipset, Stein Rokkan, and others, continued to draw upon structural functionalism at least to some extent. Thus, Martin regards the transition to modernity as characterized by an increasing differentiation of societal sectors or systems. Yet similar to the “second wave”, his comparative historical analysis does emphasize contingent constellations that are key to explain the variable trajectories of secularization. 3.1. Ambition, scope, and logic of Martin’s general theory of secularization That Martin moves beyond conventional narratives of secularization is apparent from the ambition, scope, and logic of his general theory. Its ambition is neither to rely on a speculative philosophy of history nor to reproduce an evolutionary theory, but rather to formulate an empirically grounded explanation of variable historical processes in the transition to modernity. Gorski and Altınordu (2008: 266) are quite correct in remarking that the very title of Martin’s book – A General Theory of Secularization – is in this respect slightly misleading. Unlike conventional narratives of secularization, Martin furthermore delineates very clearly the scope of his theory. He not only restricts his comparative analysis to Christianity, the cultural context of the initial “breakthrough” to modernity. He also focuses on those decisive historical moments when the transition to modernity first occured in a given setting and distinctive path-dependent trajectories emerged. As far as the logic of his general theory is concerned, Martin formulates hypotheses on how “universal processes” are refracted in “basic patterns”. As he writes in the earliest sketch towards a general theory: “certain ‘general’ processes in modern society are funnelled through varied patterns which alter their form, colour, pace and detailed impact” (Martin 1978a: viii). Universal or general processes are thus assumed as given and well established by previous sociological research; for instance, industry, proletariat, urbanization, and mobility are said to adversely affect religious institutions (Martin 1978a: 3), while the church is assumed to become differentiated both internally and vis-à-vis broader society. These universal processes, however, are refracted in distinctive historical trajectories whose basic patterns Martin sets out to explain in his general theory. Following Lipset and Rokkan,

Revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core


Martin finds key explanatory factors in “crucial events” or critical junctures, to use contemporary parlance in historical-comparative sociology. These critical junctures, including notably the Reformation settlements and, later, the Revolutions, produce basic patterns, which gain profile by their variable degrees of individualism, pluralism, and Calvinist salience, and which give rise to distinct trajectories of secularization in terms of the erosion of religious ethos, belief, and institutions. As should be noted, Martin’s account of basic patterns continuously oscillates between ideal-typical and real-typical analyses. On the one hand, he lays out macro-constellations that in ideal-typical, abstract, and generalized ways account for distinctive secularization paths. On the other hand, he assigns confessional, national, or regional proper names to such patterns – e.g. “Protestant”, “British”, or “Anglo” patterns. This conflation of ideal-typical pattern analysis with actual historical reconstruction creates problems to which I return further below. 3.2. The main argument of Martin’s theory of secularization In the more elaborated version of his general theory of secularization, Martin develops the following argument. In general, the transition process to modernity produces deep-seated cleavages, to use Rokkan’s terminology, and these in turn give rise to high potential for conflict and contestation. The depths of cleavages and the intensity of conflict, however, depend on a constellation of factors at the entry to modernity. Martin cites three crucial factors (Martin 1978a: 17). The first factor is the Reformation settlement; wherever Protestantism replaced Catholicism, organicist visions of society tended to become less relevant. The second factor is the existence of a religious monopoly in the form of an ecclesiastical religion. Where there exists one religion possessed of a monopoly society splits into two warring sides, one of which is dedicated to religion. Similarly, where there are two or more religions (or distinct forms of the same religion) this does not happen. (Martin 1978a: 17–18) The third factor, incidentally drawing on an old Simmelian insight, concerns external threats that attenuate internal conflicts. Where society confronted external enemies, or so the argument goes, religion tended to fuse with collective, national, or regional identities, thus bridging social cleavages. It is the constellation of these three factors which on Martin’s account produces the basic patterns of secularization. The basic patterns or types are ordered on a scale of religious pluralism, ranging from Protestant pluralist societies to Catholic monopolistic societies, with duopolistic mixed societies in between. The Protestant pattern comes in various sub-types which, while ranging from the fully pluralist Anglo-American to the less pluralist


Matthias Koenig

Scandinavian patterns, share the characteristic feature that religion does not constitute a cleavage structure or axis of conflict in the transition to modernity. The Catholic pattern, by contrast, encompasses societies with a total religious monopoly and a symbiosis of crown and church which becomes gradually inverted, with the church first being subordinated to the state and then, after a revolutionary breakthrough, becoming associated with the political right. While the French trajectory with its well-known “war of two Frances” (Poulat 1987) and extraordinary strong erosion of religious belief, ethos, and institution, is the key example of this pattern, Martin cites a number of Catholic exceptions or sub-types. Thus, where Catholicism was a symbol of repressed culture (Ireland, Poland) or where Catholic societies faced external threats (Austria, Belgium), societal secularization was delayed as it were. Another sub-type is the Catholic monopoly of the right, where statist regimes (e.g. Spain) initially use religion for political means to maximize power, thus delaying structural secularization (i.e. church and state dissociation). A similar power maximizing logic underlies the secular monopoly of the left, where secularist elites attempt to replace monopolistic religion at the levels of belief, ethos, and institutions. The mixed pattern, finally, encompasses duopolistic societies with Protestant majorities such as the Netherlands, Germany, or Switzerland, which are characterized by a liberalized elite center and confessional sub-cultures. In terms of political power dynamics, Martin arrives at the empirical generalization that “in all Protestant societies, whether Anglo-American or mixed, the Catholic Church assists in stabilizing the political sphere and in removing the issue of religion as such from the arena of confrontation, because it stands centreleft” (Martin 1978a). In addition to these patterns, Martin conceptualizes a nationalist pattern that partly overlaps with the Catholic exception and is mainly defined by the salience of Catholicism or Orthodoxy in affirming national identity vis-à-vis external enemies. This is not the place to engage with the richness of Martin’s historical observations, nor with the empirical limitations of his argument. What I want to stress, instead, is the structure of argumentation which, assuming a general transition to modernity, identifies critical junctures of highly path-dependent processes of social change that result in different patterns of secularization – including patterns of differentiation between religion and politics. 3.3. Revisiting the paradigmatic core – Martin on differentiation between religion and politics One key feature of the transition to modernity, on Martin’s account, is differentiation. He defines differentiation as a general process in which social sectors become more and more specialized (Martin 1978a: 69). Not accidentally, he repeatedly relies on Parsons in conceiving of differentiation as a process in which separate social sectors gain autonomy vis-à-vis ecclesiastical control (e.g. Martin 2005: 12, 123, 151). Parsons’ view on

Revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core


secularization, emphasizing that structural differentiation does not imply a decline of Christian cultural values but their penetration in society (e.g. Parsons 1967), in fact resonates strongly with Martin’s cultural sociology of Christianity. However, Martin’s analysis of differentiation moves beyond simplistic linear theories of modernization by highlighting its historically contingent varieties. Upon scrutiny, Martin’s analysis of functional differentiation between religion and politics addresses two distinctive sub-problems, namely the structural relationship between state, party politics, and churches on the one hand, and the cultural relationship between national and religious identities on the other hand. In both respects, the thrust of his argument is that variable patterns of differentiation result from the critical junctures as identified in his general theory of secularization. While the variable relationship between nationalism and religion results from the presence or absence of external threats (see above), the structural relationship between state, party politics, and church requires some further commentary. A key contribution of Martin’s analysis of structural differentiation are the self-reinforcing dynamics, which he detects as underlying larger historical processes. Structural secularization moves not simply within stable basic patterns, but it also transforms them from within through distinctive cycles of socio-political conflict. Within the Protestant pattern, following Robert Bellah (1967), Martin regards the US as a case of strong formal separation between state and church, coupled with a civil religious legitimation of social order (see Martin 1978a: 28–29). Since no religious political parties emerged in this context, religion stayed largely outside the sphere of political power dynamics. The same holds for England and Scandinavia, where despite formal establishment or even state churches, religion was reduced to a cultural source of legitimation or historical nostalgia. In the Catholic Latin pattern, formal separation between state and church resulted from a deep-seated split between critics and adherents of the Ancien Régime and thus went hand in hand with high levels of political conflict over religion. The mixed pattern, finally, is characterized by subcultural integration of confessional milieus through religious political parties, especially on the Catholic side as in late nineteenth-century Germany, although political parties get increasingly dissociated from their originally religious purposes over time. Across all three basic patterns, Martin thus finds a general tendency of differentiation where the church “cuts its links with a specific political stance and retires to the level of culture” (Martin 1978a: 206). In sum, Martin’s theory of secularization attempts to compare variable patterns of a general transition to modern differentiated society, and to relate them by historically contingent critical junctures or “crucial events”. Thereby, Martin clearly surpasses linear and teleological accounts of differentiation and provides important arguments to redress the descriptive deficit of secularization theory’s paradigmatic core. Yet to what extent


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does he address the explanatory deficits for which differentiation theory has (rightly) been criticized in the third round in the debates over secularization?

4. Causal mechanisms of differentiation In fact, the call for more fine-grained explanations of differentiation applies not only to the secularization controversy but characterizes debates in sociological theory more broadly (see in particular Schwinn 2001: 25). The core idea is to discard any search for nomological or probabilistic hypotheses and instead to reconstruct social mechanisms that link causes and effects. The search for social mechanisms comes in various versions, ranging from analytical sociology and its stylized models of rational action (Hedström 2005), to pragmatist sociology and its emphasis on habits and creative action (Gross 2009), to the realist philosophy of science, which assumes a stratified social reality with emergent causal forces (Gorski 2009). What all these versions share, however, is the idea that causal force is transmitted by (individual and collective) actors; that there are recurring social mechanisms operating across historical contexts; and that larger historical processes are sociologically to be explained as contingent conjunctures of general social mechanisms. It is this idea that also inspires many contributions to the more recent “third wave” of historical sociology that unpacks the big structures and large processes identified in the “second wave” (Adams et al. 2005). In this section, I start from the observation that Martin’s general theory of secularization implicitly contains a number of such causal mechanisms of differentiation. I argue, however, that a full-scale revision of secularization theory’s paradigmatic core requires reconstructing these mechanisms explicitly, as well as identifying additional causal mechanisms, which Martin’s account, limited as it is to the initial transition to modernity, is ill-prepared to capture. 4.1. Explicating causal mechanisms of structural secularization That the logic of Martin’s general theory of secularization prefigures at least to some degree the more recent turn to causal mechanisms should not come as a surprise. In fact, when stating his explanatory approach he himself draws on the language of “mechanism” (Martin 1978a: 15), and when identifying “vicious” and “beneficent spirals” characteristic for various patterns, he implicitly sketches recurring mechanisms. As regards the differentiation of religion and politics, Martin’s account contains a number of insights, which recent historical sociologists have developed by spelling out the underlying causal mechanisms of differentiation more explicitly. I start with structural differentiation between state and church (a), and before turning to cultural relationships between nationalism and religion (b).

Revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core


(a) When commenting on dynamics of structural differentiation, notably in the Catholic as well as in the statist monopolist pattern, Martin repeatedly emphasizes that actors pursue a power-maximizing logic. However, he remains somewhat vague about how this powermaximizing logic plays out. Recent authors critically revising differentiation theory have provided tools to specify the underlying causal mechanisms. A first example is the work by Anthony Gill (2008). He uses the US, Latin America, and the post-Soviet states to develop a theoretical model that accounts for the origins of religious liberty, arguably a specific institutional manifestation of the differentiation between state and religion. His model proceeds axiomatically from the typical interests of ruling political elites (in maintaining their power), religious majorities (in regulating the religious field), and religious minorities (in deregulating the religious field). He then identifies the political conditions (a stable power framework and high opportunity costs of regulation) as well as religious conditions (pluralization) under which – assuming rational action choices among all three groups of actors – the provision of religious freedom and/or the deregulation of the religious field becomes plausible. This model possesses high explanatory power because it specifies not only the conditions for the separation of church and state, but also identifies social mechanisms of self-increasing differentiation. Thus, once pluralization has achieved a critical mass, as in the US American case, it further increases the opportunity costs of restrictive religious politics, resulting in the gradual deregulation of the religious field, which itself enables further pluralization, and so forth. A second example is the collaborative research led by Christian Smith on American religious history in the late nineteenth century. Addressing the explanatory deficit of differentiation theories, Smith critically engages with remnants of linear secularization in Martin’s own work (Smith 2003: 22). Drawing on tools of social movement theory, he proposes to explain the rise of secular hegemony by intense power conflicts between Protestant elites and aspiring professional groups in the fields of education, medicine, law, media, and academia – conflicts that eventually reduced the institutional control of the church over cultural production throughout the country. What Martin alludes to as social dynamics within the “Anglo” pattern can hence be subjected to more fine-grained historical sociological analysis. (b) In addressing the cultural relationship between nationalism and religion, Martin’s work prefigures the more recent rediscovery of religion in the study of nationalism (for reviews see Brubaker 2012; Gorski and Türkmen-Dervisoglu 2013). His argument that external threats and religious frontiers delay processes of secularization has inspired recent writings about religious nationalism (e.g. Barker 2009; Bruce 2011; Spohn, Koenig and Knöbl 2015). However, the literature has


Matthias Koenig considerably moved beyond Martin’s real-typical descriptions of single countries and their patterns of religion and nationhood. First, it conceives the nation as a discursive space for competing political projects, thus putting greater emphasis on the variability of religious idioms of nationhood among elite actors and wider publics – even in countries such as Poland which would clearly fall in Martin’s nationalist Catholic sub-type (Zubrzycki 2006). Second, it puts greater emphasis on dynamics of change within that sub-type. For instance, the fact that Catholic Ireland has experienced massive church decline since the 1990s while this is not the case in Orthodox Greece suggests that Martin’s cultural defense argument requires greater nuance (Halikiopoulou 2011). Third, and most importantly, the literature has started cataloguing the causal mechanisms of national boundary making, which underlie specific historical trajectories and macro-sociological patterns. Some authors, inspired by the call for micro-foundations of sociological explanation, see symbolic boundaries of nationhood as a negotiated consensus resulting from actors’ strategic interaction, notably from exchange alliances between elites and masses (Wimmer 2013). Others, rather, emphasize meso-level mechanisms, such as the alignment of political and religious fields, institutions, elites, and identities that shape actors’ identities, preferences, and power positions (Gorski and Türkmen-Dervisoglu 2013: 204). In any event, while Martin’s early account of religion and nationalism does implicitly allude to some pertinent causal mechanisms, these mechanisms seem to require more fine-grained analysis as recent historical sociology suggests.

4.2. Elaborating causal mechanisms of structural secularization The debate over differentiation has not only moved to more fine-grained explanatory accounts of structural secularization that Martin has identified only implicitly. It has also identified additional causal mechanisms of differentiation that have been operative after the initial transition to modernity and thus by definition fall beyond the scope conditions of Martin’s general theory of secularization. One important addition to Martin’s general theory are analyses that focus on state structure as an intervening variable in explaining variable secular settlements. Thus, Damon Mayrl (2016) shows that the post-1960 US and Australia – in spite of initially being part of the same “Anglo” pattern with almost identical constitutional provisions and similar trajectories – have differed in extent to which the public education sector was secularized. He explains these differences by scrutinizing the permeability of state structures in both cases, respectively; compared to Australia, the US provided more access points for professional elites who tried to maximize their

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jurisdictional control over the educational domain, thus pushing toward greater secularization of public education. A further addition to Martin’s general theory are studies that, instead of comparing presumably fixed territorial entities, emphasize transnational dynamics that shape processes of secularization, ranging from migration processes to the circulation of legal concepts. Of course, Martin’s own work on Pentecostalism as transnational voluntary association does engage with such dynamics to some extent (Martin 1990; as well as Martin 2011: 63–83). Yet, the transnational and, indeed, global fields that have accompanied the rise of modernity at least since the nineteenth century, and that recent global historians and historical sociologists have explored in great depths (e.g. Buzan and Lawson 2015), hardly enter the equation in Martin’s analysis of patterns of secularization. For instance, recent processes of state secularization are difficult to understand without paying attention to transnational legal fields. Thus, the increasing prominence of the European Court of Human Rights as an arena for struggles over the religious recognition and as arbiter for conflicting interpretations of rights to religious freedom and non-discrimination has since the 1990s led to substantial institutional changes of church-state relations across the entire range of basic patterns of differentiation in Europe (Koenig 2015). In sum, there is room both for explicating and for elaborating the causal mechanisms underlying historical episodes of differentiation and secularization. The so-called “third wave” of historical sociology, to the extent that it addresses religious change, moves in precisely this direction and, in doing so, goes beyond the initial contours of Martin’s comparative historical sociology of religion.

5. Conclusion In this paper, I have sought to demonstrate that David Martin’s oeuvre deserves greater attention in the sociology of religion than it normally receives. In particular, his comparative historical sociology of religion can be read as an early contribution to the debate of revising secularization theory’s paradigmatic core, namely the theory of differentiation between religion and politics. His analysis of how general processes are refracted through variable basic patterns has prepared important ground for historicizing secularization theory, providing a remarkable richness of historical observations across confessions, countries, and regions and instructive explanatory ideas. At the same time, I have argued that his enterprise, read from the vantage point of contemporary historical sociology, remains limited in two respects. First, it falls short of explicating and elaborating the range of causal mechanisms underlying specific episodes of institutional change in the relationship between religion and politics. Second, for reasons that have to do with his epistemological premises, his comparative project remains restricted to inner-Christian patterns of


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secularization while refraining from embarking on cross-religious comparisons, which would provide new insights into multiple paths of differentiation (e.g. Altınordu 2013; Baskan 2014). These limitations notwithstanding, I would like to draw attention to another point which is of broader relevance for historical sociology. Martin himself hints at the parallel between the Axial Age religions on the one hand and the Enlightenment on the other hand in formulating transformative visions or “promissory notes” (Wittrock 2000) that confront the social realities of power and authority, respectively. This parallel could and should be explored further to arrive at deeper understandings of our contemporary condition. It invites investigations into the historical processes of how repeated incursions of visions of liberty, equality, solidarity, and human rights have, in interaction with those of the world’s major religions, continuously re-shaped social realities. Such investigation, as Martin’s oeuvre reminds us, remains a task for historical-comparative sociology of modernity.

Notes 1 This chapter was first presented at a workshop held at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt. I am particularly grateful to David Martin, Hans Joas, and Gülay TürkmenDervisoglu for their detailed comments on earlier versions of this paper. 2 For a comprehensive account of various waves of historical sociology, see Adams et al. (2005).

References Adams, Julia, Elisabeth S. Clemens, and Ann Shola Orloff (Eds.). 2005. Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology. Durham and London: Duke University Press. Altınordu, Ates¸. 2013. “The Rise and Transformation of German Political Catholicism (1848–1914) and Turkish Political Islam (1970–2011).” Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 65(1, Supplement):383–408. Asad, Talal. 1999. “Religion, Nation-State, Secularism.” Pp. 178–196 in Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, edited by Peter van der Veer and Hartmut Lehmann. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Ausmus, Harry J. 1982. The Polite Escape: On the Myth of Secularization. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press. Barker, Philip W. 2009. Religious Nationalism in Modern Europe: If God Be for Us. London and New York: Routledge. Baskan, Birol. 2014. From Religious Empires to Secular States: State Secularization in Turkey, Iran, and Russia. New York and London: Routledge. Bellah, Robert N. 1967. “Civil Religion in America.” Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Science 96(1):1–21. Bellah, Robert N. 2011. Religion in Human Evolution: From the Palaeolithic to the Axial Age. Cambridge: Belknap Press.

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Berger, Peter L. (Ed.). 1999. The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics. Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center. Berger, Peter L. 2014. The Many Altars of Modernity: Toward a Paradigm of Religion in a Pluralist Age. Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter. Brubaker, Rogers. 2012. “Religion and Nationalism: Four Approaches.” Nations and Nationalism 18(1):2–20. Bruce, Steve. 2011. Secularization: In Defence of an Unfashionable Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Buzan, Barry, and George Lawson. 2015. The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Casanova, José. 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Casanova, José. 2006. “Rethinking Secularization: A Global Comparative Perspectives.” The Hedgehog Review 8(1–2):7–22. Eisenstadt, Shmuel N. 1982. “The Axial Age: The Emergence of Transcendental Visions and the Rise of the Clerics.” Archives européennes de sociologie 23(2):299–314. Gill, Anthony. 2008. The Political Origins of Religious Liberty. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Glasner, Peter E. 1977. The Sociology of Secularization: A Critique of a Concept. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Gorski, Philip S. 2000. “Historicizing the Secularization Debate.” American Sociological Review 65(1):138–167. Gorski, Philip S. 2009. “Social ‘Mechanisms’ and Comparative-Historical Sociology: A Critical Realist Proposal.” Pp. 147–194 in Frontiers of Sociology, edited by Peter Hedström and Björn Wittrock. Leiden: Brill. Gorski, Philip S., and Ates¸ Altınordu. 2008. “After Secularization?” Annual Review of Sociology 34:55–85. Gorski, Philip S., and Gülay Türkmen-Dervisoglu. 2013. “Religion, Nationalism, and Violence: An Integrated Approach.” Annual Review of Sociology 39:193–210. Gross, Neil. 2009. “A Pragmatist Theory of Social Mechanisms.” American Sociological Review 74:358–379. Halikiopoulou, Daphne. 2011. Patterns of Secularization: Church, State, and Nation in Greece and the Republic of Ireland. Aldershot: Ashgate. Hedström, Peter. 2005. Dissecting the Social: On the Principles of Analytical Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Katznelson, Ira, and Gareth Stedman Jones (Eds.). 2010. Religion and the Political Imagination. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Koenig, Matthias. 2011. “Jenseits der Säkularisierungstheorie? Zur Auseinandersetzung mit Charles Taylor”. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 63(4):649–673. Koenig, Matthias. 2015. “Governance of Religious Diversity at the European Court of Human Rights.” Pp. 51–78 in International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity, edited by Jane Bolden and Will Kymlicka. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Koenig, Matthias, and Christof Wolf. 2013. “Religion und Gesellschaft. Aktuelle Perspektiven.” Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 65(1, Supplement):1–23. Luckmann, Thomas. 1980. “Säkularisierung – ein moderner Mythos.” Pp. 160–172 in Lebenswelt und Gesellschaft. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.


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Luckmann, Thomas. 1991 [1967]. Die unsichtbare Religion. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Martin, David. 1965a. Pacifism: An Historical and Sociological Study. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Martin, David. 1965b. “Towards Eliminating the Concept of Secularization.” Pp. 169–182 in Penguin Survey of the Social Sciences, edited by Julius Gould. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Martin, David. 1969. The Religious and the Secular: Studies in Secularization. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Martin, David. 1978a. A General Theory of Secularization. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Martin, David. 1978b. The Dilemmas of Contemporary Religion. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Martin, David. 1990. Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell. Martin, David. 1995. “Sociology, Religion and Secularization: An Orientation.” Religion 25:295–303. Martin, David. 2005. On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory. Aldershot: Ashgate. Martin, David. 2011. The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization. Farnhem: Ashgate. Martin, David. 2016. Ruin, Liturgy and Reconciliation. London and New York: Routledge. Mayrl, Damon. 2016. Secular Conversions: Political Institutions and Religious Education in the United States and Australia, 1800–2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Milbank, John. 1990. Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Parsons, Talcott. 1967. “Christianity and Modern Industrial Society.” Pp. 385–421 in Sociological Theory and Modern Society. New York: The Free Press. Poulat, Émile. 1987. Liberté, Laïcité. La guerre des deux France et le principe de la modernité. Paris: Cerf-Cujas. Rosa, Hartmut. 1998. Identität und kulturelle Praxis. Politische Philosophie nach Charles Taylor. Frankfurt am Main and New York: Campus. Schwinn, Thomas. 2001. Differenzierung ohne Gesellschaft. Umstellung eines soziologischen Konzepts. Weilerswist: Velbrück. Sharot, Stephen. 2001. A Comparative Sociology of World Religions. New York: New York University Press. Smith, Christian (Ed.). 2003. The Secular Revolution: Power, Interest, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life. Berkeley: University of California Press. Spohn, Willfried, Matthias Koenig, and Wolfgang Knöbl (Eds.). 2015. Religion and National Identities in an Enlarged Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Stark, Rodney. 1999. “Secularization, R.I.P.” Sociology of Religion 60(3):249–274. Taylor, Charles. 2007. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Tschannen, Olivier. 1991. “The Secularization Paradigm: A Systematization.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 30(4):395–415. Weber, Max. 1988. Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie. Tübingen: MohrSiebeck. Wilson, Bryan. 1961. Sects and Society. London: Heinemann.

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Wimmer, Andreas. 2013. Ethnic Boundary Making: Institutions, Power, Networks. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wittrock, Björn. 2000. “Modernity: One, None, or Many? European Origins and Modernity as a Global Condition.” Daedalus 129(1):31–60. Wohlrab-Sahr, Monika, and Marian Burchardt. 2012. “Multiple Secularities: Toward a Cultural Sociology of Secular Modernities.” Comparative Sociology 11:1–35. Zubrzycki, Geneviève. 2006. The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


The one and the many stories How to reconcile sense-making and fact-checking in the secularization narrative1 Paolo Costa

A natural for sociology If I should choose a sentence to introduce David Martin to someone who does not know him, I would opt for a remark made by J. S. Reed (2015: 513) in an insightful review of his autobiography: “They don’t make sociologists like David Martin any more – but they never did. The man is a one-off”. Reed’s remark is spot-on, and I think that the unconventional intellectual profile of David Martin is universally recognized. “Everyone admires Martin’s theory very much in spite of its ‘sloppiness’ (superficialité)”, conceded rather reluctantly Olivier Tschannen (1992: 294, fn. 2) in his field-overview Les theories de la sécularisation.2 But then, everything considered, what is so special about him? Well, to begin with, he is a strange academic creature – as original thinkers often are. “Quite apart from his writing in the social science – Grace Davie (2007: 65, note 8) observed in an aside – Martin is an accomplished theologian. Increasingly his work is best described as a form of socio-theology”.3 This is an odd brand, indeed, if you think about it. And being a socio-theologian, however we want to interpret this peculiar research field, can be a problem in a world that tends to see what comes out of the theoretical efforts of theologians as not value-free. So, with his usual sardonic frankness, Martin (2013: 141) noticed in his intellectual autobiography that “when my name was proposed for a prestigious academic society it met with ‘ferocious opposition’, and the damning suggestion ‘Isn’t he really a theologian?’”. And still, by his own admission, he twice turned down prestigious chairs in Theology in British universities, because he didn’t consider himself qualified for the job (B. Martin 2001: 218, fn. 31). On the contrary, he likes to depict himself as “a natural for sociology” (Martin 2013: 99). Where does this self-confidence come from? The answer to this question can be easily extracted from his autobiography. Martin discovered sociology in his twenties as the right place in which to look for the answers to the theological puzzles that have been exercising him since he stumbled upon biblical criticism and liberal theology in his teens. He might be described, therefore, as a social scientist who harbors the unconventional thought that his professional

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expertise is the best means to satisfy his primary “need to get straight what [is] still ‘true’ about Christianity once you had worked your way through modern critical thinking about the Bible and modern science” (Martin 2013: 227). More precisely, for him sociology “provides, and analyses, the reality checks faced by Christian and enlightened sentimentality alike”, because it “engages with the way things are and the way things happen” (Martin 2005: 11–12). Thus, as far as I can see, what is special about Martin is precisely the creative tension between his fiery “hunger for understanding” (B. Martin 2001: 206) and his stubborn dedication to objectivity and impartial reason. “Arguing religion” – I mean, reconciling religion with the scientific practice of exchanging contextually disembedded reasons – has been his goal since the beginning of his career. And this required a mental “double structure”, involving “emotionality and formality; religious feeling and rational argument” (B. Martin 2001: 217). Martin is accordingly aware that his “chief advantage on some colleagues lay in not being a disembodied intelligence” (Martin 2013: 152; italics mine). He describes his luck at first sight paradoxically as having major problems donated by my background that I was motivated to work out. . . . My academic colleagues might well be very sharp, but they sometimes lacked focus. I was focused. I just had to make sense of the role of religion in society and the nature of power and politics, especially sincerity and violence. (Martin 2013: 152, 4) My interpretation of Martin’s originality can be summarized, then, by remarking that, from the point of view just elaborated, one is a natural for sociology when one is motivated “to think with one’s own life” (B. Martin 2001: 209). Thought and life are equally important here. Life (without qualification) supplies opinion, commitment and sometimes horror and indignation, while the life of the mind fortifies these powerful yet wayward attitudes with arguments and evidence.4 This double-edged frame of mind, however, contributed to Martin’s at first inadvertent, and then relished “gravitation to the status of perpetual (semi-) outsider” (B. Martin 2001: 206). Despite the marginality and the need to find “interlocutors in other disciplines” (Martin 2013: 221), what he likes to depict as being “an academic deviant living by a non-existent subject” (Martin 1969: 62) also had some advantages. For example, in his own words, “plenary permission to challenge the assumptions of the sociological establishment” and “to entertain forbidden thoughts” (Martin 2013: 116). For he had no choice but to rely on his own source of judgment, transposing – as he perceptively remarks in his autobiography – his father’s nonconformist attitude “into an obdurate independence towards whatever my academic colleagues took to be agreed truth” (Martin 2013: 26). A moderate, cautious but unbending skepticism about the “shibboleths of the university” was, therefore, the surprising offshoot of a “Bible-embedded


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upbringing” (Martin 2013: 232).5 Behind this, an existential sense of overriding import was at play. This, in turn, was the precondition for developing a “mode of understanding circumscribed by humility” (Martin 2013: 102), underpinned by the belief that “when it comes to the issues of life and death reason is far from pure” (Martin 2013: 223) and our findings are inevitably provisional. So, non-conformism was there both at the beginning and in the end as a habit of heart and mind. To quote Martin’s autobiography again: “Evangelicalism gave me the confidence to be an outsider. . . . This status of outsider, always semidetached, affected my approach to everything” (Martin 2013: 7). In fact, a special form of freedom can be experienced by lingering on the margins of dominant discourses. Hannah Arendt (2007) captured the essence of this Selbstdenken in the powerful image of the “conscious pariah”, who is compelled to defend and affirm her humanity by rebelling against a world upside down. This freedom, like any freedom worthy of its name, has costs. As Martin himself acknowledges: “Once I started wandering from home intellectually and morally, I was never entirely at home again, anywhere” (Martin 2013: 8). There is a meaningful overlap here with a famous self-portrait Arendt (1979: 333–334) halfheartedly offered late in her life. During a conference organized in her honor in Toronto in 1972, she was asked by Hans Morgenthau: “What are you? Are you a conservative? Are you a liberal? Where is your position within contemporary possibilities?”. Arendt’s eloquent reply was the following: I really don’t know and I’ve never known. And I suppose I never had such a position. You know the left think that I am conservative, and the conservatives think I am left or I am a maverick or God knows what. And I must say I couldn’t care less. I don’t think that the real questions of this century will get any kind of illumination by this kind of thing. . . . So you ask me where I am. I am nowhere. I am really not in the mainstream of present or any other political thought. But not because I want to be so original – it so happens that I somehow don’t fit. In the end, all she wanted to convey was her pride of being a nonconformist, a self-conscious pariah, a woman of goodwill. I see the same attitude at work in Martin’s reluctance to be cataloged according to the reassuring old dichotomies. He was “critical of linked binary oppositions” from the start and saw “such schemata as community and association, or traditional and rational-bureaucratic, or theological and positive, [as working] in combination to imply that we were living on an inclined historical plane” (Martin 2013: 142). Like Arendt, he did not share the “psychological need which many feel to live on an inclined plane” and was content to contemplate the ebb and flow, “roundabouts and swings” and sometimes also the standstill of human history (Martin 1969: 66).6

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Lack of recognition As should be evident from the previous paragraphs, Martin is not an ordinary thinker. But can we confidently say that the recognition he is receiving is equal to his merits? The impression one gets by reading his late writings is that he is having second thoughts about it. His last book, Secularisation, Pentecostalism, and Violence, for example, is filled with bittersweet reflections on how the scientific community actually works on our flawed planet. Take the following example: As I know from my own very imperfect practice, people read carelessly and forget easily. Failures of memory, no doubt often subconsciously strategic, can be taken for granted as much as corruption can be taken for granted. . . . I was first alerted to the occlusion of major sectors of debate about secularisation and the intermittent invisibility of my own contribution by Rodney Stark’s claim to have initiated its critique. I cannot remember exactly when, but I certainly wrote to him with the gentlest of corrections and he courteously acknowledged that the critique had not originated with him. I thought little more of the matter and my naivety resumed its usual reign. I was rudely awakened to the consequences of Stark’s claim when reprimanded by a Canadian sociologist, Lorne Dawson, for criticising secularisation theory without acknowledging the priority of Rodney Stark. But I took this to be only so much scholarly roughage. I again forgot about the matter in a properly stoic manner. . . . But that was not all. The heralds of the new paradigm proclaimed there had never been a viable theory of secularisation in the first place. If the idea that secularisation had remained so long beyond criticism was just wrong, and seriously wrong, this too was just wrong, and seriously wrong. The promulgation of two wrongs on such a scale puts even a disinterested lover of truth under serious strain. Of course, if I were the only person swept aside in this manner the disinterested lover of truth might stay properly resigned. But I am not the only person and I am not quite resigned. (Martin 2017: 4, 22–23) In a comment on Harvey Cox’s new (2013) Introduction to his blockbuster The Secular City, he reiterated his point: One would expect an academic at Harvard to have engaged with other contributors to the controversy, especially someone so wedded to existential dialogue with others engaged on the same quest: not a bit of it. Instead, one would be forced to conclude from what Harvey Cox has to say in his Preface, that he first encountered other voices in the secularization debate several decades later when he was properly overwhelmed by the range and erudition of Charles Taylor in A Secular Age. Everything before that, it seems, was a universal blank, in spite of the fact that the mid-sixties, when Harvey Cox


Paolo Costa launched his socio-theological manifesto on the world, was precisely the moment when I initiated the critique of secularization and Bryan Wilson wrote his vigorous defence of classical secularization theory, Religion in Secular Society (1966). . . . In other words, if one were to judge by his apologia, Harvey Cox emerged like Rip van Winkle with freshly minted criticisms derived from a younger generation of scholars, relaying as revelation what had been the standard terms of the secularization debate for the previous half century. (Martin 2016: 36)

Seen from my own peripheral academic standpoint, the situation looks, if possible, even worse. The name of David Martin is hardly known in Italy today outside of the narrow circle of aged experts of the f ield. His essays and books are left untranslated. His role in launching the new debate on secularization is underestimated or blatantly ignored. But, going back to Martin’s stoic ruminations, what kind of lack of recognition is he complaining about exactly? If you dig deep enough, you can see that it is not just a matter of hurt self-love or wounded pride. By misrecognizing the timing and depth of his first far-reaching attack against the standard theory of secularization, what goes missing is the paradigmatic nature of this fracture in the sociological imaginary. Acknowledging the timing is essential here because it lays bare the simultaneous emergence of the standard theory (in its overt articulation) and its counterpart. What Martin was able to detect before anyone else, in other words, is a blind spot of modern sociological imagination that favored the circulation of an a priori view of the causal inertness of religion in the modern age. Making the most of his highly original standpoint, Martin managed to score a double against his opponent. On the one hand, (a) he unmasked the paradigmatic status of the so-called classic “theory” of secularization. On the other hand, (b) he de-stabilized the matter-of-factness of the secularist narrative by means of a gestalt switch that, to begin with, was meant to make the view of the relationship between the religious and the secular at least as bi-stable as a typical gestalt image. To borrow an effective image of Wittgenstein, he thus succeeded in enriching a too narrow diet of examples “by taking into account secularization stories of all kinds, including those found in art, literature and music” (Martin 2005: 9). Thus, while thickening the purported simple story, he was able to reach his main goal: to increase our sense of historical contingency. I had nothing to lose, and I invented the kind of relatively modest and contingent secularization theory I believed would not fall foul of my critique of the Great Transition. I sketched out a historically contingent theory of secularization. . . . Broad empirical tendencies apart, the pattern of secularization varied with the concatenation of various historical components today renamed “path dependency”. . . . Almost without noticing I had devised the initial critique of secularization theory, and now the first general theory of secularization. It was amazing no one had combined

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these various elements before, and much later Charles Taylor marvelled something so patently true had so long evaded notice. Paradigms are powerful, as Thomas Kuhn noted in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: another truism that evaded notice until someone said it. (Martin 2013: 133–134) But if this is true, if Martin’s take on the secular tale of religious decline filled a blatant gap, why did Cox choose Taylor’s doorstop of a book as a foil to establish what is alive and what is dead in his bestseller? Why, more generally, was Taylor (2007), instead of Martin, the one who happened to write a stocktaking account, a sort of summa saecularisationis, like A Secular Age? A first-order explanation is of course available. In many cases, it is just a matter of “packaging”, lucky timing, media hijacking. (It is an uncontested fact, for example, that Stark’s rational choice theory approach does look “sexier” and more straightforward than Martin’s intricate hermeneutical argument.) This is bread and butter for sociologists of knowledge. As a philosopher, though, I am more interested in the second-order explanation, that is the internal (intratheoretical) reasons why this was the case. What I intend to discuss below is whether there is a fault in Martin’s approach that prevented him from cashing in on his undisputable role as the initiator of the new debate on secularization. In what follows, I want to briefly investigate this hypothesis and along the way I will try to say something about the virtues and vices of Grand Narratives.

Storytelling and truth-telling Let me go straight to the heart of the matter. What is a theory of secularization (no matter if standard or not)? It is hard to say. At first sight, it looks like a way of making rigorous sense of an event that seems patent, but at the same time defies description. The kind of event I am hinting at is the changed place of religion after the great transformation undergone by Western societies in the last centuries. We are talking about a transition here, therefore the sense-making effort incorporates a considerable dose of storytelling. In a different context but in the same years in which Martin mounted his first attack against the standard theory of secularization, Hans Blumenberg called this theoretical package a “theorem” (Blumenberg 1983: 10, 28, 29, 30, 60, 67, 80, 92, 98, 115, 119, 466). But what he had in mind must have been closer to a “theoroid”, a strange epistemic construct built out of disparate materials. Adopting a neologism coined by the American historian William McNeill (1986), we could here speak of “mythistory”, instead of theory or theoroid. The term is meant to draw attention to the effort that is made when one tries to fulfill the both theoretical and practical task known as “pattern recognition”. The recognition of a significant form of order in the portion of reality with which individuals are at grips occurs in human life within a recursive cycle, in which the need to reduce the complexity of the environment in view of the action does not exclude the possibility of episodic questionings of


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experience by widening or narrowing the focus of attention. So, on the one hand, this peculiar form of epistemic recognition is vulnerable to the impact of the real world. On the other hand, though, it is not the end-product of systematic checks of the force or warrantability of the chain of claims into which it can always be translated. It moves precisely between the two levels of knowhow and know-that in which the human dealings with reality take place. But what’s this got to do with the topic of this essay? Let me try to explain. Martin’s general theory of secularization can be described as a multi-layered account that combines conceptual mopping up, explanation and interpretation. At the first level, we have thick descriptions of exemplary cases as well as a conceptual critique that foster a cautious skepticism showing the “degree to which all [universal] assertions are problematic” (Martin 1991: 468).7 A further step in the process of accounting for a disputed epochal transition is the recognition of basic patterns, i.e. the frames which set the limits within which “subsequent events persistently move” (Martin 1978: 15). The frames, in turn, are enfolded by a small number of universal tendencies, trajectories, or spirals, which, however, are purely ideal “constructs” insofar as they indicate how things “tend to occur other things being equal. But things are not equal – ever”, as Martin astutely remarks (Martin 1978: 3). As far as I can see, what is missing in Martin’s epistemic trail is the moment of narrative reflexivity that may capitalize on the configurative power of storytelling: the sense-making capacity to bring about a synthesis of the heterogeneous. This ability has been the object of renewed attention in Taylor’s last book The Language Animal, on whose theoretical contribution I wish to dwell here for a while. In a chapter aptly entitled “How Narrative Makes Meaning”, Taylor offers a chain of claims that, I think, may shed light on how an elusive historical phenomenon such as secularization can be made sense of without incurring the fallacies deplored by Martin in his long career. To begin with, Taylor (2016: 291) argues that “stories give us an understanding of life, people, and what happens to them which is peculiar . . . and also unsubstitutable”. A story, he adds, “often consists in a diachronic account of how some state or condition . . . came to be . . . It can also offer insight into what this terminal phase is like . . . give us a more vivid sense of the alternative course not taken, and so how chancy, either lucky or unlucky, the outcome was” (Taylor 2016: 291). In other words, the story explains a singular event – in the case that concerns us, the emergence of a “secular age” or of “exclusive humanism” or the “Immanent Frame” – banking on “singular causal attributions . . . unbacked by general laws” (Taylor 2016: 296). This doesn’t imply, however, that no “known or discoverable generalizations may be involved in accounting for this event, but the account remains a singular attribution” (Taylor 2016: 293). In ultimate analysis, the epistemic trick of a story lies in “bringing together a number of different factors, where the operation of each one may be illuminated by laws but the causal explanation involves combining them in some way” (Taylor 2016:

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293). And its end goal is an overall judgment which, furthermore, often “serves to underpin a moral assessment” (Taylor 2016: 295). Telling stories, then, gives us a privileged access to the human condition by increasing our sense of the “vicissitudes of fortune” and of “human possibility” (Taylor 2016: 295, 298). All of this can also be seen as a special form of understanding deeply rooted in the human frame of mind and which is not accidentally intertwined with autobiographical memory and executive control in the course of child development. In a good story, what matters is not just the truth content. No less important is the diachronic gestalt-like process in which the truth-yielding insight is embedded. The latter, however, is not immune to specific challenges. Even our best grasp on the situation, in effect, “can be challenged by rival interpretations” or by “an inductive examination of cases” or, more generally, by an alternative transition story (Taylor 2016: 308–309). The story, to sum up, embodies a “synthesis of the general and the specific”, of explicit moral lessons and gestalt-like tacit background, and neither is immune to change (Taylor 2016: 319, fn. 33). The process of understanding is potentially endless because “the attempt to achieve clarity is met by a hermeneutic which can never establish a general interpretation invulnerable to critique and admitting of no further improvement” (Taylor 2016: 314). For some reasons, Martin seems unable or unwilling to make room for this “creative or constitutive feature of language” – to use Taylor’s (2016: 317) turn of phrase – which, however, appears to be consistent with the general and specific goals pursued in his investigation. In some way, he is prey to what Taylor describes in the chapter’s opening section as “one of the powerful epistemological theses which descends from Hume, through Viennese positivism to much contemporary (analytic) philosophical thought” (Taylor 2016: 292). This supposition is indirectly confirmed by the long-lasting impact on Martins’ work of Karl Popper’s criticism of the old-fashioned philosophies of history in his 1957 pamphlet The Poverty of Historicism. Reading in parallel Martin’s recurrent appreciative remarks on Popper’s fierce attack against the nebulous philosophical position he labels as “historicism” and Taylor’s juvenile (1958) review of the same source may be instructive. What was liberating for Martin (2013: 104) – [around 1957] I read Karl Popper and as I paused to pick up a coffee, I realized I did not have to believe certain things, especially about the inevitable course of history. I was free to make up my own mind rather than to replicate whatever was currently prescribed in the right-thinking world. Popper offered me the same relief offered by Danton’s Death, not that the partisans of progress were always wrong but that they were not automatically in the right. The world was complicated and paradoxical and you could not be confident of saving the world simply by listing all the appropriate desiderata and then implementing them8


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– for Taylor (1958) is, on the contrary, shortsighted and stifling: the expression of a politically technocratic, ethically apathetic, socially atomistic, epistemologically purist outlook. Of particular interest are his objections to Popper’s logical attack against the “attempt to discover the laws of historical development”: Popper distinguishes between a law which simply asserts a universal correlation between classes of events . . . and an exploration of a particular series of events, which must invoke several laws, and also some particular existential statements, i.e. statements outlining the initial conditions. Now the course of history is a particular series of events, and thus cannot be explained entirely by laws. We must also fill in some details about the initial conditions which together with the laws will allow us to derive the actual trend of events. Historicism is accused of a belief in “absolute trends”, i.e. trends which can be explained purely in terms of laws, without specifying the initial conditions. But this is just another logical bogey-man. It is perfectly permissible to use “law” in a loose sense without committing oneself to a belief in these strange “absolute trends”. . . . But [Popper’s logical attack] is hysterical purism. We can often learn to understand a law in its application easier than we can in its pure form, and we can grasp it in its application without perhaps being able to specify exactly what initial conditions are involved, but this doesn’t mean that we believe in some mythical “absolute trends”, which permit us to make “unconditional prophesies”. We are not necessarily committing the error involved in the ontological proof and deducing existence from essence, or postulating a necessary being. There are difficulties involved in say, Hegel and Marx’s conceptions of necessity in history, but they do not lie at this primitive logical level. (Taylor 1958: 78)9 We are faced here with two very different biographical trajectories, that is for sure. But the paradox remains. Martin (2013: 129–130) is rightly suspicious of “‘from-to’ stories” and prefers to invest his time and mental energy “on complicated facts”. But it is hard to see why thick descriptions and synoptic sense-making efforts ought to be inevitably at odds. I would say more. I suspect that his aversion to anything that smacks even vaguely of historicism runs the risk of delegitimizing the hermeneutical sensitivity that is paradigmatically instantiated by his theory of secularization.10 Popper aside, even his sympathy for Löwith’s (and, more recently, John Gray’s) deconstruction of the modern myth of progress is indicative of a bias in favor of a demolition of the Enlightenment idols that underestimates the costs hidden in getting rid of the prima facie unpalatable idea that, everything considered, human history makes sense.11 All the more so considering that Martin understands well the role played by the non-conceptual (especially metaphors) in socio-historical sciences.12

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Part of the problem, I think, revolves around some typically modern epistemological anxieties arising from the post-Cartesian saga of the quest for certainty, that need to be exorcised and can be exorcised with rather simple and commonsensical philosophical tools which are likely to relieve the cramped imagination of both historians and sociologists.13 Let’s start with the problem of demarcation. Why keep a concept so wornout such as the notion of a historical “age”? Wouldn’t it be better to give up the idea that there are periods of history delimited by clear boundaries that set them clearly apart from previous or subsequent periods? Is there really a need to establish whether a “secular age” exists “out there” or is it just in the eye of the beholder? How can we accommodate the different opinions of experts on the subject matter? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to indulge in the mild skepticism embodied by the laid-back claim that “we have never been secular”? Perhaps an analogy with other no less mysterious characters of the deep time narratives could help dispel at least some of these foundationalist anxieties. To take a fashionable example nowadays, no one has the faintest idea of how the emergence of a new species in the course of biological evolution can be even imagined. This was a standard argument advanced against Darwin’s theory soon after the publication of the Origin of Species and the objection is still powerful from a logical point of view. If species are the true protagonists of evolution and species are clearly demarcated entities, how can a gradual transmutation of one species into another ever happen? When does a species become another species? Ergo the speciation process is conceptually impossible. The truth, however, is that no a priori reason was sufficient to compel the supporters of evolutionism to give up a theoretical perspective that had an extraordinary explanatory power in many other respects. In short, it made no sense to yield to skepticism just because the ontological repository of the Western philosophical tradition was unable to make room for real entities, whose boundaries, unfortunately, are difficult to draw. Hence the exhortation to pass from a typological to a populational conception of biological species, passionately defended by Ernst Mayr in the course of his long career.14 In brief, this example shows us that, in some cases, to expand and make more hospitable our view of what is real makes more sense than sacrificing an exciting cognitive enterprise on the altar of a dogmatic interpretation of the principle of Occam’s razor.15 Now, what about the other all too familiar bogey-man: historical teleology or finalism? Of course, following the humanists, the moderns too have often been fascinated by a periodization that allowed them to project on the past history the light beam of their own narrative eye, that not only creates their own precursors, but places them in a sequence which is suspiciously consistent and rewarding for the storyteller. This, however, is no sufficient reason to succumb to a kind of epistemological panic attack. To recognize trends or traces of order in history does not translate as being forced to play the part assigned to Simplicio in Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief


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World Systems (Galilei 1967). A familiar example may be helpful to drive my point home. Just like in the case of individual lives, the ability to understand the meaning of past events is not the same as bringing the irrational under reason’s dominion and denying contingency along the way. It only means coming to see significant patterns – internal and not external purposiveness of human action – by capitalizing on a favorable point of view. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything considered, we can agree that there is nothing sensational in better understanding something about ourselves and our actions with the benefit of hindsight. And there is nothing in this retrospective insight that should lead us to give up the belief that we were the spring of our own personal stories in a universe which is not totally and fatalistically determined. Recognizing traces of reason in history is not equivalent to embracing a providential or panlogist view of it. Why? First, it is important to distinguish between two different meanings of “teleology”. The first (which typically goes under the name of “external” purposiveness in post-Kantian philosophical discussions) understands the historical trends as a sort of final cause that deterministically guides the development of events as if they were the product of the unequivocal intentions of an omniscient and all-powerful macro-subject (this is one of the possible interpretations of the Hegelian-Marxian philosophy of history, but not the only one). Indeed, we are confronted here with a metaphysical perspective that is difficult to reconcile both with our first-hand experience of historical events and with what natural and human sciences teach us about the world and ourselves. But this first sense of teleology does not exhaust all the possible meanings of the term. The purposiveness of human history can also mean a non-closed, “open-ended”, vector orientation which is an epistemological and ontological condition for understanding it as a chain of events from which the unintended meanings of a series of explicitly intentional acts emerge. No logical fallacy (neither an undue reification nor a fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is committed when history is seen as the theater of an endless sequence of actions and reactions from which impersonal meanings emerge that can be grasped in hindsight and do not act as final causes in a narrow sense of the word. Simply put, distilling the sense of a historical event has nothing weird about it, and nothing that forces you to conceive of it as a numinous will operating behind the back of the agents. Meanings (as well as ideas) are not confined in people’s heads: they are at work in reality, without mystery or a need to recur to metaphysical tricks. Thus, it must be possible to make room without much embarrassment in macro-narratives for strange and multifaceted entities such as ages, civilizations, cultures, practices, frames, social imaginaries, symbolic or praxeological fields, habitus, epochal thresholds, crises, historical accelerations, etc. This, however, is not the same as telling simple or even simplistic stories. Compared to the much-detested philosophy of history, the main theoretical novelty of the new metanarratives is that they are not at all hostile or alternative to thick descriptions or micro-history. On the contrary, they may even be conducive to the design and implementation of highly focused research programs, which, in

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turn, can feed back on the understanding of the broader historical framework. Hans Joas (2014: 76–77) claimed something along this line when he argued that it is not contradictory to think of ours as an “age of contingency” and that today, generally speaking, the increase in individual action options can no longer be processed through an interpretation in the style of old philosophy-of-history metanarratives, but only through a new narrative that understands itself in light of contingent certainty.  .  . . The break with teleological and evolutionist conceptual schemas does not, after all, excuse us from narrating a comprehensive history and relating it to the genesis and fate of our ideals. Otherwise put, the new-style Grand Narratives do not explain everything. While they answer some questions, they do not satisfy all our curiosity about the nature of historical change, primarily because they do not deny the agent’s creativity. What they successfully do is helping us to discern a historical macro- or meta-pattern that makes ultimate sense of a cultural shift which is difficult to pin down. This sense-making endeavor is so daring that it cannot claim to be more than tentative and provisional, and it understandably leads less to concepts than to images or metaphors. (So, it cannot be seen as a way to “tidy up history in [an] intolerable manner”.)16 The same holds true for other narratives of deep time, such as today’s fashionable evolutionary tales. If you think about it, a significant epistemic difference is at play behind the choice whether to grasp hominid evolution through the image of a ladder or of a bush – images by means of which experts try to draw general lessons from a contingent natural history (for example, about the impact on biological evolution of a special power such as human intelligence).17 Thus, even in the case of the Grand Narrative of European secularization, one can make a case for opting for the metaphor of a “vector” (favored by Taylor)18 or that of “waves” (preferred by Joas)19 or of “ebbs and flows” (which is recurrent in Martin).20 It is often just a matter of nuances. Still, the enfolding images are bound to orient the sense-making effort one way or another. All the metaphors, however, aim to make the most of an underlying insight: human history vaguely resembles a series of river floods or sea storms in which the water erosion leaves in its wake visible traces that, despite their contingency with regard to physical laws, display a discernible pattern. They allow, that is, for an act of recognition enabling a perspicacious investigator to detect a sense or, if you want, a (paraconsistent) “logic” behind the change. This is a good example of a non-linear or internal teleology.

Epilogue To sum up, what Martin seems unable to envisage is a Grand Narrative capable to avoid the pitfall of old-style philosophies of history: I mean, an open and contingent metanarrative that does justice to both historical continuity and discontinuity. I suspect that the very idea of a Grand Narrative


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arouses in him a sense of closure directly impacting on the kind of dialectics between irreconcilable poles that is so crucial in his theological outlook. For him, Grand Narratives are always ironclad deterministic tales. And yet, the kind of storytelling I outlined above does make sense. It is not a logical impossibility. On the contrary, it seems deeply rooted in the crucial human ability to recognize patterns (see Gottschall 2012: chap. 5). Reasoning in transition with the support of ever-revisable stories is essential for thinking clearly about historical and biographical change. It is not an easy task. That is for sure. But it is not a mission impossible either. What I want to stress here is that, confronted with the history of the last five centuries, the macrostory we feel compelled to tell is not a story like any other. It is a foundational story. A story that issues from an identity quest. As Peter Berger pointed out to Martin (2012: 168) after reading his first memorable foray into the secularization debate, “something major has changed since the seventeenth century (let’s say), and if we were to abandon the catch-all notion of secularization then we needed to formulate what that change was”. Not accidentally, then, Taylor (2007: 25) started his investigation in A Secular Age with what sounds to my ears like a profoundly personal question: “Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God, in, say, 1500 in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy, but even inescapable?” This is the magnitude of the change we are speaking about and this is why it makes sense to bring in “identity” at this point. Because strong evaluations and moral sources, deep emotions and worldviews, are, willy-nilly, involved in the kind of narrative which is encapsulated in the standard theory of secularization first criticized and then challenged by Martin. This is just to reiterate a point already made above: a foundational tale is a story difficult to tell. And, needless to say, urge does not guarantee success. As I tried to show above, the difficulty comes, among other things, from the requirement to combine fact-checking and sense-making and to strike a fair balance between historical continuity and discontinuity, subtraction and addition, structure and function. Like Martin, many people around us, I surmise, have an epistemic interest in understanding how we got here from there, and what is the right attitude toward the future in light of what really happened. A crucial life lesson is embedded in this way of facing the reality of the past. There is no doubt that Martin knows how to fully exploit the epistemic resources of storytelling. This is especially evident in his autobiography where, in order to make sense of his own intellectual path, he tells a multilayered story where the personal storyline with a fairytale-like aura (the Hero is forced to leave home, gets lost, finds help when there is almost no hope left, and eventually heads “home”) is interlaced with a more general storyline, that of the emergence of global Pentecostalism. Hence, not accidentally, the climactic event that brings together all the narrative threads is set in a foreign exotic land and enjoys an epic flavor. For the Hero ends up telling his story to an audience of Chilean Pentecostals and this unexpected incident functions as a disclosing moment of recognition (which reminds the reader of Odysseus hearing his story sung by the blind bard Demodocus). The lesson learned is

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not just the obvious one that there is no going back (a simple truth but of little use without its gestalt-like diachronic background), but the more general and impersonal claim that “modernity had turned out multiple and other; and arguably my father’s naive faith had trumped sociological sophistication.”21 If I am allowed a harmless pun, I would say that Grand Narratives are not necessarily Master Narratives. Telling identity stories – I borrow here an argument from Arendt’s essay on Lessing – is not the same as “mastering the past” (something that perhaps cannot be done with any past). It only means “to know precisely what it was, and to endure this knowledge, and then to wait and see what comes of knowing and enduring” (Arendt 1968: 20). This, in the end, amounts to “a process of recognition” or cura posterior in which “the network of individual acts is transformed into an event, a significant whole” (Arendt 1968: 20). So, it makes sense to see the history of the supposed “decline” of religion in the modern age as a story about actions that establish their meaning and their permanent significance as they are incorporated into a tentative narrative. Insofar as any “mastering” of the past is possible, it consists in relating what has happened; but such narration, too, which shapes history, solves no problems and assuages no suffering; it does not master anything once and for all. Rather, as long as the meaning of the events remains alive – and this meaning can persist for very long periods of time – “mastering of the past” can take the form of ever-recurrent narration. The poet in a very general sense and the historian in a very special sense have the task of setting this process of narration in motion and of involving us in it. And we who for the most part are neither poets nor historians are familiar with the nature of this process from our own experience with life, for we too have the need to recall the significant events in our own lives by relating them to ourselves and others. Thus we are constantly preparing the way for “poetry”, in the broadest sense, as a human potentiality . . . constantly expecting it to erupt in some human being. When this happens, the tellingover of what took place comes to a halt for the time being and a formed narrative, one more item, is added to the world’s stock. In reification by the poet or the historian, the narration of history has achieved permanence and persistence. Thus the narrative has been given its place in the world, where it will survive us. There it can live on – one story among many. There is no meaning to these stories that is entirely separable from them – and this, too, we know from our own, non-poetic experience. (Arendt 1968: 21–22) David Martin learned the hard way that the secularization narrative does not tell a story among many: it cannot be told dispassionately. As he noticed in his intellectual autobiography: That is the main problem lying behind the education of David Martin. Getting straight what was profound in Christianity meant serious intellectual


Paolo Costa work which I pursued because I needed to know. . . . This unmarked and unassessed extra-mural struggle was the real thing. . . . I took up sociology in my spare time to help resolve the nagging problems of faith, violence and non-violence. . . . Many of my colleagues considered religion an evanescent sideshow. For me religion was simply life itself. (Martin 2013: 229, 237)

In this sense, demolishing the standard theory of secularization was for Martin an effective way of rescuing his father and himself from being thrown into the dustbin of history. I insist to think that Martin’s desire to make rigorous sense of his own story is a powerful source of his originality as a scholar, and there are no sound epistemological reasons why he shouldn’t have capitalized on it.

Notes 1 I am grateful to David Martin, Hans Joas, Charles Taylor and Hartmut Rosa for their feedback and, more generally, for their support and inspiration. I put the final touches to my essay while I was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. 2 The translation is by the author in the original unpublished English version of the book, which is available on-line at: www.unifr.ch/home/fr.html (accessed 20 February 2018). 3 See also Martin (2012: 168): “I first read Peter Berger browsing through new books in the London School of Economics library and drawn by a title that promised something different, The Precarious Vision, published in 1961. It was in a genre I have myself practiced from time to time which I call socio-theology”; Martin (2005: 7): “the distinctive character of my approach lies in the intimate correlation between the theological and sociological accounts, so that faith is understood in terms of its social incarnations and in its dialectic relation to nature as observed in action”. 4 Martin (2013: 99): “I had never imagined there could be an academic discipline that dealt with the questions I asked and provided some of the answers I sought. Here was a subject corresponding to my commitments. Opinion and indignation could be fortified by arguments and evidence. I was a natural for sociology”. 5 See also Martin (2013: 221): “For years my automatic liberalism camouflaged and provided cover for my distaste and horror of things as they really are”; Martin (1969: 2): “Those who believe in God find it easy to achieve a moderate skepticism about most other things, or at least about their more immoderate claims”. 6 See also Martin (2005: 6): “In practice it is not easy to shake off the sense of forward movement and historical purpose derived from Christianity in order to embrace mere rotation or to accept a meaningless passage of time and change leading nowhere”. 7 See also Martin (2014: 467): “All this was part of my original critique of secularization theory in the decade from mid-sixties to the mid-seventies. I was worried by constant recourse to what I regarded as steamroller concepts obliterating complex realities in order to clear the way for an assured future, and many of these steamroller concepts are what I call ‘nouns of process’, like secularization, modernization, rationalization, privatization”. 8 See also Martin (2013: 128): “a dogmatic acceptance of a particular version of the theory of secularization and a unilateralist view of the direction of history. That was just the approach I believed Karl Popper had rendered untenable in The Poverty of Historicism. I had a strong sense of the contingent in history and how freedom within historical constraint meant that humankind is neither

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9 10

11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 20 21


fated by destiny nor driven haplessly along tramlines. I had therefore to expose the illegitimate transfer of a theological telos or immanent direction into the domain of social science. So much sociology is overorganized history and I had read Collingwood’s The Idea of History”. See also this passage from The Sacred and the Secular: “Most viewpoints which assert master-trends are rooted in attitudes toward the movement of history which come under Popper’s critique of the poverty of historicism. In certain formulations secularization suffers from the poverty of historicism” (Martin 1969: 2). For a short insightful reformulation of this view of the history of culture see Mazzoni (2005: 13–23). See Taylor (2005: ix): “I see Martin as having transformed the discussion about secularization in two very important ways. The first is that he has put the debate through what I would call a ‘hermeneutical’ turn . . . and the result is a rich understanding of particular situations, not only in the West, but on the global scene”. On this old vexed question, see Pinkard (2017). See, e.g., Martin (2013: 138): “Proliferating metaphors did my sociological work without conscious intellectual government”. As far as historians are concerned, see the exemplary stance taken by J.C.D. Clark (2012). See, among others, Mayr (2004: chap. 10). That is how the concept of a historical age should be understood: as a pattern, that is a both practical and symbolic field with boundaries porous enough to allow for a gestalt switch. To avoid misunderstandings, however, it must be stressed that we are dealing here with an analogy, not a homology. There is no trace of organicism à la Spengler in this way of framing the issue. Ages are not organisms. They are entities on their own, as real and as elusive as biological species are. See Martin (2013: 138). On the issue see the path-breaking essay by S.J. Gould (1976). See Taylor (2007: 786, note 92). See Joas (2014: chap. 3). But not only in Martin. See also Clark (2012: 193–197, fn. 137). See Martin’s reply to Mike Gane’s review of The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist, 27 March 2014, available at: http:// blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/03/18/book-review-the-education-ofdavid-martin/ (accessed 20 February 2018).

References Arendt, Hannah 1968. ‘On Humanity in Dark Times: Thoughts about Lessing.’ trans. Clara Winston and Richard Winston. In Men in Dark Times, New York: Harcourt Brace & Co, 3–31. Arendt, Hannah 1979. ‘Hannah Arendt on Hannah Arendt.’ In Hannah Arendt: The Recovery of the Public World, edited by Melvyn A. Hill, New York: St Martin’s Press, 301–339. Arendt, Hannah 2007. ‘The Jew as Pariah: A Hidden Tradition.’ In The Jewish Writings, edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron H. Feldman, New York: Schocken Books, 275–297. Blumenberg, Hans 1983. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, trans. R.M. Wallace, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Clark, Jonathan C.D. 2012. ‘Secularization and Modernization: The Failure of a “Grand Narrative”.’ Historical Journal 55, 1: 161–194. Cox, Harvey 2013. ‘Introduction to the New Edition.’ In The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective, third edition, Princeton: Princeton University Press, xi–xxxviii. Davie, Grace 2007. The Sociology of Religion, London: Sage.


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Galilei, Galileo 1967. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican, trans. Stillman Drake, second edition, Berkeley: University of California Press. Gottschall, Jonathan 2012. The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Gould, Stephen Jay 1976. ‘Ladders, Bushes, and Human Evolution.’ Natural History 85, 4: 24–31. Joas, Hans 2014. Faith as an Option, trans. Alex Skinner, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Martin, Bernice 2001. ‘“Restoring Intellectual Day”: Theology and Sociology in the Work of David Martin.’ In Restoring the Image: Essays on Religion and Society in Honour of David Martin, edited by Andrew Walker and Martyn Percy, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 203–224. Martin, David 1969. The Religious and the Secular, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Martin, David 1978. A General Theory of Secularization, Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Martin, David 1991. ‘The Secularization Issue: Prospect and Retrospect.’ The British Journal of Sociology 42, 3: 465–474. Martin, David 2005. On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory, Aldershot: Ashgate. Martin, David 2012. ‘The Essence of an Accidental Sociologist: An Appreciation of Peter Berger.’ Society 49, 2: 168–174. Martin, David 2013. The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist, London: SPCK. Martin, David 2014. ‘Secularization: An International Debate from a British Perspective.’ Society 51, 5: 464–471. Martin, David 2016. ‘La città secolare nel dibattito sociologico.’ Annali di studi religiosi 17: 35–43. Martin, David 2017. Secularisation, Pentecostalism, and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion, New York: Routledge. Mayr, Ernst 2004. What Makes Biology Unique? Considerations on the Autonomy of a Scientific Discipline, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mazzoni, Guido 2005. Sulla poesia moderna, Bologna: il Mulino. McNeill, William H. 1986. ‘Mythistory, or Truth, Myth, History, and Historians.’ The American Historical Review 91, 1: 1–10. Pinkard, Terry 2017. Does History Make Sense? Hegel on the Historical Shapes of Justice, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Reed, John Shelton 2015. ‘Review of The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist.’ Society 52, 4: 513–515. Taylor, Charles 1958. ‘The Poverty of the Poverty of Historicism.’ Universities & Left Review 2, 4: 77–78. Taylor, Charles 2005. ‘Foreword.’ In David Martin, On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory, Aldershot: Ashgate, ix–x. Taylor, Charles 2007. A Secular Age, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Taylor, Charles 2016. The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Tschannen, Olivier 1992. Les théories de la sécularisation, Geneva: Droz.


Understanding religion in modern Britain Taking the long view Grace Davie

The parameters of this chapter are easily set. It begins with David Martin’s A Sociology of English Religion (1967) and ends with Martin’s own retrospect on both the genesis of this book and the context – substantive and disciplinary – from which it emerged. The latter account can be found in Chapter 5 of Martin (2017) and is entitled ‘Recapitulation in the Sociology of Religion in Britain’. Fifty years separate these two publications, representing almost exactly the time that I have known David Martin. Interestingly, my first conversations with David concerned matters French rather than matters British or English. I was in the midst of my own doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics on the political dimensions of the French Protestant community in the interwar period. Specifically, I was trying to understand a numerically very small ‘minority within a minority’ whose rightwing political inclinations ran counter to most of their co-religionists. Why was this so? The answer lay in grasping first the reasons for the leftleaning tendencies of the great majority of French Protestants (an orientation that lasted until the Second World War), and second the factors that accounted for a certain number of deviations from the general rule. The explanations, I discovered, were sociological rather than theological, noting that theologies still mattered, and could be deployed variously depending on the context in which they were worked out and on the communities that sustained them. For this reason, when I turned my attention to the British case, I was as much aware of what it was not as of what it was. Thus, I was able to appreciate right from the start the distinctiveness of religion in Britain (both in general and in its constituent nations). As ever its specificities derive from a particular history, an account which is markedly different from its equivalents in France on the one hand, and in the United States on the other, both of which become the principal comparators for the British case. And as Martin argues: ‘[t]his context is adequate, partly because Britain stands midway between the other two, and partly because France can represent a whole class of Latin countries’ (1967: 77). In short, A Sociology of English Religion sets the English (and Welsh) case within a comparative account of secularization, an approach that appealed to me right from the start.1 It was, moreover, one that I pursued myself in the two volumes on religion in Britain which I published myself. The first – Religion in Britain since 1945:


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Believing without Belonging – appeared in 1994 and came about at David Martin’s suggestion. It formed part of a series on ‘Making Contemporary Britain’. The connections with Martin’s earlier text are plain enough though much had changed since 1967. The second – Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (Davie 2015) – was technically a revised edition of the 1994 text, but it became effectively a new book. Taken together, these three volumes – published in 1967, 1994 and 2015 – offer a set of stepping stones from the 1960s to the present day. In what follows the emphasis will be on Martin’s own account, taking this as the baseline for subsequent shifts in perspective. A short post-script alters the focus slightly: it introduces David Martin as public intellectual and cultural critic in addition to his role of scholar of religion.

A sociology of English religion (1967) Revisiting this seminal account some fifty years after publication has been an interesting experience. A Sociology of English Religion is a relatively short book, but it contains a surprisingly large amount of information arranged in six chapters. The first – predictably enough – concerns the historical background. It is essential that we know where we come from. Central to the argument is a careful analysis of the effects of the industrial revolution on religious practice, paying particular attention to regional, class and denominational differences. The dislocating effects of uprooting from rural to urban locations become a central theme.2 Within this framework, the case of London is highlighted, including a substantial extract from Charles Booth’s Life and Labour of the People in London.3 The following two chapters give us the facts and figures, about first religious practices and second attitudes, beliefs and opinions. Regarding practices, the detail matters, as does the relevant demographic context – without which the figures mean little. The conclusion, however, is not only surprising (at least in retrospect) but unequivocal. It is captured in the following sentences: Most important is the striking resilience of the churches under unique pressures, accelerating social changes and the kind of rapid social movement which erodes stable institutions of any kind which do not happen to be part of the required structure of Government. (Martin 1967: 50) Let it be said quite simply that in the course of a year nearly one out of every two Britons will have entered a church, not for an event in the life cycle or for a special personal or civic occasion, but for a service within the ordinary pattern of institutional religion. (ibid: 51) Both affirmations will be revisited below. With respect to attitudes, beliefs and opinions, Martin starts with some general findings, but then he looks at a series of sub-systems or patterns. These

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are the (Anglo-)Catholic, the evangelical, the aristocratic, the working-class and the progressive, recognizing that the categories in question are different in nature: two are status groups whilst the other three are ideological types. The mixings and matchings reveal unexpected affinities as well as contrasts. For example, both evangelicals and progressives are moralistic; both moreover place a high value on experience and education but in different ways. Elites and proletarians do things differently: they equate religion with conduct rather than belief. As a result, both groups are reticent about ‘theology’, or even belief, which is rarely discussed – still less in public. Elites ‘express’ such views in practical ways, in attending church and organizing its functions. The working class (or more accurately classes) have their own approach: the notion that ‘you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian’ is widespread. It is a sentiment that eschews hypocrisy but does not imply a lack of belief per se. Indeed, articulate atheism is seen as an affectation, similar to overly self-conscious belief. A short section on superstitions and subterranean theologies concludes the chapter. If the above sections ‘describe’ the religious situation in Britain in the mid1960s the following chapters ‘explain’ this. Chapter 4 entitled ‘Structures and Patterns’ starts by placing England and Wales in a comparative context, a point already alluded to. It also introduces the notion of typology, first with reference to organizational types – namely church, denomination and sect – and second in terms of (musical) cultures. This capturing of religious ‘types’ under the headings of carol, hymn and chorus reveals Martin’s abiding interest in music as well as sociology. England and Wales are then considered in more detail, making careful use of community studies. Locality matters. Chapter 5 sets out the classical thinking about religion (and indeed secularization) among the founders of sociology: i.e. Nietzsche and Freud, Feuerbach and Marx, Durkheim and Weber. These theorists are used selectively as ‘springboards from which to initiate discussion of various aspects of British society coming within their ambit of concern’ (1967: 101). A final chapter reminds us of what we do not know, and thus the importance of continuing research in the field – a point to reiterate half a century later. A revealing postscript recalls the ways of working of those trained in sociology and the implications of this approach for the study of religion. The twin goals of description and explanation – then as now – are no different in the field of religion from their applications to secular life. I am struck in re-reading this book by the two points summarized in the quotations on p. 68 – i.e. those that pertain to the relative stability of the churches as organizations and the relatively high levels of (occasional) church attendance. This is a picture of resilience rather than change, in which a distinctively Protestant culture appears moderately intact – an image not often associated with the 1960s. The nature of that turbulent decade and its implications for religion right across Europe will be considered below. In the meantime, it is important to note that the data gathering and writing for Martin’s account took place in the mid- rather than later 60s – in other words well before the acceleration of change at the end of the decade.


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The same point is relevant to what seems in retrospect a lacuna in the book: that is a more developed discussion of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and its effect not only on the Catholic community per se, but on our understanding of religion as such. The event is hardly mentioned, let alone discussed. This is in marked contrast to later accounts, including (for instance) that of Adrian Hastings, who argues that Vatican II was the most important ecclesiastical event of the century, never mind the 1960s. ‘It so greatly changed the character of by far the largest communion of Christendom . . . that no one has been left unaffected’ (1986: 525). Clearly the Council altered very tangibly the ordinary practice of parochial life among Catholics; in addition, it set in motion a whole process of discussion and renewal which very quickly assumed a momentum of its own. But neither point was visible in the material gathered in the mid-1960s. I was less surprised that there is very little mention of other faith communities, which remained very small. As Martin says: ‘The Muslims, Hindus and various Orthodox Communions must each number about 200,000: together 1%’ (1967: 36); a further 1% were Jewish. More interesting is the noticeable over-representation of the latter in the House of Commons, which included thirty-two Jewish MPs (two Conservative and thirty Labour). Interestingly, over-representation of the Jewish minority continues though less obviously now than before, and the distribution between the parties has shifted markedly (away from Labour and towards the Conservatives). The growing presence of other faith communities and their influence on the religious life of Britain is a hugely significant, late-twentieth-century transformation.

Moving forwards In the foreword to my own Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging, David Martin re-iterates the point just made: namely that his book stands on the cusp of major changes in British society as a whole, never mind British religion, but at the time of writing he did not fully appreciate either the speed or the extent of what was about to happen. He writes: For some time a book has been needed on the sociology of religion in Britain. . . . My own A Sociology of English Religion aged rather rapidly, because the latest material it touched on referred to 1964–5, and immediately preceded the watershed of the late 1960s. I did not foresee that watershed or anticipate the shaking of the statistics from California to Trieste. Nor did I imagine the extent to which the churches themselves would collude with the spirit of the age. Grace Davie’s book traces the changes since that period, though her retrospective glance is naturally longer than that. (Martin 1994: x) A second link to Martin’s work can be found in the key theme of the 1994 text: that of believing without belonging, which to a considerable extent

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builds on to Martin’s own discussion of religious belief – notably the reluctance of the British working classes to attend church despite their underlying attachments to the moral codes of Christianity.4 In elaborating this as a core theme I set the growing detachment of religious belief from religious practice in a variety of social contexts (geographical, demographic and social), describing the variety of patterns that emerge. I concluded that in the late twentieth century the drifting of belief away from its institutional moorings and associated orthodoxies was a far greater challenge to the British churches than the supposedly secular nature of British society. The popularity of this idea and its easy alliteration as ‘believing without belonging’ triggered an unexpectedly high readership both inside and outside the academy. Two expressions of this theme are worth repeating. The first is a short snippet from a research project carried out in Islington in 1968, a piece of work set in motion by David Martin in an attempt to probe further the notion of ‘subterranean theologies’ (see above); the findings were published in David Martin and Michael Hill (eds.), A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain, 3 (Abercrombie et al. 1970).5 The account includes the following exchange, which I used to introduce my argument: ‘Do you believe in God?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Do you believe in a God who can change the course of events on earth?’ ‘No, just the ordinary one.’ This ‘conversation’ – in a way trivial, but also very profound – captures very well the sentiments of the interviewee: that is practical, no-nonsense believing, but a reluctance to engage in its deeper theological significance. Reflecting on precisely what the notion of an ‘ordinary God’ implied both for the churches and those who study them determined to a considerable extent not only the content but the structure of the book as a whole. A second expression – or more accurately commentary on the theme – came initially in the form of a paper presented to the first of two Consultations on Common Religion that I co-convened at St. George’s House, Windsor in the early 1990s.6 David Martin gave the final paper, which reflected very well the mood of the consultation as a whole. The opening paragraphs capture very clearly the disjunction between belief and belonging, but at the same time the continuing role of the churches as ‘markers’ and ‘anchors’ of human existence: We in England live in the chill religious vapours of northern Europe, where moribund religious establishments loom over populations that mostly do not enter churches for active worship even if they entertain inchoate beliefs. Yet these establishments guard and maintain thousands of houses of God, which are markers of place and visible signs of continuity,


Grace Davie anchors of space and time. Not only are they markers and anchors, but also the only repositories of all-embracing meanings pointing beyond the immediate to the ultimate. They are the only institutions that deal in tears and concern themselves with the breaking points of human existence. They provide frames and narratives and signs to live by, and offer persistent points of reference. They are repositories of signs about miraculous birth and redemptive sacrifice, shared tables and gift giving; and they offer moral codes and exemplars for the creation of communal solidarity and the nourishment of virtue. They are places from which to launch initiatives which help sustain the kind of networks found, for example, in the inner city; they welcome schools and regiments and rotary clubs; they celebrate and commemorate; they are islands of quietness; they are places in which unique gestures occur of blessing, distribution and obeisance; they offer spaces in which solemnly to gather, to sing, to lay flowers, and light candles. They are serious places on serious earth. (Wei and Zhong 2015: 363)

The final phrase which echoes Philip Larkin’s well-known poem ‘Church Going’ cements what is clear already: that is the evocative – indeed poetic – nature of the writing that conveys far more than a set of statistics. Not only did this paper furnish a fitting conclusion to the consultation, it also provided a springboard for the final chapter of Religion in Britain since 1994. This considered the contents of the book as a whole, underlining the need for innovative theoretical frameworks if we are to understand these elusive connections rather better. Clearly, they were ill-served by over-rigorous accounts of secularization. A decade or so later, the need for a new edition of the 1994 text became apparent. For various reasons this was slower to arrive than it should have been – it eventually appeared in 2015 under the title Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox. The change in title reflected the degree of rewriting that was deemed necessary to convey three interlinked changes: first, the continually evolving patterns of religion and its place in British society; second, the step change that had occurred not only in the religious life of the country, but in the social scientific study of the field – a story in its own right; and third, my own development as scholar. In 1994, I already knew the French case pretty well, but I had not ventured much beyond Europe. By 2015, I had travelled widely and saw not only Britain, but Europe as a whole, in a new light (see Davie 2002). What then was the paradox alluded to in the title? In terms of statistical contours, religion in Britain has continued to decline generation by generation – no serious scholar of religion will deny that this is the case. To be a ‘Christian’ now is to claim membership of a subculture; it is no longer the default position. But in terms of public debate, the presence of religion is more rather than less present, witness the noticeably sharp exchanges regarding not only the somewhat limited role of the churches but the contested place of faith and

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faith communities in a liberal – supposedly secular – democracy. This in turn reflects the changing nature of religion in modern Britain, which remains a country with a deeply embedded Christian culture, but which now houses a wide diversity of religious communities whose very presence provokes new and difficult questions about the place of religion in public life. In short, at one and the same time Britain is becoming both increasingly secular and increasingly diverse with regard to its religious profile. The ensuing paradox provided the core theme of the 2015 text. There was also a conceptual shift. The separating out of belief from belonging undoubtedly offered fruitful ways in which to understand and to organize the material about religion in modern Britain. Pertinent questions were asked, and interesting things were discovered. Ongoing reflection, however, encouraged me to think more deeply about these issues and in two ways. On the one hand was the recognition that both belief and belonging came in hard and soft versions. ‘Belief’ at one end of the spectrum can be vague and imprecise, but at the other it is sharply defined (in, for example, creedal statements). Belonging, however, is much the same: self-identification as ‘Christian’ on a census form implies something very different from week by week religious attendance. At the same time came the realization that the argument very largely turns on the relationship between the two – that is between the relatively restricted community of active believers who express their often articulate faith in more or less regular churchgoing, and the much larger penumbra who retain some sort of belief, and who wish from time to time to touch base with the institutions with which they identify. The notion of vicarious religion emerged from these deliberations; it pivots on the idea that the smaller group is doing something on behalf of the larger one, who are aware (if only implicitly) of this relationship. It can be operationalized as follows. Churches and church leaders perform ritual on behalf of others; church leaders and churchgoers believe on behalf of others; church leaders and churchgoers embody moral codes on behalf of others; and churches can at times offer space for the ‘vicarious’ debate of unresolved issues in modern societies. It is worth noting that all of these functions have in common the perception of the church as a public utility: that it is an institution (or more accurately a cluster of institutions) which exists to make provision for a population living in a designated place, local or national, and which are found wanting if they fail to deliver. For this reason, vicarious religion as a concept works well in evoking the historical forms of religion discovered in Europe (including Britain), but it almost always fails to resonate in the United States. This is not the place to develop this argument in detail.7 It is, however, important to note both continuities and change between 1994 and 2015. Regarding continuities, the underlying distinctiveness of the British case remains. Britain and France, for example, are faced with similar dilemmas regarding the management of religious diversity (notably Islam), but deal with this in very different ways. The British seek solutions to difficult issues; the French abide


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by principles – most notably laïcité for which no British equivalent exists. In terms of change the most striking feature is a reversal in the fortunes of rural and urban churches. The former is no longer sustained by a generation nurtured before 1945, whose residual loyalty kept them going. The latter, in contrast, operate more on a market model – sometimes very successfully – and have benefitted disproportionately from the in-migration of both Christians and other faiths. The case of London is particularly striking, wherein there can be found a noticeable upturn in the statistics (see Davie 2015: 107–109). Unsurprisingly this unexpected increase has provoked considerable comment from a variety of disciplines. No longer is London a beacon of secularity as anticipated in Harvey Cox’s 1960s best seller entitled The Secular City (Cox 1965). It has become instead a vibrant market in religion – both Christian and other – a situation largely driven by immigration, but not entirely. As I make clear in Religion in Britain, some forms of religion do better than others in late modern society. Counterintuitively for many people, these include cathedrals, charismatic evangelical churches and any congregation or parish which can identify and respond to a need. A conurbation such as London offers ample opportunities for such endeavours, which are boosted by a rather more favourable financial situation than is found elsewhere. And if a particular way of doing things is proving less than successful, alternatives abound. A redundant church building will be quickly snapped up by an aspiring congregation. That is not the case in rural areas where closure may be the only option. As a footnote to this section, it is also worth noting a parallel shift with respect to Scotland and Wales on the one hand and England on the other. No longer are the former visibly more active in their religiousness than England. Indeed, both are the victims of what might be called ‘late onset’ secularization, but for different reasons in each case.

The hinge decades Given the changes that have taken place, it is pertinent to ask about the ‘hinge’ decades and the key shifts with which these are associated. The emphasis will be on the post-war period, noting however the innovations that were already underway in the 1930s – for example some notable advances in ecumenism and the attractions of pacifism to many churchgoers. Indeed, in many ways the 1940s and 1950s can be seen as an ‘interruption’, dominated as they were by the war and the subsequent need for restoration, not least in material terms given the devastation wreaked by bombing. In the Diocese of London alone only seventy out of 700 churches remained unscathed. More particularly, the 1950s became an ‘Anglican’ decade in which the social role of the Established Church was confirmatory rather than confrontational. Such synergies were expressed above all in the liturgies and sentiments surrounding the Coronation, described by Daniel Jenkins in 1974 as ‘the most universally impressive ceremonial event in history’ (1975: 74; see also Martin 1967: 107, 143, 2017: 74–75).

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The 1960s The significance of the 1960s as a moment of change should be seen against this background. Predictably enough this turbulent decade and its consequences for the religious life of Britain (and indeed elsewhere) have been the subject of considerable intellectual activity. Three very different analyses can be taken as examples. The first is Callum Brown’s The Death of Christian Britain (first published in 2001), which argues that the story of secularization pivots on what happened in the 1960s. Until then, according to Brown, indices of religion were relatively stable; thereafter decline sets in. The reason for the shift lies in the changing roles of women, which transformed definitively in this decade. No longer were women prepared to sustain traditional models of religion on behalf of everyone else; they had instead lives of their own to live and aspirations to strive for. Unsurprisingly Brown’s thesis is controversial. Most recent in a long series of critiques is Clive Field’s Britain’s Last Religious Revival? Quantifying Belonging, Behaving and Believing in the Long 1950s (2015), which painstakingly refutes the idea of a religious revival in the 50s followed by a late and sudden onset of secularization in the 60s.8 The second text is Hugh McLeod’s The Religious Crisis of the 1960s (2007), which offers a more rounded account. Meticulously researched, McLeod’s analysis looks both at the decade itself and at the ways in which the 1960s as a whole fit into a much longer-term narrative regarding secularization, both in Britain and elsewhere. One point is particularly striking: that is the noticeably different time periods within what McLeod calls the ‘long 1960s’. Until 1963, the questioning of the status quo within the churches was relatively cautious; it grew bolder thereafter, until (following 1966) a more conservative reaction asserted itself once again. Four themes are highlighted: the increase in range of beliefs and worldviews accessible to the majority of the population; a marked shift in the way that populations in the West understood the religious identity of their own societies; a serious weakening in the process of socialization into Christian (or confessional) knowledge and identity; and a change in the relationships between different denominations – at one and the same time, churches as such moved closer to each other but the divisions within them (conservative, moderate, liberal and radical) became more marked. A third (specifically British) contribution takes a different view. In a prizewinning essay entitled ‘The Invention of a Secular Society’, Sam BrewittTaylor (2013) argues that ‘[a]t some point between 1961 and 1964, the received wisdom about British religiosity abruptly changed’.9 Almost overnight, educated opinion convinced itself that British society was no longer Christian but secular. Brewitt-Taylor considers the reasons for this shift, arguing – innovatively – that the secularization discourses that emerged in the early 1960s originated not from secular sociology as is often assumed but from within British Christianity itself. This new way of thinking was


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moreover endorsed by senior Christian leaders, anxious to overcome the barriers between church and society. In other words, it was a Christian, rather than secular, re-imagining of British religion that accounted for the rapid change in perspective. The statistical decline in churchgoing – often seen as the trigger for change – came later. Crucially for the argument in this chapter, an essay by David Martin, first published in The Listener in 1968, strongly endorses this view (see also Martin 1969a), but is not included in Brewitt-Taylor’s original essay. Martin’s subsequent exchanges with BrewittTaylor are described below. Fin de siècle The final chapter of my own Religion in Britain since 1945 tackles the shift from modern to post-modern and its implications for religion and religious thinking. This is less easy to pin to a specific decade than the discussions of the 1960s, but it was a topic much discussed in the 1980s and 1990s – epitomized perhaps by David Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity, published in 1989. The crucial point lies in the consequences for religious organizations of a society that was moving from industrial to post-industrial ways of working, bringing with it innovative modes of organization and a tendency to think in terms of consumption rather than production. It is clear that some churches were better placed than others to capitalize on this shift. Associated with this change was the mutation from modern to post-modern patterns of thinking often captured in a move away from grand narratives (be they religious or secular) and towards rather more fragmented or decentred accounts. The links between structural changes and cultural shifts are central to the debate but need very careful reflection – they are neither automatic nor self-evident. My analysis worked through the consequences of these changes for the British churches and the belief systems associated with them. Regarding the former, the shift from a public utility as the dominant mode of delivery to something more like a market is clearly relevant (captured in my own thinking as a move from obligation to consumption). Regarding the latter the crucial point can be summarized as follows: the situation that emerged became qualitatively different from that which preceded it in that ‘competition’ between different sets of firmly held convictions (whether religious or secular) began to give way to a pervasive self-questioning on each side of the classic divide. At the same time, however, this situation and the self-doubt that went with it engendered a predictable reaction: that is the reassertion – often with great vigour – of traditional certainties. It is for this reason that the notion of fundamentalism emerged – or more accurately – re-emerged in public discussion towards the end of the twentieth century.10 What I did not see in my original account, however, was the phenomenon of ‘new atheism’, which burst on the scene a little later, in the early years of the new millennium.

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With this in mind, it is interesting to note a subsequent discussion in which Martin deals with the ideological sources surrounding the debate about violence and religion. A crucial element in the argument takes the new atheists to task for their mistaken elision of the natural and social sciences – specifically the refusal to recognize the centrality of context or contingency to the latter (Martin 2014). The details of Martin’s extended censure of the new atheist position exceed the parameters of this chapter, but the account includes the following memorable (not to say damning) sentence, which sees ‘creationist science’ and ‘new atheism’ as equally mistaken about the true nature of Christianity and its complex relationship to violence. Curiously, there are forms of fundamentalist Christianity which believe that faith provides information about natural causation within the same universe of discourse as natural science. We have the strange spectacle of struggles between standard science and ‘Creation science’ equally based on false premises about the nature of Christianity: the blind ‘New Atheists’ wrestle with the blind ‘Creationists’ and they both stand and fall together as they stumble into the ditch. (Martin 2014: 44) The new millennium I completed the new edition of Religion in Britain in 2015, by which time the debate regarding the post-modern seemed somewhat distant. To a large extent the equally controversial notion of the post-secular had taken its place – a term which moved centre-stage following a series of interventions by the distinguished philosopher Jürgen Habermas. One of these was the address that he gave following the award of the Holberg prize in 2005.11 Habermas’ lecture, entitled ‘Religion in the Public Sphere’ began thus: ‘We can hardly fail to notice the fact that religious traditions and communities of faith have gained a new, hitherto unexpected political importance’. He continued: The fact is at least unexpected for those of us who followed the conventional wisdom of mainstream social science and assumed that modernization inevitably goes hand in hand with secularization in the sense of a diminishing influence of religious beliefs and practices on politics and society at large. In short, religion has reappeared as a political force; this was not expected to happen; and the reason for the unexpectedness was the confident assertions of mainstream social science which assumed that the processes of modernization and secularization were concomitant. A second intervention can be found in a cogently argued article published in the European Journal of Philosophy, which addresses the idea of the post-secular in terms of John Rawls’s celebrated concept, the ‘public use of


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reason’ (Habermas 2006: 3). The challenge which emerges is provocative: Habermas invites of secular citizens, including Europeans, ‘a self-reflective transcending of the secularist self-understanding of Modernity’ (2006: 15) – an attitude that quite clearly goes beyond ‘mere tolerance’ in that it necessarily engenders feelings of respect for the worldview of the religious person. There is in fact a growing reciprocity in the argument. Historically, religious citizens had to adapt to an increasingly secular environment in order to survive at all. Secular citizens were better placed in that they avoided, almost by definition, ‘cognitive dissonances’ in the modern secular state. This however is no longer the case as religion and religious issues increasingly pervade the agenda. An additional question follows from this. Are these issues simply to be regarded as relics of a pre-modern era, or is it the duty of the more secular citizen to overcome his or her narrowly secularist consciousness in order to engage with religion in terms of ‘reasonably expected disagreement’ (2006: 15), assuming in other words a degree of rationality on both sides? It seems that the latter expectation has prevailed. Habermas’ claims are challenging in every sense of the term and merit very careful reflection. They constitute an innovative response to the changes in the global environment – one moreover in which the relative secularity of Europe is increasingly seen as an exceptional, rather than prototypical, case. His interventions have provoked a lively debate, which cannot be presented in its entirety.12 The contributions of three scholars are, however, central to the argument presented here. The first two – Hans Joas and David Martin himself – address a similar question, asking whether either the secular or the post-secular is a unitary concept. The third – James Beckford – has comparable concerns but pushes the argument further. Helpfully in terms of the present discussion, he grounds his criticism in a close analysis of the British case. Each of their approaches will be taken in turn. Hans Joas has written extensively in this field, in a body of work which interrogates the connections between modernization and secularization. In the course of this enquiry he pays close attention to the imprecise use of both these concepts, noting in particular up to seven different meanings of the term ‘secular’ (Joas 2008; Joas and Wiegandt 2009). Such complexities, he argues, must be squarely faced. It is in working through them that a better understanding of late modern society will emerge, not in an exaggerated contrast between an oversimplified, and thus distorting, understanding of either the secular or post-secular. David Martin argues similarly in a discussion which draws – as we have seen – on five decades of scholarship. As early as the 1960s, Martin urged caution regarding the idea of secularization, underlining the manifest confusions surrounding this term, not to mention its ideological overtones. Some fifty years later, he advises similar prudence with respect to the post-secular, fearing that the same confusions might happen again. Specifically, he affirms the persistence rather than the resurgence of religion, including its presence in public debate – for which reason he questions the notion (the idea itself) of privatization. Is this the correct word

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to describe what has happened even in Europe (Martin 2011: 6–7)? Much of the evidence suggests otherwise. The interactions of the religious and the secular should rather be seen in the long-term. ‘Religious thrusts’ and ‘secular recoils’ have happened for centuries rather than decades and – crucially for Martin – they work themselves out differently in different places. In his presidential address to the 2012 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, James Beckford (2012) adds a further layer to this critique. He begins by comparing the post-secular to the ambiguities surrounding the post-modern a decade or so earlier. His reactions, moreover, are not only similar but characteristically thorough in both cases. Each concept is subject to rigorous interrogation in order to expose their frailties. For example, with regard to the post-secular, Beckford starts by identifying the multiple strands embedded within this much used term, not all of which are compatible with each other. The discussion, it follows, is necessarily confused in that different scholars are talking about different things. Two points are worth noting in particular: first that different disciplines adopt this term in different ways, and second that a frequently normative discourse does not always pay attention to empirical detail. In the second part of his address – and to bring home the point about empirical detail – Beckford explores recent changes in the management of religion in Britain. He notes three aspects in particular: an increase in religious diversity, the application of equalities legislation to ‘religion or belief’, and the promotion of social enterprise policies across government departments, all of which have increased the visibility of religion in public debate. But is the term post-secular helpful in this context? Beckford is not convinced, for reasons which are markedly similar to those evoked by Joas and Martin: namely that the concept of the post-secular mirrors simplistic accounts of the secular. To be properly understood, both ideas must be earthed in a detailed, historically informed account, which will reveal – amongst other things – what counts as ‘religion’ in public life in any particular case. All too often this is simply taken for granted.

Martin’s recapitulation The last word, however, must go to David Martin himself. This can be found in the chapter entitled ‘Recapitulation in the Sociology of Religion in Britain’ in Martin (2017), which concentrates on the early post-war decades and brings together a number of pertinent themes. Selectively these include the distinctly embryonic nature of the sub-discipline of the sociology of religion in Britain in the 1960s, which relates in turn to the relative paucity of the available data – the more so if this is seen in a comparative perspective. That said, Martin underlines some key contributions to British scholarship but asks why only some of these have become central to the continuing debate. Finally, he returns to Sam Brewitt-Taylor’s innovative analysis of the 1960s, introduced above. Each of these points will be taken in turn.


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In the first section of this long essay, Martin works at two levels: personal and disciplinary. He starts by recalling his early years in the Department of Sociology at the LSE, his gradual establishment as a scholar of religion, and his initial publications in this field – including A Sociology of English Religion. That field, however, did not sit easily within sociology as such. Hence in 1966, an article in the British Journal of Sociology entitled ‘The sociology of religion: A case of status deprivation?’ – a ‘label’ that reflected constant interrogation about the legitimacy of religion as a subject for sociologists (Martin 1966). The reasoning was clear: it was generally assumed that the subject matter was disappearing with secularisation and if it still appeared to exist it was a false front for phenomena that were really real. Only politics seriously mattered. To study religion was like documenting the ideological smile on the vanishing Cheshire cat. (Martin 2017: 62) A second point followed from this: that was the recognition that the sociology of religion – like religion itself – developed differently in different places. As we have seen, the analysis in A Sociology of English Religion deployed a comparative perspective with a particular focus on the American and French cases. Both, moreover, were better off than the British in terms of (a) interest in the field and (b) available data – each of which stimulated the other. The reasoning, however, was different in each case. In the United States religion was and has remained a central feature of national life, worthy of close attention by a wide variety of scholars, including a significant number of sociologists. In France, the shifting fortunes (or more accurately misfortunes) of the Catholic Church were painstakingly documented by a team of Catholic scholars (notably Gabriel Le Bras and Fernand Boulard), whose precise mapping of the field and careful attention to detail revealed the enduring nature of both religious and less religious cultures, which crosscut a reified and clearly over-simplified urban-rural dichotomy.13 Martin also notes the relatively few English-speaking sociologists who paid attention to – and in some cases translated – this important body of data, but whose work is seldom recalled in the current inventory of the sociology of religion in Britain.14 Why some texts become central and others do not remains a constant puzzle. And in this context Martin particularly commends the work of Clive Field on the 1950s (see above) and Simon Green’s The Passing of Protestant England: Secularisation and Social Change, c. 1920–1960, published in 2010. Both are interesting in that they offer an historical account of the decades which were central to the formation of Martin as a scholar of religion. The moment at which one person’s personal experience or memory becomes another’s historical material is necessarily poignant, but it happens to us all. A third book is Christie Davies’ The Strange Death of Moral England (2004). But – as David Martin asks – why did Callum Brown’s The

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Death of Christian Britain become a best seller when an account of the death of moral England did not? It isn’t easy to say. A final remark is more personal and can be found in Chapter 8 of Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence. It is worth quoting in full: my analysis of the sixties revolution and of associated changes in education and in the Church had disappeared. With regard to the Church, this comprehensive disappearance was brought home to me when I read an Oxford prize essay by Sam Brewitt-Taylor on the internet which gave an account of the deleterious effects of secular theology which made the core of my argument afresh. It was brilliant work, assiduously researched and far more richly documented and placed in impressive historical depth than my own. But it was the same argument. (Martin 2017: 136) Happily, electronic communication enabled further interaction between David Martin and Sam Brewitt-Taylor – now the Darby Fellow in History at Lincoln College, Oxford – and an eventual meeting. I have no doubt that the monograph based on Brewitt-Taylor’s doctoral thesis (from which the prize-winning essay emerged) will do full justice to Martin’s insights in understanding the changing place of religion in the 1960s.

Post-script: David Martin as public intellectual This episode is doubly interesting in that it opens up a further and important dimension in David Martin’s work: that of public intellectual and cultural critic. Early examples of his contributions in this field can be found in The Religious and the Secular (1969a) and Tracts against the Times (1973a), but the polemic extended for more than a decade in terms of both publication and participation. Central to this was a persistent, profoundly sociological and, at times, costly critique of the counter-culture noting in particular its disparagement of specific roles and institutions, an issue that affected not only religion but education and the family as well.15 Areas of diffuse religious socialization (for example teaching training, aspects of social work and the BBC itself) were being systematically secularized by liberal elites. A well-known and very visible example of this strand in Martin’s thinking reflects very directly his sensitivities to language, which are particularly acute in matters of liturgy – a passion that led him in 1980 to respond positively to an invitation to guest edit an issue of PN Review, entitled Crisis for Cranmer and King James.16 This was in effect a vigorous defence of the place of the Book of Common Prayer and the Authorised Version of the Bible in both the spiritual and more general culture of England. The issue took the form of a compilation of essays and testimonials and included a series of petitions addressed to the Church of England’s General Synod. The publication provoked a major and animated debate (both in and outside the Church). It generated leaders


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(editorials) in the major newspapers (The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph) alongside dozens of articles and letters. Sacks full of mail arrived at the LSE. This is not the place to argue the rights and wrongs of the Church of England’s policy regarding liturgical documents. It is the place to note that David Martin, in addition to a distinguished academic career, has on occasion provoked public as well as academic discussion in British society.

Notes 1 Martin’s The Religious and the Secular was published in 1969 (Martin 1969a); so also was a seminal article entitled ‘Notes for a general theory of secularisation’ (Martin 1969b). The definitive account came a decade later in A General Theory of Secularization (Martin 1978). The placing of Britain between France on the one hand and the United States on the other has received recent attention in Gertrude Himmelfarb’s (2004) provocative but widely-read account of the distinctive developments of the Enlightenment. Himmelfarb argues that the British understanding of the Enlightenment is much closer to the American than it is to the French. 2 This interpretation was received truth at the time. The debate however has shifted – and Martin’s views with it (see Martin 2017) – reflecting Olaf Blaschke’s (2002) arguments about a ‘second confessional phase’, which introduced new and successful modes of religious socialization more suited to the urban environment. 3 Specifically the Third Series, entitled Religious Influences (Booth 1902). 4 There is considerable evidence for this stance – see the references in Martin (1967: 69) and Chapter 4 of Religion in Britain since 1945, entitled ‘The ordinary Gods of British Society’. 5 David Martin initiated The Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain in 1968. It was published by SCM and ran for eight issues. 6 These consultations were held in 1990 and 1991 and were co-convened with Paul Avis. The paper from which this extract is taken was subsequently published in Crucible, April–June 1994: 58–63; it was reprinted in Wei and Zhong (2015: 363–367). 7 A full discussion of vicarious religion can be found in Davie (2000, 2007, 2010, 2015). 8 A revised edition of The Death of Christian Britain was published in 2009, in which Brown responds to a number of his earlier critics. 9 This essay is based on an Oxford D Phil; see Brewitt-Taylor (2012). A monograph will appear in due course. 10 For a full discussion of this point, see the Preface to the second edition and Chapter 9 in Davie (2013). 11 See www.holbergprisen.no/en/juergen-habermas/holberg-prize-symposium-2005. html (accessed 3 July 2017) for the details of the symposium that took place on this occasion. The full text of the symposium, including Professor Habermas’ address, is available at: https://www.scribd.com/document/333175446/Religionin-the-Public-Sphere-The-Holberg-Prize-Seminar-2005 (accessed 03 April 2018). 12 The very disparate elements brought together in these exchanges are well summarized in Beckford (2012). 13 An interesting post-script to this account can be found in a much more recent, and map-based publication co-authored by Hervé Le Bras, the son of Gabriel, and Emmanuel Todd (2013). Very different in tone, and displaying little interest in the fortunes of the Catholic Church, these authors recognize nonetheless the enduring power of Catholic culture with respect to political, social and educational issues in twenty-first-century France.

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14 See in particular Michael Jackson, who translated Fernand Boulard’s Premiers itinéraires en sociologie religieuses as An Introduction to Religious Sociology (1960), and William Pickering, who edited Durkheim’s writing on religion (Pickering 1994). Both Jackson and Pickering were Anglican priests. 15 A number of these ideas are brought together in David Martin’s Inaugural Lecture at the London School of Economics in 1971, which was subsequently published in Encounter (Martin 1973b). See also Chapters 12 and 13 in The Education of David Martin (2013). 16 The full text of PN Review, vol. 13, entitled ‘Crisis for Cranmer and King James’ is available at www.pnreview.co.uk/cgi-bin/scribe?toc=5;volume=6 (accessed 3 July 2017). In parenthesis, this was an episode that I followed from a variety of perspectives. My father in law – Donald Davie – was a co-editor of PN Review and shared many of David Martin’s sensitivities to both language and liturgy.

References Abercrombie, Nicholas, John Baker, Sebastian Brett and Jane Foster. 1970. ‘Superstition and Religion: The God of the Gaps’. In A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain 3, edited by David Martin and Michael Hill, 91–129. London: SCM Press. Beckford, James. 2012. ‘Public Religions and the Postsecular: Critical Reflections’. The 2012 JSSR Presidential Address. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 51, 1: 1–19. Blaschke, Olaf (ed.). 2002. Konfessionen in Konflikt: Deutschland zwischen 1800– 1970. Göttingen: Göttingen University Press. Booth, Charles. 1902–3. Life and Labour of the People in London. Third Series: Religious Influences, 7 vols. London: MacMillan. Boulard, Fernand. 1960. An Introduction to Religious Sociology: Pioneer Work in France. Translated by Michael Jackson. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. Brewitt-Taylor, Sam. 2012. ‘Christian Radicalism’ in the Church of England, 1957– 70. Unpublished D Phil thesis, University of Oxford. Brewitt-Taylor, Sam. 2013. ‘The Invention of a “Secular Society”? Christianity and the Sudden Appearance of Secularization Discourses in the British National Media, 1961–4’. Duncan Tanner Essay Prize Winner 2012. Twentieth Century British History, 24, 3: 327–350. Brown, Callum. 2001. The Death of Christian Britain. London: Routledge. A revised edition was published in 2009. Cox, Harvey. 1965. The Secular City. London: SCM. Davie, Grace. 1994. Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging. Oxford: Blackwell. Davie, Grace. 2000. Religion in Modern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Davie, Grace. 2002. Europe: the Exceptional Case: Parameters of Faith in the Modern World. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. Davie, Grace. 2007. ‘Vicarious Religion: A Methodological Challenge’. In Everyday Religion: Observing Modern Religious Lives, edited by Nancy Ammerman, 21–36. New York: Oxford University Press. Davie, Grace. 2010. ‘Vicarious Religion: A Response’. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 25, 2: 261–266. Davie, Grace. 2013. The Sociology of Religion: A Critical Agenda, 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications. Davie, Grace. 2015. Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox. Oxford, UK: WileyBlackwell.


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Davies, Christie. 2004. The Strange Death of Moral Britain. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Field, Clive. 2015. Britain’s Last Religious Revival? Quantifying Belonging, Behaving and Believing in the Long 1950s. London: Palgrave MacMillan. Green, Simon. 2010. The Passing of Protestant England: Secularisation and Social Change, c. 1920–1960. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Habermas, Jürgen. 2005. ‘Religion in the Public Sphere’. Address given on the receipt of the 2005 Holberg Prize. See www.holbergprisen.no/en/juergen-habermas/ holberg-prize-symposium-2005.html (accessed 3 July 2017). Habermas, Jürgen. 2006. ‘Religion in the Public Sphere’. European Journal of Philosophy, 14, 1: 1–25. Harvey, David. 1989. The Condition of Postmodernity. Oxford: Blackwell. Hastings, Adrian. 1986. History of English Christianity, 1929–1985. London: Collins. Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 2004. The Roads to Modernity: The British, French and American Enlightenments. New York: Knopf Publishing Group. Jenkins, Daniel. 1975. The British: Their Identity and Their Religion. London: SCM. Joas, Hans. 2008. Do We Need Religion? On the Experience of Self-Transcendence. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. Joas, Hans and Klaus Wiegandt (eds.). 2009. Secularization and the World Religions. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Le Bras, Hervé and Emmanuel Todd. 2013. Le mystère français. Paris: Seuil. Martin, David. 1966. ‘The Sociology of Religion: A Case of Status Deprivation’. British Journal of Sociology, 17, 4: 353–359. Martin, David. 1967. A Sociology of English Religion. London: SCM Press. Martin, David. 1969a. ‘Sociologist Fallen among Secular Theologians’. In The Religious and the Secular, 70–79. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Martin, David. 1969b. ‘Notes for a General Theory of Secularisation’. European Journal of Sociology, 10, 2: 192–201. Martin, David. 1973a. ‘The Naked Person: A Critique of Spontaneity’. Encounter, 40, 6: 12–20. Martin, David. 1973b. Tracts against the Times. Cambridge: Lutterworth. Martin, David. 1978. A General Theory of Secularization. Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David. 1994. ‘Foreword’. In Grace Davie, Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging, viii–ix. Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David. 2011. The Future of Christianity: Violence and Democracy, Secularization and Religion. Farnham: Ashgate. Martin, David. 2014. Religion and Power: No Logos without Mythos. Farnham: Ashgate. Martin, David. 2017. Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion. London: Routledge. McLeod, Hugh. 2007. The Religious Crisis of the 1960s. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pickering, William (ed.). 1994. Durkheim on Religion. New York: Oxford University Press. Wei, Dedong and Zhifeng Zhong (eds.). 2015. Sociology of Religion: A David Martin Reader. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.


Parallel reformations in Latin America A critical review of David Martin’s interpretation of the Pentecostal revolution1 José Casanova

Those who, like me, entered the sociological field of secularization research after David Martin are forever indebted to his pioneering work, particularly to his classic study, A General Theory of Secularization (Martin, 1978). Indeed, whenever I reread this classic I realize how many of what I thought might have been my own ideas were directly or indirectly indebted to him. On many occasions, whether reviewing any of his other works (Martin, 2011, 2002b; Casanova, 2011a) or participating jointly in conference panels, it has also become evident that I can hardly find any major disagreement with his main ideas or with his interpretations on practically any sociological issue. Only with respect to his interpretation of Latin American Pentecostalism, I’ve always felt that while I was generally in agreement with his analysis of the phenomenon itself, I had some reservations about his analysis of the Latin American context within which the phenomenon emerged and flourished. In my view, Martin did not pay enough attention to the general transformation of the Latin American region since the 1960s and particularly to the general transformation of Latin American Catholicism that followed the Second Vatican Council and the 1968 Latin American Bishops Conference in Medellin. When considered within such a broader context, the explosion of Pentecostalism in Latin America can be interpreted as part and parcel of a general process of socio-cultural and religious pluralization of Latin American societies, for which Pentecostalism served indeed as a triggering catalyst but also as its most beneficial recipient. It is for that reason that I speak of parallel and mutually reinforcing Catholic and Pentecostal reformations. Probably neither of the two would have been so successful without the other. The Pentecostal challenge reinforced a dynamic of Catholic reformation which had a global character beyond the region, while the Catholic transformation opened up the opportunity structures within which the Pentecostal explosion could take place. Tongues of Fire (Martin, 1990) was indeed pioneering insofar as it offered the first systematic and comprehensive sociological analysis of the extraordinary growth of Evangelical Protestantism, particularly of Pentecostal Christianity in Latin America. The continent-wide character of this growth as


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well as its explosive character had been overlooked by most social scientists. In this respect, Martin’s study forced every analyst of the region to pay attention to the phenomenon. As shown by his extensive and comprehensive bibliography, Martin based his study on a wide variety of sources, including classical studies of historical Protestantism in various Latin American countries, a growing missiological evangelical literature, new anthropological and sociological studies of Protestant communities in various Latin American settings and the emerging debates among Latin American intellectuals, most evidently in Brazil, concerning the social and national significance of the growth of Pentecostal communities (Mariz and Campos, 2011). Moreover, Tongues of Fire was the first systematic study that combined continent-wide empirical analysis with a general sociological interpretation of Latin American religious developments, placing them within a transatlantic comparative framework of processes of modernization and secularization. In this respect the book built upon, yet also extended the analysis beyond his A General Theory of Secularization. The title, Tongues of Fire, pointed directly to the phenomenon as a new “Pentecost” and indeed there are constant references throughout the text comparing contemporary Latin American Pentecostals and the primitive Christians of the apostolic age. The characterization of the phenomenon in the book’s subtitle as an “explosion” was not an exaggeration. Although there had been since the nineteenth century historical Protestant communities in Latin America, primarily Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian, they had been unable to establish a selfreproducing dynamic of endogenous growth and with some exceptions in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, they had remained tiny minorities. As Martin (1990: 50) points out, “the take-off came in the late sixties”. So the obvious question is why now, and not before? The answer resides in a felicitous combination of novel internal characteristics of a new type of Protestantism brought by Pentecostal Christianity and external opportunity structures created by a radical break in Catholic dominance. In Martin’s (1990: 282) own words, what historical Protestantism has lacked and still lacks is precisely the capacity “to go native” . . . . Indeed, it is the incapacity of Protestantism hitherto to cross cultural divides and “go native” that has historically given the edge to Catholicism or led to separatist native churches as in Africa. This capacity to go native and to cross cultural, ethnic and racial boundaries is precisely the great intrinsic advantage of Pentecostalism which explains its global expansion today not only in Latin America, but also in Africa and Asia, in places where the expansion of Protestant Christianity accompanying British or American imperialism had failed to take indigenous roots before. According to Martin (1990: 282), “the total autonomy of Pentecostalism is part and parcel of its immersion in Latin American culture, and of

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its successful propagation by persons of roughly the same educational level as the apostles”. But for this successful propagation to take place the external opportunity structures also had to change in a favorable direction. As Martin (1990: 13) rightly points out, the spread of evangelical Christianity in Latin America is contingent upon the breakdown of the organic unity of a given religion and national identity, and the general deregulation of religion. . . . That is the emergence of voluntarism itself and the breakup of the union of church and state, people and faith, local community and local church. The breakdown of the organic unity, the general deregulation of religion and the emergence of voluntarism all crystallized together throughout Latin America in the late 60s and 70s, made possible by three simultaneous processes: massive migrations from the rural countryside to the new urban megacities, the transformation and democratization of the Latin American state and the transformation of Latin American Catholicism. Most important in my view, was the fact that the breakup of the union of church and state, the deregulation of religion and the growth of religious voluntarism took place generally, except for some places like Argentina, without major resistance from the Catholic Church. The Catholic aggiornamento associated with Vatican II and the Medellin Bishops Conference made this voluntary disestablishment possible and the loss of Catholic hegemony derived from it acceptable. There is overwhelming evidence that this was a process of voluntary disestablishment that happened almost simultaneously throughout the Catholic world, as a consequence of the Catholic aggiornamento, not only in Latin America, but also in Southern Europe, in postSoviet Eastern Europe and in the Philippines, as a process of institutional relocation of the church from the state to civil society (Casanova, 1996; Huntington, 1991). The Vatican II Declaration on Religious Freedom was in this respect the most consequential Council document. As I indicated in Public Religions in the Modern World (1994: 72): The immediate historical consequences of the Declaration were (a) the acceptance of the modern principle of disestablishment and the separation of church and state and (b) the contestability of any political party or political party officially sponsored by the Catholic Church. Without this voluntary disestablishment the explosive growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America either would not have taken place or it would have occurred with much greater conflict and much more determined resistance from “the church”. In fact, the Catholic Church became a “free church” and ceased to be a church in the Weberian sense of the term, a compulsory


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institution claiming the monopoly of the means of grace over a territory. This is a fact which is completely neglected in Martin’s analysis (1990: 278–283), skewing somewhat his otherwise convincing and insightful interpretation of what he characterizes as a “Latin Americanization of American religion” as much as an “Americanization of Latin American religion”. To argue that the Catholic Church generally accepted the process without open resistance does not imply that sectors of the Catholic hierarchy, clerical cadres and lay Catholic elites welcomed the loss of hegemony, the deregulation of religion and the unexpected Protestant competition without some, and in some cases with great reluctance. But crucial was the fact that the Catholic Church accepted the process as a normatively acceptable even if perhaps factually undesirable development. Equally significant from a comparative analytical perspective was the fact that the growth of Pentecostalism did not coincide as in the past with a weakening of Catholicism caused by traditional conflicts with secular elites, but rather it coincided with a widespread renewal of Latin American Catholicism, a renewal which in many respects took also a “voluntarist” form that broke with the old organic unity “of people and faith, local community and local church”. In this respect, what took place in Latin America was the simultaneous occurrence of a double reformation, namely the emergence and growth of a Pentecostal form of Reformed Protestant Christianity and the reformation of Catholic Christianity. The most important consequence of this double reformation was the initiation of a process of religious pluralization, which has transformed the culture of Latin American societies and has contributed to the formation of more open and pluralistic civil societies. Martin is undoubtedly right in emphasizing the enormous contribution of the explosive growth of Latin American Pentecostal communities to this radically new development of religious pluralization, cultural transformation and open civil societies. In this his argument dovetails with the analysis of Daniel Levine (2012), the most perceptive social scientist observer of the ongoing religious, social and political transformations of Latin American societies. But Levine (2012: 65–90) puts greater emphasis on the parallel and reinforcing nature of the transformation. Martin analyzes Latin American Pentecostalism as a transmutation of English and American Methodism, which itself can be viewed as a transmutation of English Calvinism. For Martin (1990: 27) “the structural relationship of Methodism to English society, and also to Welsh society, offers an instructive model for looking at the relationship of Pentecostalism to Latin America today”. In a nutshell, Methodism made impossible the Anglican Church’s maintenance of a “sacred canopy” over English society. Methodism played a similar function in the United States destroying any remnants of a sacred canopy. For Martin, “the prototypes of Pentecostal and evangelical religion went into full cultural reproduction, ready for eventual transportation across the Rio Grande” (1990: 274), so that “Pentecostalism now performs similar roles with respect to Catholicism in Latin America” (1990: 27).

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True, Pentecostalism today would make impossible any attempt of the Catholic Church to maintain or reestablish a “sacred canopy” over Latin American societies. But the related argument I am making is that the Catholic Church had on its own adopted a position of voluntary disestablishment throughout the Catholic world as a consequence of new normative guidelines emerging from the first global ecumenical Christian council with the participation of bishops from all over the world, many of them from regions such as North America, Africa and Asia, where the Catholic Church was a minority denomination and could not envision the plausibility of a “sacred canopy”. In the continent-wide meeting of Medellin in 1968 the Latin American bishops reaffirmed the principles expressed in Gaudium et Spes, The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World (#73), advocating the establishment of a legal-political order able to protect better the rights of individuals in the public sphere, such as “the right to free association, to free and public expression of one’s opinion, and to the free exercise of religion in private and in public”. Pointing to the Catholic transformation by no means detracts from the crucial relevance of the growth of Pentecostal Christianity for the religious pluralization of Latin American societies. It only places this pluralization in a broader framework. Martin’s analysis of the most important cultural contributions of Pentecostalism remains fully valid. As was the case in Methodism before, Martin (1990: 44) views the effects of Pentecostalism “as anticipations of liberty, initially realized in the religious sphere and stored there until a shift in cultural underpinnings actually undermined the structural barriers, or protest moved from a cultural to a structural expression”. Equally important is the extent to which skills and resources, developed within the community of faith, such as public speaking or organizational abilities, “are transferred to secular aspirations, to business administration and to political movements” (1990: 45). Martin’s analysis also emphasizes rightly the role of Pentecostalism in transforming Latin American machismo by contributing to a certain feminization of the male psyche, a rejection of violence and by a certain empowerment of women both in the religious community and in the family. Those contributions are unquestionable, but Pentecostals were not alone in the process of undermining the traditional structural barriers. Reformed Catholic groups and secular movements of civil society made their own contributions in the same direction and at the same time, all contributing to the overall transformation. At the time when Tongues of Fire was written the penetration and growth of Pentecostalism throughout Latin American societies was very uneven. It spanned from the explosive growth in some societies like Brazil, Chile and Guatemala, to the much smaller growth in Argentina, Colombia, Peru or Mexico. In traditionally Catholic societies like Paraguay or in highly secularized societies like Uruguay the penetration of Pentecostalism was not yet visible. In the chapters comparing the dynamics in various countries, Martin offers an insightful interpretation of this uneven development. His main


José Casanova

argument is that “the optimum chances for Protestantism exist where the church has been drastically weakened yet the culture has remained pervasively religious, as in Brazil, Chile and Guatemala” (1990: 24). In the highly secular and urbanized environments of Venezuela and Uruguay, by contrast, “there exists a general scepticism about religion as such which militates against any form of conversion” (1990: 59). Thus, according to Martin, the two key conditions for the spread of Pentecostalism are a “weakened church” and pervasive religious culture. Yet the Catholic Church in the late 60s and the 70s was not weaker than it had been decades before or even a century before. If anything, as Levine (2012: 73–75) makes evident with the tables showing “Church Growth and Installed Capacity” in Argentina and Brazil, Chile and Guatemala, Mexico and Peru from 1970 to 2009, parallel to the Pentecostal explosion the Catholic Church was undergoing its own process of dynamic institutional renewal. Moreover, due to the important role which the Catholic Church played in challenging the military dictatorships throughout the region and in offering a relatively safe public space for the organization of civil society, the Catholic Church emerged out of the transitions to democracy in the 70s and 80s with greater societal prestige and trust than it had perhaps ever attained.2 Undoubtedly, in the 1960s the Latin American Catholic Church became keenly aware of a series of new challenges which the 1962 Plano de Emergencia para a Igreja do Brasil identified as secularization, Marxism, Protestantism and spiritism (Casanova, 1994: 120). But the response of the church to the competitive challenge presented by Protestantism was not to reestablish a new alliance with the state to maintain its monopoly, but actually to embrace disestablishment. The only country in which the church tried to maintain its organicist corporatist alliance with the state was Argentina, a country where the challenge from Protestantism was not particularly acute, or in any case much weaker than in neighboring Brazil or Chile. For a complex series of reasons connected with global Catholic developments, the Catholic Church decided to give up its monopolistic territorial claims and its identity as a state church. This happened not only in Latin America but throughout the Catholic world from Spain to Poland. A comparative analysis of transitions to democracy and of processes of constitution-making in Catholic countries throughout “the third wave” confirms not only the church’s voluntary disestablishment from the state, but also the church’s disengagement from political society proper.3 From a political science perspective, one of the most surprising outcomes of the third wave of democratization was that despite the prominent role played by Catholic elites, groups and social movements in so many transitions and despite the influence and prestige gained thereby by the church almost everywhere, not a single major Catholic party emerged out of any of the transitions of the third wave: not in Spain, not in Brazil, not in the Philippines, not in Poland.

Parallel reformations in Latin America


Indeed one can speak confidently of the end of the historical era of “political Catholicism”, of the end of Catholic parties, and, in this sense, even of the end of Christian democracy (though some Christian democratic parties may have survived with a much diminished Catholic identity in countries such as Germany or Chile), and most importantly of the collapse of Catholic Action, the main form of church-sponsored Catholic political mobilization throughout the twentieth century (Poggi, 1967). The case of Spain is instructive here. Political Catholicism never made the transition to Christian Democracy during the embattled politics of the Second Spanish Republic in the 1930s. Indeed, among all forms of political Catholicism one finds throughout Europe and Latin America in the 1930s, only in Chile did a section of the Chilean Falange, led by Eduardo Frei and following the democratic principles of Jacques Maritain, make the transition from authoritarian “political Catholicism” to Christian Democracy before the Second World War. Some Catholic political movements in opposition to the Franco regime, particularly sections of the Catalan and Basque nationalist movements, adopted Christian Democracy after the war. But no major Christian Democratic party emerged out of the Spanish transition. Three separate Christian Democratic parties competed in the first general elections in 1977, none of them sponsored by the church. Having failed to meet the minimum electoral threshold of 5%of the vote, none of them gained parliamentary representation and none survived the first post-Franco democratic elections. Spain had missed the era of Christian democracy. The Catholic parties of the 1930s were non-democratic and the democratic parties after the transition became non-confessional. I am stressing this global Catholic comparative context because I am not as persuaded as Martin (2002) seems to be by the rational choice explanation offered by Anthony Gill (1998) that Catholic disestablishment and the “preferential option for the poor” was a rational response to the challenges presented by religious competitors and secular foes. Ahistorical rational choice theory cannot explain why it was “rational” for the Catholic Church in the 1960s to accept disestablishment and to choose not to mobilize political resources to protect its hegemonic interests, its Catholic “sacred canopy”, while it had been “rational” in the 1900s throughout Europe to mobilize Catholic parties against Protestant parties and against anticlerical parties and movements and to organize Catholic Action, and if necessary to lead a “Catholic crusade”, against much greater challenges to Catholic hegemony than the ones the church was facing later. The plausibility structures, using Peter Berger’s (Berger, 2014) favorite concept, had changed. What had not been plausible before became plausible now. Indeed, ecclesio-politically Latin America in the 1960s ceased being a Catholic territory, creating novel opportunities for its pervasively religious population to express their religiosity in newly plural and different ways. The Pentecostal explosion became now plausible and possible in a way it had not been before.


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In Brazil by 1985, once the transition to democracy had been accomplished, it became obvious that two of the threats identified by the Catholic Church in the 1962 Plano de Emergencia had been weakened. Marxism had in fact disappeared as a serious threat, while secularization appeared to be a diminished one. By contrast, Protestantism and spiritism, referring broadly to the various forms of Afro-Brazilian religion and to Kardecism, had become established as viable and plausible religious alternatives to Catholicism. Brazil had ceased being a confessional Catholic nation and had become a religiously pluralistic open society. Unlike in Catholic Quebec or in Spain, the de-confessionalization of Brazil since the 1960s has not led to radical secularization but rather to the explosive growth of religious pluralism. Throughout Brazil, in megacities such as São Paulo and Rio as well as in traditional Catholic towns such as Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais, one finds similar dynamic of increasing religious pluralization. According to the highly reliable 2009 Brazilian census, which documents painstakingly the religious affiliation of every village, every town and every urban neighborhood in the country, the self-reported religious affiliation of the Brazilian population was: Catholic 64.5% – Protestant 22% – Unaffiliated 8% – Other 5%.4 There are undoubtedly some, but not large, regional differences. But everywhere religious pluralism has increased dramatically since the previous 2000 census, which already had shown significant growth in religious pluralism (Antoniazzi, 2004; Pierucci, 2004; Texeira and Menezes, 2006). What these broad figures hide is the great internal pluralism one finds within each of them. One finds side by side divergent Catholic trends from liberation theology to thriving charismatic communities, católicos renovados, and growing numbers of individuals who claim to be “Catholic in their own way” (Burdick, 2004; Carranza, 2011). One also finds divergent Protestant trends from a large majority of Pentecostal churches and NeoPentecostal mega-churches, to the historical Protestant denominations, to Mormons and Jehovah Witness (Freston, 2013; Mariz and Campos, 2011; Oro, Corten and Dozon, 2003). One also finds Afro-Brazilian Umbanda and Candomblé communities, along with new Amer-Indian religious movements, and immigrant diaspora communities of all kinds, Jewish, Muslim and Bahá’ís, Christian Middle Eastern, Eastern Orthodox, Greek-Catholic, Japanese Buddhist and Chinese Taoist, as well as new Brazilian syncretic cults such as La Comunidade Espírita O Vale do Amanhecer near Brasilia or O Templo Ecuménico Espírita de la Legion de la Boa Vondade en Brasilia (Prandi, 1991; Motta, 2002; Gomes Marques, 2009). Moreover, permeating all the religious phenomena in Brazil, one finds the ubiquitous, syncretic and protean espiritismo. Unlike in Protestantism there are no separate and autonomous Catholic denominations, but certainly one can talk of growing internal pluralization within Latin American Catholicism, accompanying the loss of Catholic hegemony (Hagopian, 2009). Daniel Levine (2008: 178), one of the most

Parallel reformations in Latin America


perceptive analysts of the Latin American religious and political transformations of the last decades, offers a good summary of the consequences of the process of Catholic de-confessionalization and what he calls “the convergence of multiple pluralisms”: The decay of Catholic monopoly and the growing pluralism of religious expression and organization are accompanied by processes that have moved religious groups, issues and leaders off center stage of public debate, contestation, coalition formation, and political discussion. This is an inevitable consequence of important currents of pluralism that have come with the democratization of civil society and politics of the last two decades. There are many more options and vehicles for expression now than in the past; Church leaders can no longer monopolize the public expression of religious comment, nor can they count on being king makers or critical veto players. The effort is bound to run into multiple figures working the territory. There is simply a lot of competition out there. What is important to stress is that the Pentecostal explosion, although a very important one, is just one of the expressions of the important currents of pluralism that have come with the democratization of civil society and politics throughout Latin America. From such a perspective, Protestantism appears not as the initiator, or the independent variable driving the process of pluralization, but as one of its important manifestations and carriers. This does not diminish the relevance of the novel social phenomenon, but avoids placing it within an analytical framework that views Protestantism as a manifestation of modernity in contrast to traditional Latin American Catholicism. From Martin’s analysis one gets the impression that Latin American societies had to wait for the eventual transportation of the prototypes of Pentecostal and evangelical religion across the Rio Grande in order to initiate their paths of modern voluntarism and pluralization. Martin clearly avoided the alarmist type of analysis then in vogue within much of Latin America which presented the growth of Protestantism as an external Yankee penetration. He emphatically states that “this moment cannot be dismissed simply as a transfer from North to South America brought about by cultural imperialism. What we have is an indigenous enthusiastic Protestantism rooted in the hopes of millions of Latin American poor” (1990: 3). Yet much of the analysis in Tongues of Fire is still framed, in my view unnecessarily, as a new chapter in the long history of “the clash of Hispanic and so-called ‘Anglo’ civilizations over the past four centuries” (1990: 3). Moreover, the timing of the weakening of the Catholic Church and the growth of Protestantism in Latin America is also linked directly to US global hegemony, as he writes: Now, at precisely this juncture Latin American societies have been exposed to the economic power and cultural radiation of the United


José Casanova States at the height of its world ascendancy. This cultural radiation includes the voluntaristic evangelical religion central to the original emergence and to the continuance of the United States. This means that two new patterns of secularization once mutually exclusive have crossed to bring about a distinctive new pattern. (1990: 279)

This identification of a new and distinctive Latin American pattern of secularization, divergent from both the European Latin Catholic and the American patterns, is in my view the most fruitful of Martin’s insights, which he is going to expand in his later work. In Forbidden Revolutions (1996) Martin offers a comparative analysis of Pentecostalism in Latin America and Catholicism in Eastern Europe as distinctive patterns of social differentiation. Consequently he writes (1996: 23–24), we can observe at least four distinct trajectories in Christian cultures: Eastern Europe, Latin America, Western Europe and North America. If social differentiation is the working core of the theory of secularization, it takes at least four forms, which do not necessarily converge. The relevant comparison therefore is not that between Latin Catholicism and Anglo-Saxon Protestantism, but that between Western Europe, in its Northern Protestant and Southern Catholic versions, and the Americas, in the two Northern Protestant and Southern Catholic versions. In continental Western Europe, modernization and urbanization were accompanied by drastic secularization with limited religious pluralism, while in the Americas, North and South, modernization and urbanization led to religious pluralism with limited secularization. The qualifier “forbidden” refers to the fact that the growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America and the emergence of the Catholic Solidarity movement in Poland were not only unanticipated but actually unimaginable within the premises of the traditional theory of secularization. Concerning the actual effects of the theory of secularization, Martin (1996: 17) writes: “In the West it acts as an implicit guide and censor on what we permit ourselves to see and in the East it was the guiding spirit as an explicit programme to enforce secularization as a political programme”. In this respect, the rise of the Solidarity movement was truly a “forbidden revolution” insofar as it was ideologically and politically forbidden by the ruling communist regime. But the qualifier “forbidden” is less appropriate in the case of the explosive growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America. The growth may be characterized perhaps as “revolutionary”, but certainly it was not forbidden by any political or ecclesiastical regime in Latin America, other than in Cuba where both forms of Christianity, Catholic as well as Protestant, were proscribed. Most importantly, the Latin American religious “revolutionary” actors, Pentecostal or Catholic, were not as affected as Europeans by the predictions

Parallel reformations in Latin America


of the theory of secularization and therefore were not consciously countering or resisting in any way the march of secular modernization. Ordinary Latin Americans converting to Pentecostalism were certainly “walking out” of the official Catholicism that had served as a collective identifier for the entire society, but in doing so, they were simply exercising their modern religious free choice, not resisting modern secularization. There is a fundamental difference in the way in which Western Europeans and Americans perceive phenomenologically the relation between individual freedom, religion and modernity as the result of very different dynamics of confessionalization and de-confessionalization. Throughout continental Europe, early modern state formation and the related wars of religion led to the confessionalization of states, nations and peoples. The expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain in 1492 in order to construct a homogeneous Catholic nation-state marks the beginning of a process of widespread ethno-religious cleansing that crystallized in the Westphalian system and its principle cuius regio eius religio (“the sovereign determines the religion of his subjects”). Southern Europe became homogeneously Catholic, Northern Europe became homogeneously Protestant and in between one finds three bi-confessional societies (Holland, Germany and Switzerland) with their own patterns of territorial confessionalization. Religious minorities were either repressed or had to flee, either to the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth or to the colonies of the New World. Neither the transference of sovereignty from the monarch to the nation or the people, following the French Revolution, nor the institutionalization of universal suffrage in the twentieth century were accompanied anywhere in continental Western Europe by the expansion of religious pluralism. Nowhere in Western Europe does one find massive religious conversions accompanying modernization or urbanization. European secularization simply entails de-confessionalization, either radical unchurching, the hard secularization of Southern Europe, or “belonging without believing”, the soft de-confessionalization of Northern Europe (Casanova, 2014). Ordinary Europeans experience their own secularization as a “modern” freedom, as a liberation not only from enforced confessional identities, but as a freedom from religion itself, as a walking away from tradition, reaching the higher stage of enlightened secular modernity. In any case, European modernity produces religious/secular pluralism, but not the second type of multi-religious pluralism analyzed by Peter Berger in The Many Altars of Modernity. The second type of religious pluralism is the outcome not of internal European modernity, but of the external globalization that accompanied the European global colonial expansion and that led to inter-religious and inter-cultural encounters, in the New World as well as throughout Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Those early modern global encounters before the emergence of secular modernity are the source of the modern global system of world religions.


José Casanova

The United States’ story of religious pluralism is well known. The colonies had already become not only the home for all the branches of British Christianity, churches as well as sects, but also the refuge for all the religious minorities fleeing from Europe. Native Americans, African slaves and Mexicans in the Southwest added to the intercultural and interreligious encounters. Modernization and democratization in the United States were accompanied not by unchurching and secularization but rather by religious awakenings and by “churching”, that is, by increasing affiliation with denominational congregations based on the voluntarist principle. Continuous immigration has kept enlarging the character of American religious pluralism. Consequently, individuals experience their modern freedom not as freedom from religion, but as the freedom to be born again or to convert to any religion, as a majority of American adults claim to have done (Casanova, 2011). Unexpectedly, and this is why it can be rightly perceived as a revolutionary development, a similar story of expansion of religious pluralism accompanying modernization, urbanization and democratization is being repeated throughout Latin American societies since the 1960s. To understand this new dynamic, in comparison to confessional Europe, one has to take into account the fact that the process of forced state confessionalization in colonial Latin America was never as comprehensive or intensive, encompassing the entire population, as it had been the case in Latin Catholic Europe. Underneath the officially enforced Catholicism or blended in syncretistic fusion with it, Amer-Indian and Afro-American religiosities survived. It is this blending of official Catholicism and unofficial popular religions that constitutes in my view the source of the pervasive religiosity of the Latin American people (Lynch, 2012). Even under the intolerant eyes of the Inquisition, Iberian colonial culture showed a surprisingly irreverent respect for religious tolerance (Schwartz, 2008). Moreover, most Latin American societies also became, in the twentieth century, open immigrant societies welcoming immigrants not only from European countries but also increasingly from the Middle East and from Asia. But most importantly, the Enlightenment critique of religion and the premises of the theory of secularization may have affected Latin American intellectual elites, particularly in the Southern Cone and in Mexico, but not the masses. Therefore, unlike in Europe the premises of the theory of secularization never served as a definition of the situation in Latin America, and therefore it did not become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The 2014 Pew Research Report Religion in Latin America. Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region, the most comprehensive and reliable survey we have, based on over 30,000 face-to-face interviews across Latin America, confirms the validity of Martin’s analysis. It shows the process of continuous Catholic de-confessionalization, as well as the explosive growth of Protestantism in practically every Latin American society and the

Parallel reformations in Latin America


Table 6.1 Religious Affiliations of Latin Americans. Pew Research Center, 13 Nov 2014. “Religion in Latin America: Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region”. Catholic




Predominately Catholic Paraguay 89% Mexico 81 Colombia 79 Ecuador 79 Bolivia 77 Peru 76 Venezuela 73 Argentina 71 Panama 70

7% 9 13 13 16 17 17 15 19

1% 7 6 5 4 4 7 11 7

2% 4 2 3 3 3 4 3 4

Majority Catholic Chile Costa Rica Brazil Dominican Rep Puerto Rico U.S. Hispanics

64 62 61 57 56 55

17 25 26 23 33 22

16 9 8 18 8 18

3 4 5 2 2 5

Half Catholic El Salvador Guatemala Nicaragua

50 50 50

36 41 40

12 6 7

3 3 4

Less than half Catholic Honduras 46 Uruguay 42

41 15

10 37

2 6



Regional total (adjusting for each country’s population) 69 19

http//www.pewforum.org/2014/11/13/religion-in-latin-america/p. 14.

role of the Pentecostal voluntarist principle in expanding the dynamics of religious pluralism throughout Latin America. Table 6.1, Religious Affiliations of Latin Americans, offers a telling snapshot of the pluralist religious dynamics of the entire region, country by country, since the publication of Tongues of Fire: the continuing decline in Catholic dominance, the increasing growth of primarily Pentecostal Christianity, the relative weakness of the secular option and the initial expansion of religious pluralism into “other” categories. The total regional average, adjusted for each country’s population size is: 69% Catholic – 19% Protestant – 8% Unaffiliated – 4% Other


José Casanova

Roughly half of the Latin American countries have larger proportion of Catholics and smaller proportion of Protestants, while the other half has smaller proportion of Catholic and larger proportion of Protestants. The figures for Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, in the Pew survey are: Catholic 61% – Protestant 26% – Unaffiliated 8% – Other 4%. Those percentages are slightly discordant with the highly reliable 2010 Brazil census, according to which the figures were: Catholic 64.5% – Protestant 22% – Unaffiliated 8% – Other 5%. According to the census figures, Brazil, along with Panama, are the closest to the average total for all four categories across the region. Indeed, in the case of Brazil and Chile, there are indications that in the last decade the rate of Pentecostal growth has slowed down significantly and it may have reached a plateau. Uruguay is an outlier, at one extreme, with only 42% of Catholics and 15% of Protestants, but an unusually large proportion of Unaffiliated (37%), and the largest proportion of Other (6%). Significantly, even the country which Martin (1996: 21) had characterized as “the heartland of secularity”, which had followed until now what appeared to be a typical Latin Catholic Southern European trajectory of radical laicism, has initiated a new pattern of religious pluralism with significant Pentecostal penetration. Also outliers are the four Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras) which have the lowest proportion of Catholics after Uruguay, barely half of the population (50%) in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua and less than half (46%) in Honduras), while having by far the largest proportion of Protestants: from 36% in El Salvador to 41% in Guatemala and Honduras. The proportion of Unaffiliated is relatively large in El Salvador (12%) and in Honduras (10%), while the proportion of Other is relatively small in El Salvador (3%) and Honduras (2%). The outlier on the other extreme is Paraguay, a traditionally Catholic country (89%), with the lowest, yet already significant Protestant penetration (7%), and minimal presence of Unaffiliated (1%) and Other (2%). Significantly, Paraguay and its Guarani population are heirs of the culture and religiosity of the Jesuit Guarani Reductions. Catholic Mexico (81%) has also proven surprisingly resilient, the more so if one considers the massive migrations back and forth across the Rio Grande. It still has a relatively low number of Protestants (9%), and moderate numbers of Unaffiliated (7%) and Other (4%). All Andean republics (Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela) evince similar patterns of still dominant Catholic populations (in the upper 70s), but with rapid recent growth of Protestants in the last decades, particularly in Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela (17%). Venezuela, which Martin’s analysis had placed with Uruguay as one of the most secular countries of Latin America, and therefore resistant to Protestant penetration, appears surprisingly close to the Latin American regional average, just slightly more Catholic (73%), slightly less Protestant (17%) and average in Unaffiliated (7%) and Other (4%).

Parallel reformations in Latin America


I would like to stress once again that all these percentages hide an expanding religious pluralism within each of these categories. The Papacy of Francis, the first Latin American Pope, has made evident and in a sense legitimated the vibrant internal pluralism within Latin American Catholicism, building bridges between its various trends. The category of Protestants, of course, hides even a much greater, fissiparous and fragmented internal denominational religious pluralism. One only needs to take a look at the long denominational lists under each of the three sub-categories of churches evangélicas in the Brazilian census, namely, (a) Evangélicas de Missão, (b) Evangélicas de origem Pentecostal, which constitute well over half (60%) of all the Protestant churches, and (c) Evangélica não determinada. Mormons and Jehovah Witness appear as separate categories. The Protestant category as a national average also fails to reveal the probable disproportionate attraction of Pentecostalism to minority ethnic, linguistic, indigenous, regional or otherwise marginal groups across Latin America, an argument which is well developed throughout Martin’s work (1990: 283, 1996). “Other”, a category which has also been growing in Brazil and in the rest of Latin America, hides also an ever-greater pluralism of AfroBrazilian and Espiristas religious groups, Amer-Indian, Eastern Christian, Jews, Muslims, Hindu, Buddhists and other “Oriental” religions, as well as all types of new religious movements. The thrust of my argument so far has been in agreement concerning Martin’s interpretation of the role of Pentecostalism in contributing to religious pluralization, to a culture of voluntarism and therefore to the strengthening of open and pluralist civil societies. But I find his analysis of Pentecostalism as the primary dissolvent catalyst against what otherwise remains a traditional organic Latin Hispanic culture one-sided, in that it tends to ignore or minimize the equal if not greater social role of Catholic groups in the general Latin American transformation of civil society, and more importantly it tends to maintain a stereotypical and, in my view, biased perception of the Catholic Church. According to Martin (1996: 60), the Catholic Church must, in accord with its nature and history, remain intimately bound up in such ties, and in so far as power in the society is mediated through successive levels, the Church mimics these levels and parallels them through its own levels of spiritual mediation. This is the case whether or not the Catholic Church is critical of social arrangements. What evangelical religion achieves by its very existence is a fundamental tear in the fabric of mediation. Such a quote and such a contrast tells us more about Martin’s own ecclesiological theological convictions and his residual anti-Catholic bias than about the relative contribution of Pentecostal and Catholic groups throughout


José Casanova

Latin America in tearing the fabric of traditional organic and corporatist mediations. I happen to agree fully with Martin’s embracing of Halévy’s and de Tocqueville’s frameworks for understanding the modern transformations of democratic civil societies. One can concur with Halévy’s argument that “evangelical conversion assists peaceful cultural evolution rather than violent revolutionary upheaval” (Martin, 1996: 37). One can also share Tocqueville’s view that “voluntary religious organizations build up ‘social capital’ through networks between the state and the individual” (Martin, 1996: 37). But I disagree with Martin’s assessment of the role of the Catholic Church as a traditional force of conservation against such modernizing developments. Both, in terms of assisting “peaceful cultural evolution” and in terms of building up “social capital through networks between the state and the individual”, there is overwhelming evidence that in every Latin American country Catholic groups contributed certainly as much as Pentecostal groups may have done. Martin simply prefers not to acknowledge the fact that the Catholic Church in the 1960s underwent a radical transformation, which I have interpreted as a relocation from the state to civil society, that contributed to the cultural transformation of Catholic societies. For Martin (1996: 60) “the Catholic Church is gradually being prised away from the centripetal hubs of power.” In my view, the Catholic Church dramatically broke its traditional association with the state and with oligarchic elites, wanting to become in the words of Pope Francis “a poor church for the poor”. Martin (1996: 60) still writes as if, nevertheless and despite this transformation, “the Catholic Church must in accord with its nature and history” remain oriented and bound to the state and to political society. Martin (1996: 7) still writes that “in Latin America the Roman Catholic Church remains for the most part aligned with social conservation of various kinds through being tied in to the social hierarchies of almost every Latin American nation”. Certainly one can find plenty of conservative bishops in Latin America, Peruvian Opus Dei members being most prominent among them, as well as conservative clerical religious movements such as Mexico’s Legionarios de Cristo. But rather than being traditional Catholic residues, as it were, both movements are very modern religious phenomena, clearly supported and promoted by the restorationist papacy of John Paul II. But the restoration is internal toward the church, not external toward society and its power centers. Both movements bring their own blends of “ancient and modern”, in some respects not unlike the ones which according to Martin (1990: 163–164) characterize Pentecostal modernity. Certainly, the hierarchy of the Latin American Catholic Church has been committed to the conservation of traditional gender and sexual morality (Casanova, 2017). But on this issue, as the Pew survey shows, they stand

Parallel reformations in Latin America


closer to Latin American Pentecostals than to most Latin American Catholics. On most other social issues it is simply inaccurate to argue that the Catholic Church stands committed to the conservation of the traditional oligarchic and corporatist order in Latin America. Equally inaccurate is the insinuation that, in contrast to the Pentecostal dedication to “personal and social peace-ability” (Martin, 1996: 58), Catholic culture somehow is still ensnared in the traditional Latin male culture of violence, or that the Catholic Church somehow is still bound to the violence of the corrupt political order, or that when distancing itself from such an order it is ready to legitimate violence, “in a characteristically Catholic manner” that leads “to reformulate the doctrine of the just war to encompass revolutionary violence” (Martin, 1990: 290). Certainly in the 1960s, in the initial phase of liberation theology, some priests, most famously Camilo Torres in Colombia and the Montonero priests in Argentina, not only joined guerrilla movements but offered ideological legitimation for revolutionary counter-violence against the alleged established structural violence of the oligarchic elites and the oligarchic state (Morello, 2003). But when military dictatorships and the bureaucratic authoritarian state in the 70s truly reached unprecedented levels of state terror and indiscriminate violence against political and civil society, Catholic groups (bishops, priests, nuns and engaged laity) offered courageous nonviolent resistance and suffered the brunt of the state violence. To insinuate that the Catholic Church today in Latin America or anywhere else is still somehow bound to the politics of violence seems to me a deplorable canard. Catholic groups, the Community of Saint Egidio most prominent among them, are today at the forefront of active peace-making anywhere in the world where civil wars and violent conflicts are taking place. Without explicitly abandoning the moral theological discourse of just war theory, many engaged Catholic groups have moved beyond and implicitly at least have embraced a new paradigm of active peace-making. More than anybody else Pope Francis today represents the official and unofficial face of the Latin American Catholic Church. He was the unanimous choice of the Latin American cardinals partly for the active role that Bergoglio, at the time Archbishop of Buenos Aires, had played at the 2007 Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida. It is hard to find in Pope Francis or in the kind of church he is promoting any of the characteristics that Martin still attributes to the Latin American church in terms of bonds with the state, with “corrupt political bureaucracies” or with political elites, in terms of remaining tied to established corporatist mediations or patronage networks, in terms of supporting any kind of violence, or in terms of authoritarian leanings, or even in terms of a church “promulgating norms for society as a whole and acting as moral mentor” (Martin, 1990: 290). Martin (1996: 38) is still fond of the formula that “Pentecostals are an option of the poor rather than the liberationist ‘option for the poor’”. But in


José Casanova

fact his explicit comparisons of Pentecostal congregations and the Catholic base communities that one finds in Forbidden Revolutions (1996: 39–43) or in his later work, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish (2002a: 116–118), show that “the contrast is not so stark”. In fact, most of the characterizations and assessments Martin makes of Pentecostal communities could be applied almost literally to Catholic base communities and other Catholic voluntary congregations. The remaining fundamental difference, which Martin stresses, is the authoritarian clerical control exercised by the Catholic hierarchy. Actually, during the heyday of the base communities in the 1970s there were not enough priests around to exercise clerical control over the myriad communities. Indeed, more often than not religious sisters played the role of pastoral leaders of those communities. One could also argue that neither the priests nor the nuns who led those communities felt very strongly the episcopal authoritarian control, at least not at a time when the discourse of “the People’s Church” and of the universal priesthood of all believers was so widespread and taken to heart by priests, nuns, as well as by laity. Moreover, the pastoral leadership of priests and nuns, although derived from the charisma of the office, was most likely much less arbitrarily authoritarian than the charismatic leadership exercised by so many evangelical pastors over their own congregations. In terms of their contributions to the culture of self-autonomy and selfhelp, voluntarism, civility, peace-ability and the role of women in the feminization of family bonds among the poor, I see no great differences between Pentecostal and Catholic base communities or Catholic groups which had also experienced some form of what could be called adult Catholic renewal. In terms of their overall contributions to the transformation, indeed to the modernization, of Latin American societies, given the widespread resources of the Catholic Church and its networks at all levels of society, it does not seem farfetched to claim that overall the Catholic reformation had a greater weight and influence than Pentecostal communities could possibly have. Undoubtedly, clericalism remains the greatest disadvantage of the Catholic Church, while the fissiparous, voluntary and charismatic nature of the Pentecostal pastoral leadership remains the greatest competitive advantage of Pentecostalism at least in the short term and within the lower strata. In the long term, the intellectual, institutional and social capital accumulated by the global Catholic Church since the sixteenth century, not only in Latin America but also in Africa and Asia, makes it a formidable competitor to global Pentecostalism. As to the question explicitly raised by Martin in his essay, “Pentecostalism: An Alternative Form of Modernity and Modernization?”, my answer would be: it depends what is meant by it. If it means simply that Pentecostalism, being what Martin calls (2013: 42) “a natural denizen of deregulated religious markets”, contributed greatly to religious pluralization in Latin America and therefore to a different type of modernization and modernity than the one represented by European secular modernity, then one can

Parallel reformations in Latin America


answer certainly in the affirmative. If it is meant that Pentecostalism somehow represents an alternative form of modernization and modernity than the one being pursued today by Latin American societies, then my answer would be that I do not see any evidence for such a statement. Martin (2013: 41) is for good reasons extremely cautious about identifying precisely “the impact on social mobility of Pentecostal personal and familial discipline,” arguing at most that “mobility probably occurs over generations”. He does not seem to share Peter Berger’s rather sanguine view about the contribution of Pentecostalism to large-scale socio-economic development in Latin America, as expressed in Berger’s formula that “Max Weber is alive and well and lives in Guatemala city”. Martin’s (2013: 43) own Weberian approach refers mainly to “the emotional, though disciplined Protestantism of the ‘small sects’”. In any case, one cannot disregard the fact that the most Pentecostal of Latin American societies today, the Central American republics of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, where Protestants constitute nearly half of the entire population, can hardly be viewed as models of political stability, democratic government, socioeconomic development or open and dynamic civil societies. One could perhaps argue that Pentecostal communities are serving at least as haven from the endemic violence and the general social disintegration which accompanies failed states. If so, then those communities are certainly serving an important social and cultural function. But this also shows the limits of a form of religion limited to a cultural strategy that walks away from larger societal or political issues. One could gather sufficient evidence for the argument that the Lula state administration in Brazil, despite the seemingly endemic political corruption, building on the effective macro-economic stabilization of the previous Cardoso administration, did more to raise the standard of living of the poor in Brazil, to diminish the extreme levels of economic inequality in the country, and to bring social educational mobility to all the lower classes, than a mere cultural policy of local community autonomy and self-help could ever possibly do. I would not be surprised, however, if disciplined Pentecostal communities were among the great beneficiaries of some of the policies of the Lula administration. Unless one maintains a radical anti-etatist and anti-societal communitarian principle, or a model of society as unmediated network exchanges, I do not see how any Christian community could reject some notion of a larger societal “common good” or something like the principle of “subsidiarity” as helpful social and even ecclesiological principles. Martin (2013: 53, 58) rightly sees Pentecostalism “as an expression of the transnational voluntary principle”, which is particularly fertile and effective in our age of globalization, when “the geographical mobility of a transnational movement and the social mobility of an autonomous movement of personal and group transformation” can serve as opportune resources. One can easily understand how and why such a religious group can “embrace


José Casanova

an international modernity” (2013: 46). But of course, this is undoubtedly also one of the great advantages of all the other transnational religious communities, such as Catholicism, Islam or Buddhism, in our global age, even if they still have “major territorial emplacements” or at times still promote “a national religious patrimony”. If what is meant by alternative form of modernity is the fact that Pentecostalism today is being constituted as an alternative global imagined religious community along with global Catholicism and other global world religions, then definitively one can answer the question in the affirmative. To enter, however, into an analysis of the particular advantages and disadvantages of Pentecostalism and Catholicism as contemporary transnational religions or as “global imagined communities” would take us away from the theme of this essay, which was restricted to Latin America.

Notes 1 For this volume I was assigned to review David Martin’s interpretation of the explosion of Protestant Pentecostalism in Latin America. I will restrict myself to the Latin American context, while keeping in mind his later much broader interpretation of global Pentecostalism. Throughout this paper I am going to use Protestantism and Pentecostalism as interchangeable, insofar as Pentecostals constitute both a majority of Protestants throughout Latin America, and the fastest and most dynamic sector of Latin American Protestantism since the late 60s. 2 Argentina offers a significant exception to the general tendency of Catholic opposition to the military dictatorships in Latin America. The ambiguity and complexity of the Argentinian situation is well documented in Gustavo Morello’s (2015) ethnographic analysis of three “varieties of Catholicism” that revealed themselves in response to “the dirty war”. Morello (2015: 181–193) labels them “antisecular”, “institutional” and “committed”. 3 Only in Poland was disestablishment at first not fully voluntary. In 1991, Primate Cardinal Glemp presented an ambiguous public proposal to repeal the constitutional separation of church and state on the dubiously democratic grounds that the rule of the Catholic majority would require the constitutional recognition of the religious confession of the majority of Polish citizens. But in the face of public resistance and, apparently and more significantly, the disapproval of the Vatican and of the Polish Pope, the church did not press the issue (Casanova, 1994: 110–113). 4 http://loja.ibge.gov.br/censo-demografico-2010-caracteristicas-gerais-da-populaco-religi-o-e-pessoas-com-deficiencia.html

References Antoniazzi, Alberto. 2004. Por que o panorama religioso no Brasil mudou tanto? São Paulo: Paulus. Berger, Peter L. 2014. The Many Altars of Modernity: Toward a Paradigm for Religion in a Pluralist Age. Boston: Walter de Gruyter. Burdick, John. 2004. Legacies of Liberation: The Progressive Catholic Church in Brazil. Aldershot: Ashgate. Carranza, Brenda. 2011. Catolicismo Midiático. Aparecida, SP: Editora Idéias & Letras.

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Casanova, José. 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ———. 1996. “Global Catholicism and the Politics of Civil Society.” Sociological Inquiry 66 (3): 356–373. ———. 2011a. “Religions, Secularizations and Modernities.” Archives européennes de sociologie 52 (3): 425–445. ———. 2011b. “The Religious Situation in the United States 175 Years after Tocqueville.” Pp. 273–284 in Crediting God: Sovereignty and Religion in the Age of Global Capitalism, edited by M. Vatter. New York: Fordham University Press. ———. 2013. “Religious Associations, Religious Innovations and Denominational Identities in Global Cities.” Pp. 113–127 in Topographies of Faith: Religion in Urban Spaces, edited by I. Becci, M. Burchardt, and J. Casanova. Leiden: Brill. ———. 2014. “The Two Dimensions, Temporal and Spatial, of the Secular: Comparative Reflections on the Nordic Protestant and Southern Catholic Patterns from a Global Perspective.” Pp. 21–33 in Secular and Sacred? The Scandinavian Case of Religion in Human Rights, Law and Public Space, edited by R. van den Breemer, J. Casanova, and T. Wyller. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ———. 2017. “Catholicism, Gender, Secularism, and Democracy: Comparative Reflections.” Pp. 46–62 in Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective, edited by Jocelyne Cesari and José Casanova. New York: Oxford University Press. Freston, Paul. 2013. “The Future of Pentecostalism in Brazil: The Limits to Growth.” Pp. 63–90 in Global Pentecostalism in the 21st Century, edited by R. W. Hefner. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Gill, Anthony. 1998. Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gomes Marques, Erich. 2009. Os Poderes do Estado no Vale do Amanhecer: Percursos religiosos, práticas espirituais e cura. Dissertation in Anthropology. University of Brasília. Hagopian, Frances, ed. 2009. Religious Pluralism, Democracy and the Catholic Church in Latin America. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Huntington, Samuel P. 1991. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman, OK: Oklahoma University Press. Levine, Daniel H. 2008. “The Future as Seen from Aparecida.” Pp. 173–190 in Aparecida Quo Vadis, edited by R. Pelton. Scranton, PA: University of Scranton Press. ———. 2012. Politics, Religion and Society in Latin America. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Lynch, John. 2012. New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Mariz, Cecilia L. and Roberta B.C. Campos. 2011. “Pentecostalism and ‘National Culture’: A Dialogue between Brazilian Social Sciences and the Anthropology of Christianity.” Religion and Society: Advances in Research 2: 106–121. Martin, David. 1978. A General Theory of Secularization. Oxford: Blackwell. ———. 1990. Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Oxford: Blackwell. ———. 1996. Forbidden Revolutions: Pentecostalism in Latin America, Catholicism in Eastern Europe. London: SPCK. ———. 2002a. Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. Oxford: Blackwell.


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———. 2002b. “Pentecostalism, Base Communities and Competition in Latin American Religion.” Pp. 181–186 in Christian Language and Its Mutations. Aldershot: Ashgate. ———. 2011. The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization. Farnham: Ashgate. ———. 2013. “Pentecostalism: An Alternative Form of Modernity and Modernization?” Pp. 37–62 in Global Pentecostalism in the 21st Century, edited by R. W. Hefner. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Morello, Gustavo. 2003. Cristianismo y Revolución. Los orígenes intelectuales de la guerrilla argentina. Córdoba: Editorial de la Universidad Católica de Córdoba. ———. 2015. The Catholic Church and Argentine’s Dirty War. New York: Oxford University Press. Motta, Roberto. 2002. “L’expansion et la réinvention des religions afro-brasiliennes: Réenchantement et décomposition.” Archives des Sciences Sociales des Religions 117: 113–125. Oro, Ari P., André Corten, and Jean-Pierre Dozon, eds. 2003. Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus: Os novos conquistadores da fé. São Paulo: Paulinas. Pew Research Center. Nov. 13, 2014. Religion in Latin America: Widespread Change in a historically Catholic Region. www.pewforum.org/2014/11/13/religion-in-latin-america/ Pierucci, Antônio Flávio. 2004. “‘Bye Bye, Brasil’: O declínio das religiões tradicionais no Censo 2000.” Revista Estudos Avançados de Universidade de São Paulo 18 (52): 17–28. Poggi, Gianfranco. 1967. Catholic Action in Italy: The Sociology of a Sponsored Organization. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Prandi, Reginaldo. 1991. Os candomblés de São Paulo. São Paulo: Editora Hucitec. Schwartz, Stuart B. 2008. All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Texeira, Faustino and Renata Menezes, eds. 2006. As religiões no Brasil: Continuidades e Rupturas. Petrópolis: Vozes.


David Martin on Scandinavia and music Pål Repstad

Introduction This is not a paper on Scandinavian music. David Martin has written about a great many topics, but as far as I know, Scandinavian music is not among them. My ambition is to present and discuss Martin’s analyses of religion and secularization in Scandinavia, and then present and discuss a typology that he has presented about Christian attitudes towards music. I admit that the two themes can appear to be quite distant from each other, and I admit that in addition to the fact that David Martin has written about both topics, part of my motivation for putting them together here is personal: I have done research about religious changes in Scandinavia as well as about religion and music. However, I hope that I will be able to show that there are connections between the two topics transcending my personal interest in them.

A contextual and historically contingent theory of secularization It has been almost 50 years since David Martin first published elements of his general theory of secularization. This was a pioneering work at the time. Professor Martin criticized the then standard unilinear and deterministic model of secularization. He accepted, and still accepts, that there has been a general trend towards secularization in the Christian West, in the specific sense of a social differentiation where several sectors of society have become autonomous in relation to religious power, sectors such as the state itself, administration, welfare, education and the arts (Martin 2005b: 146). Throughout Western Europe, the secularizing process has accelerated since the 1960s, Martin states (Martin 2005a: 86). To some extent, he also accepts the existence of another master trendtrait, namely individualization. It is because of these general traits that Martin called his theory a general theory of secularization (as in the title of his book from 1978). He could also have called it a contextual theory of secularization. In 2001 Steve Bruce published an article about David Martin called “In praise of the history man”, and David Martin certainly brought into secularization theory some very important historical filters. According to Martin,


Pål Repstad

secularization is profoundly inflected by national histories. Among other factors, he pointed to the crucial difference between countries where Enlightenment and religion overlapped or even fused, and where they clashed. He also presented an interesting theory about how religious competition could make religion flourish (a point of view repeated later much more mechanically by rational choice theorists). In the United States, active voluntary membership of free-standing religious denominations became the dominant model, and hence the United States became basically positive to religion as such. In Europe, residual membership in the national churches remains the norm, both supported and challenged by active religious minorities. In the Protestant North, the churches were incorporated into the state, in the Latin South (especially in France), they were excluded from it. Either way the significance of religion in society was diminished (Martin 1978, 2005b).1 With his book from 1978 Martin opened up the possibility of “multiple modernities,” to use a concept that later came into fashion. In more recent books and articles, David Martin has elaborated on his insistence that modernization does not with necessity mean secularization. For Martin, religion is not only compatible with modernity, but religion may also play a role in forming it. He is still worried about “steamroller concepts obliterating complex realities in order to clear the way for an assured future” (2014b: 467). And he is still critical of how the concept of secularization carries heavy ideological loadings, in the sense that secularization theories are recommended by secularists. Furthermore, he is very critical of any kind of reductionism. Commenting upon the resurgence of religion in former Communist countries such as Poland and Serbia in the early nineties, he distances himself from seeing this as essentially nationalism more than religion, calling this a “tactic of eliminating data by selectively dismissing them as epiphenomenal” (Martin 1991: 466). Another target of Martin’s criticism is the idea that religion inevitably has become privatized. Looking back on his intellectual efforts, he stated in 2014: “I was particularly dubious about privatisation, though I also had reservations about the extent of rationalisation” (Martin 2014a: 8). In accordance with José Casanova’s analysis (1994), and with the same mixture of description and normativity, Martin concludes that in various contexts religion acts as a repository of human values and transcendental reference which can be activated in the realm of civil society. The church can have a role as chaplain to the nation, as long as it does not openly attempt to exercise political power in its own favour or to involve itself in a dangerous identification with power elites in the state (Martin 2005b: 151, 156). As I will show later, there are many examples of this kind of visibility of churches in Scandinavia. Recently Martin has also shown scepticism towards Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart’s theory of secularization, introducing existential insecurity (worries about material well-being and personal security) as a critical variable behind secularization (Norris and Inglehart 2004/2011). For

David Martin on Scandinavia and music


Martin, this theory becomes too universal in its ambitions. He would rather look into more specific historical factors. Moreover, he finds the category of existential security rather vague, calling it a “conceptual ragbag” (Martin 2014b: 465).

David Martin on Scandinavia David Martin’s point of departure is generally accepted: Scandinavia is among the most secular regions in the world. Then he moves on into somewhat more controversial discussions: Passivity and apathy characterize the Protestant state churches of Northern Europe, Martin says in an article (2005b: 153). One is almost reminded of descriptions from rational choice theorists of passive Scandinavian state churches and indifferent clergy as a consequence of a religious monopoly funded by the state. In A General Theory of Secularization, Martin describes the Scandinavian countries as having a strong state church system with some operative pluralism and some quite weak free churches (Martin 1978: 33). Elsewhere Martin introduces nuances in this picture. Describing the high level of membership in national churches and the high participation in baptisms, confirmation, church weddings and church funerals, Martin (2005a: 86) twists Grace Davie’s much used expression, stating that the Scandinavians are belonging without believing. Presenting historical lines behind this situation, Martin underlines that as Lutheranism supplanted Catholicism, the church retained its monopoly and its obligatory character. The changes over time happened in a much more harmonious manner than the struggles between church and state in France, where the church insisted on keeping its role. In Scandinavia, state and church merged after the Reformation. The king ruled by God’s grace. Gradually, especially from the nineteenth century, a more individual, experiential and voluntary piety emerged, partly within the national churches, partly with the formation of minority Protestant churches, as this was allowed by the state around the middle of the nineteenth century (Martin 1978: 125). In Scandinavia piety and Enlightenment lived to some extent in partnership, partly because the church was subordinate to the state, and overlapped the middle and ruling classes (Martin 2005a: 79). So, the broad cultural identification with Christianity was not broken and can still be found (Martin 1978: 118). Confirmation was, and is partly still seen as a general initiation into adulthood, and Evangelical Pietism overlapped with nationalism and its cult of national symbols, the language and a semi-mythic history in the romantic and nationalist awakenings in the nineteenth century (Martin 2005a: 125).

History mutates in Scandinavia One aspect that Martin stresses in his analysis of Scandinavia is the state’s control over the national churches. We will come back to recent developments, but historically this is no doubt correct. According to Martin, this


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control and in fact integration into the state apparatus meant that the churches adapted themselves to changes in the character of the state (Martin 1978: 23). Here it is relevant to introduce Martin’s concept of mutations in history. One way of reading Martin is to see the past under various modern  guises, Richard Fenn remarks in an overview of Martin’s sociology. Martin has coined the term mutations in history for the process where societies are able “to reproduce themselves in unprecedented ways under novel auspices” (Fenn 2009: 109). Scandinavia is for Martin the location of what he calls a secular mutation, where “the inclusive scope of Lutheran monopoly in Scandinavia has been fused with and replicated by the inclusiveness of Social Democracy and the welfare state” (Martin 2005a: 80). So, in Scandinavia, Church and Social Democracy together have provided “one single sacred canopy” (Martin 2005a: 118). Along with the transfer of education and welfare provisions from the church to the state, Christian motivations have been transformed into secular professional expertise (Martin 2011: 90).

Revisiting some of David Martin’s images of Scandinavia Martin’s analyses of historical processes and the current situation in Scandinavia are fruitful, but some parts of it may be contested, and of course some developments in recent years should be added to the picture. In the following, I will do a little of both. To start with an important update, there has been an increasing diversity of religion and worldviews, to a large extent due to immigration. Immigration from non-Western countries had begun, but it was modest in 1978, when Martin published A General Theory of Secularization. Far from everything has changed since 1978, however. The so-called Nordic model, a combination of capitalism under political regulation, a comprehensive welfare state, egalitarian values, strong unions and collective bargaining on the national level is still dominant, as the influence of neo-liberalism has been weaker in Scandinavia than in many other European countries. Participation in services on ordinary Sundays is even lower now, but still a large majority in all three countries are members of the national churches, and with the exception of church weddings (in Sweden also confirmation), a majority also participate in the church rituals from cradle to grave. This is especially the case for Christian funerals. The main elements of Martin’s historical perspectives still hold water, not least the analysis of national churches gradually losing power. Some nuances should be added, however, both in support of and critical to Martin’s conclusions. I think David Martin dismisses Norris and Inglehart’s (2004/2011) theory of secularization too quickly, probably because of its universal aspirations. The theory may indeed be relevant in some places. There is relatively little existential insecurity and much secularity in Scandinavia. Phil Zuckerman

David Martin on Scandinavia and music


(2009) has reflected on why the Nordic countries are so irreligious. His focus has especially been on Denmark and Sweden, but his conclusions are also relevant for Norway. He highlights three main explanations, and one of them is the high level of security. Inspired by Inglehart and Norris, he claims that “with such secure lives and healthy society, the balm and comfort that religion often provides, has waned” (Zuckerman 2009: 60). Another of Zuckerman’s main explanations of the Scandinavian irreligiousness is the longstanding Lutheran monopoly. Although he admits that internal tensions and differences may have made the Nordic Lutheran churches less monopolistic than might be discerned at face value, the churches have not needed to compete much for members over the years, and this may be part of the reason why people have taken them for granted and gradually lost interest in religion (Zuckerman 2009: 59). The third driving force behind the secular Nordic societies mentioned by Zuckerman is the influx of many women into the paid labour force. In addition, he mentions the lack of threats, domination and oppression from outside – except for the German occupation of Denmark and Norway in the Second World War, and also the secularization of school education in recent years, as well as the longstanding and significant governmental influence that the Social Democrats have had in all three Scandinavian countries (Zuckerman 2009: 61–64). David Martin is probably nodding approvingly to several of these attempts to explain the secularity of Scandinavia, but in sum, this list expands the number of possible driving forces mentioned by Martin. I mentioned that Martin is sceptical towards looking at a process of privatization of religion as inevitable. Empirical studies from Norway can serve as evidence, supporting his scepticism. According to surveys, a majority in the Norwegian population support the rights of religious leaders to express their opinion on political issues. At the same time there is a majority against religious leaders having any kind of privileged position in politics or any kind of direct and special access to politicians (Henriksen and Schmidt 2010: 85–88). In other words, the majority view in Norway seems to be in accordance with the descriptions and recommendations of José Casanova (1994). Based on interviews and document analysis a study of religious leaders in Norway recently concluded that religious leaders quite frequently express centre to left views in current political issues. They are worried about social inequality, both nationally and globally. They criticize an increasingly restrictive policy against immigrants and asylum seekers. They want a more radical climate and environment policy, and have expressed a wish for a more limited exploitation of Norway’s oil resources (Furseth et al. 2015). Christian leaders are increasingly in favour of LGBT rights and gender equality, although homosexual practice is still a controversial issue. In 2015, the General Synod of the Church of Norway followed Sweden and decided that same-sex marriages can take place in the church. Especially the Church of Norway is active in the political arena, while minority churches and other religions are more passive. However, they also


Pål Repstad

express centre to left views in current socio-economic and environment issues through umbrella organizations such as The Council for Religious and Worldview Communities (STL), Islamic Council Norway (IRN) and Norwegian Christian Council (NKR). Historically there has been a change since the 1960s. Today, practically all the faith communities seem to operate with a premise that the members should have an interest for current sociopolitical issues. This finding is more interesting than it immediately seems. A few decades ago, it was controversial in several Norwegian Christian groups if members were actively engaged in political issues, unless they were Christian “core issues” such as abortion, sex, religious education in public schools and support for private Christian schools. This anti-political view was common in several minority churches, and not least in the Pentecostal movement. The scepticism towards political involvement was often based on the idea that society could only really change through the transformation of each individual (Furseth et al. 2015). Although similar comprehensive studies on Sweden and Denmark do not exist, the situation in Sweden seems to differ little from Norway. There is less organized political activity in Danish religious life. This is partly because the intertwinement between state and national church is closer in Denmark, and there is a lack of governing bodies in the Church of Denmark separate from the state. However, also Danish bishops and clergy often take part individually in lively debates about politics. So, David Martin’s observation from Britain (2014a: 9) that religion has become increasingly active in political critique as it grew less important for legitimation is also valid for Scandinavia. Martin’s idea that the welfare state is a secular mutation of the Lutheran Reformation has some support among Scandinavian historians and political scientists (Østergaard 1998; Knudsen 2000). One of them, Tim Knudsen, has claimed, at least as a working hypothesis, that the Reformation contained elements facilitating the development of the welfare state. Luther’s idea that even ungodly rulers could express and carry God’s will in worldly matters is a relevant factor. Besides, the king took over from the church responsibility for caring for the poor as well as schools, and the local vicars were important figures in these tasks. Then the state was gradually secularized, especially through the twentieth century, but the state retained its responsibility for welfare and education. This can also be seen as a background for the fact that the Scandinavian populations have a positive attitude towards the state, compared to most other countries. Simply put, in Scandinavia it is still expected that the state should care for the people, and the family is expected to fill in the gaps. In Southern Europe, it is the other way around. The state’s responsibility for welfare has even been accentuated since the 1970s, due to increased employment of women in Scandinavian societies. However, the mutation theory is quite abstract and sweeping, difficult to falsify or confirm. It has been presented as a supplement and correction to the more common opinion that the labour movement was the main force on

David Martin on Scandinavia and music


the march towards the welfare state, together with the Liberals and to some extent the Conservatives, who wanted to gain votes from the working class as it gradually obtained the right to vote. Personally I think this analysis is easier to support empirically than the rather thin line that Martin and others draw between the sixteenth and the twentieth century (Repstad 2016: 267). Some nuances should also be added regarding the churches’ adaption to Social Democrat values. Firstly, it is not the case that Social Democrats have been in power all the time since Parliamentary rule was introduced in Scandinavia. In 2018, both Denmark and Norway have Conservative coalition governments. On the other hand, there is some sense in a claim put forward in a book written by Einar Førde, a former Labor minister of church and education in Norway. He called his book We are all Social Democrats (Førde 1981). Welfare state values and practices have had broad political support in all the Scandinavian countries for many decades. However, the introduction of the welfare state met with protests from the church. Modest social reforms back in the nineteenth century were met with worries from church leaders: would Christian virtues of helping one’s neighbour become superfluous and disappear? Much later, not least in Norway after the Second World War, when Social Democrats, in majority power from 1945 to 1965, introduced many universal welfare benefits, some bishops expressed concern that the state should become totalitarian (Tønnessen 2014). However, around 1970 came a much more positive evaluation of the welfare state in the churches. In my view, this change came more as a result of internal debates and a generation shift than because of political control and pressure from the outside. In sum, a more concrete analysis of the changes in Scandinavian churches over time would point to several more specific factors, and the rather sweeping and somewhat speculative idea of historical mutations may have its explanatory limitations. Similarly, a liberalization of views in “life politics” has taken place in the national majority churches in Scandinavia, and to a lesser extent in the minority faith communities. It is possible to interpret this as a result of state control, possibly even Social Democrat control, over the national churches, but it can also be seen as a result of internal debates in these churches. Church autonomy has increased, especially in Sweden and Norway. The ties between church and state were definitively loosened in Sweden in 2000 and in Norway in 2012. The national churches in Sweden and Norway can no longer be considered state churches in the traditional sense, although there are still connections (Kühle 2011). The process of increasing church autonomy started several decades before the constitutional changes came a few years ago, and it is interesting to note that a process of liberalization in “life politics” seems to continue in the churches despite increased church autonomy. David Martin has stressed the homogeneity of Scandinavian religious life. For instance, in A General Theory of Secularization he wrote about the Scandinavian inclusive state churches, largely without Protestant dissent (Martin 1978: 111). That is, he is well acquainted with religious peripheries not only


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in Wales, but also in Jutland and Western Norway,2 and he has written about tensions between centre and periphery in many countries, but sometimes I think he exaggerates the religious uniformity in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. After all, in most of the nineteenth century and to this day inner mission movements have emerged within the churches, and during the last half of that century and in the beginning of the twentieth century several minority churches were established. Hence, there are probably other explanations behind Nordic secularity than the “passivity and apathy” in Nordic monopoly churches (Martin 2005b: 153). In rational choice theories on religion, the other side of the coin is usually that increasing religious diversity creates competition and engagement tending to increase the overall religious mobilization. However, I have not found any direct statements of adherence to that theory in Martin’s writings. In any case, Steve Bruce has made interesting diachronic studies of religious participation over time in the Nordic countries, and he does not find a connection between increased religious diversity and increased participation. On the contrary, he claims that “the only observable connections with diversity and pluralism are the opposite of those expected by the supply-siders”. Bruce’s own main conclusion is in line with Martin’s recommendation to think about a country’s history if you want to understand the current historical situation: “In European countries where religion remains popular it does so as part of an inherited and ascribed social identity, deeply embedded in painful struggles for ethnic and national autonomy” (Bruce 2000: 44).3 If Finland is generally more religious than the other Nordic countries, it has to do with their strong desire to maintain a clear national ethos, and the central role of the Lutheran church in this project. Finland was under Russian rule until 1917, and has since had to maintain polite relationships with a potentially threatening neighbour (Bruce 2001: 18). In contemporary Scandinavia, religious life is moving slowly towards an American model, with more diversity, more marketization, more denominations in relatively peaceful co-existence, but with some competition. This is the trend, but we have far from reached an American configuration yet. There are ideas among politicians about equal treatment of faith communities, but also ideas to let the national churches keep some privileges. The reasons given for this are usually historical, referring to ideas of national and cultural heritage. The discourse is secular: you never hear politicians argue that Christianity should have priority because it is the true religion. This does not mean a complete secularization, especially if scholars of religion stop focusing only on counting people who are frequently religiously active and try to look for cultural and material traces of religion in society. Again, David Martin can come up with inspiration, with his interest in how religious architecture and music are still present and visible. Scandinavian studies show that many people have a strong connection to church buildings in their local community (Bromander 1998; Aagedal 2004). Furthermore, other studies conclude that churches serve as natural places to come together

David Martin on Scandinavia and music


for most of the population in national or local celebrations, and not least when people are faced with national crises, such as after the rightwing terrorist’s murder of 77 people in Oslo and at the Labor Party Youth summer camp at Utøya on July 22, 2011 (Høeg 2015). Martin (2005a: 86) also noted the high degree of participation in rituals connected to important transitions in life in Scandinavia. Grace Davie’s wellknown concept “vicarious religion” seems to me to be an apt description of the situation. It is a concept in the best tradition from David Martin, pointing to supra-individual cultural traits embedded in society, hard to measure, but nevertheless important social forces. According to Davie, vicarious religion is performed by an active minority but on behalf of a much larger number, who implicitly at least not only understand but also approve of what the minority is doing (Davie 2000, 2006, 2007, 2013: 128). In the last part of the paper, I will discuss how Christmas concerts, a very popular event in Scandinavian churches, contribute to maintaining vicarious Christianity in these countries. I will combine this with a presentation of and addition to a typology of Christian attitudes to music, borrowed from David Martin. It should be underlined that my ambition here is far more modest than giving a broad presentation of David Martin’s rich sociology of music and religion. Space does not allow for that.

Tracing the shifting relations between the religious and the aesthetic David Martin’s interest in art is well known. Art can be an important part of religion. It can have similarities to religion, and there can be tensions and ambivalence between art and religion. To quote Martin, “there has usually been some tension between the autonomous attractions of the aesthetic and the overriding claims of the religious and the ethical. Indeed, in the modern period the arts can become rival sources of the transcendental” (Martin 2002: 45). It is fair to say that Martin’s relation to music has been especially close, personally as well as academically. He grew up with a mother singing in the church choir, he has been a singer in a church choir for decades himself, and he is a very able pianist. It comes as no surprise that a chapter in his autobiography has the heading “A passion for music” (Martin 2013: 54–65). So, many of his themes dealing with religion and music are introduced very early in his career, way back to his book The Religious and the Secular (1969). Here is a passage from an article about the reception of Handel’s music, where he in a few sentences expresses some pregnant views on both music and religion: Of all the arts, music is the most intimately related to religion, not merely on account of ecclesiastical patronage or a shared role in legitimizing power, but in their analogous symbols. They both resist translation, music


Pål Repstad even more than religion, and their opacity makes social contextualization difficult. Like religion, music has historically undergone a constant secularization within a dynamic of social and secular. That never ceases and music is remarkable for sustaining and even reinforcing its relation to religion in modern secular environments. (Martin 2006: 161f)

Martin’s writings about art are an integral part of his general programme of nuancing secularization theories. Also in the realm of art, he finds variety and differences. Also in this field, he is “the history man”, to repeat Steve Bruce’s term (2001). Martin claims that there are differing patterns of secularization in each of the arts. None of the arts presents a completely unilinear development from sacred to secular, but the trend towards unilinearity is more unambiguous in painting and sculpture than in music. Especially in music, the borders between what is conceived as secular and sacred are shifting down the ages, and complex patterns emerge. For instance, in our age of religious individualization, Martin shows some surprise when he finds modern composers with a renewed interest in liturgy (Martin 2016). According to Martin, musical activities and the reception of music do not only vary in time, but also in space. A couple of examples: In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, choir singing became immensely popular in many countries. In Germany, this activity contributed to moral improvement and increasingly also to national sentiment. In revolutionary France, the impulse to mass singing was associated with revolutionary fervour and later with patriotism, while in Britain there was a connection between mass singing and Methodism, and hence a connection between musical and social harmony. The collective singing in Evangelical Britain conveyed a message about individual improvement rather than evoking revolutionary consciousness, so the hymns sung in England helped make the country evolutionary. Relative social peace and harmony was secured by creating social, musical capital (Martin 1984, 2002, 2016). Furthermore, in a detailed analysis of the reception of the composer George Frideric Handel, Martin concluded that the reception of his works varied with the socio-religious context. In Britain, Handel was a very popular part of Evangelicalism, while in France he was less popular, and the religious dimension in his works was toned down (Martin 2002: Ch. 5). Working on an analysis of Christmas concerts in Norway, social semiotician Anne Løvland and I found a very useful heuristic typology in David Martin’s works on religion and music (Martin 1984, 2002; Løvland and Repstad 2008). This typology may not be the most central part of his sociology, as he indicated in a personal communication,4 but for us it helped identify patterns in a very popular and relatively new tradition in Norway, Christmas concerts in churches. Anne Løvland and I did a study of 30 Christmas concerts, visiting both events in the Church of Norway and minority churches.5 These concerts, held in the Advent period before Christmas Eve,

David Martin on Scandinavia and music


have become very popular over the last three decades. A survey showed that one third of the adult population had visited at least one such concert in a church in December 2011. In addition, children often take part, in the audience or performing. The most popular types are the localist or congregationalist amateur concerts, where people in the local community and/or the congregation display the richness of their musical life. Then we have the commercial concerts, mainly with professional pop artists touring churches in December. Finally, in cathedrals and cathedral-like churches there are many concerts featuring oratories and other kinds of classical music. These are most popular among people with higher education, while the other types are visited by a more representative sample of the population, regarding socio-economic status. Almost twice as many people go to a Christmas concert than visitors who follow the tradition of going to church on Christmas Eve, also an important event for maintaining vicarious religion (Løvland and Repstad 2013). We have no precise figures, but Christmas concerts in churches are also popular in Denmark and Sweden. Nearly all the concerts we attended communicated a soft and friendly Christianity, so they are not at all without a Christian content. References to hell and perdition are absent, and also references to sin. However, there are many references to God’s love. In songs and comments, it is often expressed that a small child in a manger has been an important divine intervention in the history of mankind (Løvland and Repstad 2008; Repstad 2008). Grace Davie has expressed uncertainty about how strong vicarious religion will be in Europe in the future. A condition for vicarious religion to survive, she claims, is a familiarity with the Christian narrative above a minimum level (Davie 2006, 2007). With increasing religious diversity and individualism, and with a decreasing education about Christianity in schools, this familiarity may weaken to the extent that vicarious religion may collapse. In this context, Christmas concerts may contribute to uphold vicarious Christianity together with churchgoing on Christmas Eve, baptism, confirmation, church weddings, funerals and civil-religious gatherings in churches at national anniversaries or after disasters. Like other church rituals, Christmas concerts have a style transcending the cognitive and the intellectual. As David Martin has often reminded us, religion is more than propositions in people’s heads. It is practice, connected to material things and places. Those who attend Christmas concerts are present with their sensing, their emotions and their bodies. Many visitors would probably fail to recite the second article of faith, but they gladly took part in singing at least the first verse of Glade jul (“Silent Night”), and an emotional energy emerged (Collins 2004), not least when the audience rose and sung together the hymn Deilig er jorden (“Lovely is the Earth”). This happened at nearly all the concerts we studied, and it certainly added to the ritual character of the concerts. David Martin distinguishes between three kinds of attitudes among Christians. When he describes his first type, he focuses on the Eastern Orthodox


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churches and their songs of prayer, almost unchanged down the centuries. Theologically, Eastern churches claim that they catch and incarnate the divine in this liturgical practice. There is total subordination to the sacred text. The music must underline the text to induce prayer, not detract or distract from it. This is a conservative tradition, where the songs (like icons in the same churches) are not approaching the divine because of artistic beauty, but because they represent a window between the divine and this world. The second type Martin calls the demotic approach. Here it is in principle accepted to employ any kind of music, provided it serves the ends of evangelizing or strengthening Christian belief. The main criterion is impact in the saving of souls. There are some additional criteria. Not without irony, Martin mentions that the performance should be heartfelt and jolly, since salvation brings happiness. In practice, some controversy may enter the realm of the demotic approach, for instance when dance music may bring associations to eroticism (Martin 2002: 50). The third type of approach implies that some music by its intrinsic character expresses the religion or the holy. This view regards some kinds of music as a complementary revelation to the Christian text. The chosen music varies with time and place, and Martin notes that there is a hermeneutical problem here. In some contexts, Bach and Handel may be seen as direct reflexes of the holy, while some earlier representatives of Anglican and Lutheran orthodoxy considered these composers as this-worldly, especially when they borrowed musical elements from the theatre (Martin 2002: 79). In our fieldwork, we often found musical performances that could be categorized as happy, heartfelt and jolly. There were many markers of authenticity. In the quest for authenticity and subjective honesty, modern liberals can meet with culturally conservative adherents of Pietism. However, in accordance with the soft and kind Christianity presented at the concerts, there is very little explicit missionary work. The profile is more to strengthen an implicit Christian identity as members of an inclusive majority church than to have people repent and convert. Also in the free churches, the appeals are warm and friendly, rather than challenging (Løvland and Repstad 2008: 174). As for the third type, no doubt Bach and Handel also today can give some people a subjective glimpse or feeling of the holy and divine in Scandinavian churches. However, we think that old and new psalms, simple folk tunes, and gospel can have the same impact on some people (Løvland and Repstad 2008: 175). There are partly class-based differences in taste present here. Analysing our empirical material, Løvland and I found that we needed a fourth category of Christian attitudes to music. Many of the songs in the concerts had no explicit Christian message, nor had they any ambition to express directly the divine. A very creative kind of hermeneutics is needed to find a Christian core in songs like Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” or Dolly Parton’s “I’ll Be Home with Bells On”, the last one sung in a concert in a Pentecostal church. Swedish summer songs and “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” also popped up, and many others. We defined a fourth type in

David Martin on Scandinavia and music


the following way: music can be valuable in itself, as an expression of God’s good will to create. Here music gets a more or less implicit legitimacy from the first article of faith in the Christian creed, with an interpretation expressing a positive attitude to the world. Hence all cultural expressions not going explicitly against Christian faith and morality are welcomed in a Christian context like this (Løvland and Repstad 2008: 176). As a Christian composer and music reviewer wrote tongue-in-cheek in a Christian newspaper about the song “White Christmas”: even the joy over snow is a joy given by God.6 One may of course ask whether this openness to contemporary secular culture is a kind of strategy to get hold of more people to convert. This is difficult to find out, but there was nothing in the concerts themselves that pointed in that direction. This fourth type of Christian attitude to music is not only found in the Church of Norway, but also in the minority churches. It probably reflects and strengthens the more optimistic attitudes to culture and also a more positive anthropology in general found in recent studies of Christianity in Norway. Religion is becoming more sensual and less cognitive and dogmatic (Repstad 2009; Løvland and Repstad 2014). As David Martin has underlined, the borders between sacred and secular may change in both directions over time. And even here there are hermeneutical problems for researchers. That songs traditionally seen as secular are included in the church repertoire can be seen as an expansion of the sacred. But it can also be perceived as a dilution of the sacred, and hence as a sign of internal secularization. It depends on the understanding of religion. Allow me to quote from a personal communication from David Martin: “The locus of the sacred will just not stay still and in fact the peregrinations of the sacred are powerful illustrations of the sheer complexity of the secularization issue.”7

Concluding remarks Regardless of whether one agrees with David Martin or not in all instances, to read him is a very stimulating project, for one is inspired to think. With his contextual theory, Martin became a pioneer in a general trend that gradually gained support in sociology from the 1980s onwards, from structureoriented to more agency-oriented approaches and from universal to more context-oriented theories. The distance to Auguste Comte’s ambition to create a universally valid “social physics” has indeed increased. Martin can also be read as an early proponent of the view that history and sociology are not worlds apart. Since 1978, history and sociology have come closer to each other. Many sociologists include historical factors in their tools of interpretation, and historians increasingly make sense of their data by borrowing sociological theories from their academic cousins. Finally, Martin’s interest throughout his whole academic career in holding together political structures and religious life has also become the order of the day, with many studies of politicized religion and of the role of religion


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in politics. He often reminds his readers that comparative studies of religion are not only figures about individual belief and practice, and that there is no serious sociology of religion that is not also a political sociology, for people are embedded in structures of power and webs of culture (Martin 2014b: 464). He even claims that the processes and dynamics of religion and politics are very similar (Martin 2011: 4). They both have narrative myths, and it is important to analyse religion and politics in the same conceptual frame (Martin 2014a: 1). These are good guidelines for doing sociology of religion in an age when religion and politics seem to become more closely intertwined.

Notes 1 In this paragraph, I build partly on the summary of Martin’s theory in Davie (2013: 58–60). 2 See for example Martin (2013: 187f). 3 One is reminded of one of Zuckerman’s explanations, mentioned above, namely the relative lack of external threats and oppression in Scandinavia, and hence a lack of a need for cultural defense (Zuckerman 2009: 63). 4 E-mail from David Martin to the author, 30 September 2016. 5 Warm thanks to Anne Løvland for allowing me to present our common empirical material in this context. 6 Vårt Land 8 December 2006. 7 E-mail from David Martin to the author, 30 September 2016.

References Aagedal, Olaf 2004. Når kyrkja brenn [When the church is on fire]. In Ole G. Winsnes (ed.), Tallenes Tale 2003. Trondheim: Tapir, 141–161. Bromander, Jonas 1998. Rör inte vår kyrka! [Do not mess with our church!]. Uppsala: Svenska kyrkans forskningsråd. Bruce, Steve 2000. The supply-side model of religion: The Nordic and the Baltic states. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 39(1), 32–46. Bruce, Steve 2001. In praise of the history man. In Andrew Walker and Martyn Percy (eds.), Restoring the Image: Essays on Religion and Society in Honour of David Martin. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 12–21. Casanova, José 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Collins, Randall 2004. Interaction Ritual Chains. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Davie, Grace 2000. Religion in Modern Europe: A Memory Mutates. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Davie, Grace 2006. Is Europe an exceptional case? The Hedgehog Review 8(1–2), 23–32. Davie, Grace 2007. Vicarious religion: A methodological challenge. In Nancy Ammerman (ed.), Everyday Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 21–35. Davie, Grace 2013. The Sociology of Religion: A Critical Agenda. 2nd Edition. London: Sage. Fenn, Richard K. 2009. Key Thinkers in the Sociology of Religion. London: Continuum. Førde, Einar 1981. Vi er alle sosialdemokrater [We are all Social Democrats]. Oslo: Tiden. Furseth, Inger, Pål Repstad, Sivert Skålvoll Urstad and Ole-Edvin Utaker 2015. Trosog livssynssamfunnene og deres ledere – innadvendte eller utadvendte? [Faith and

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worldview communities and their leaders – inward- or outward-looking?]. In Inger Furseth (ed.), Religionens tilbakekomst i offentligheten? Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 139–168. Henriksen, Jan-Olav and Ulla Schmidt 2010. Religionens plass og betydning i offentligheten [The role and significance of religion in the public sphere]. In Pål Ketil Botvar and Ulla Schmidt (eds.), Religion i dagens Norge. Mellom sekularisering og sakralisering. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 81–94. Høeg, Ida Marie 2015. Silent actions: Emotions and mass mourning rituals after the terrorist attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011. Mortality 20(3), 197–214. Knudsen, Tim 2000. Tilblivelsen af den universalistiske velfærdsstat [The establishment of the Nordic welfare state]. In Tim Knudsen (ed.), Den nordiske protestantisme og velfærdsstaten. Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 20–64. Kühle, Lene 2011. Concluding remarks on religion and state in the Nordic countries. Nordic Journal of Religion and Society 24(2), 205–213. Løvland, Anne and Pål Repstad 2008. Julekonserter [Christmas concerts]. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Løvland, Anne and Pål Repstad 2013. Vi takker og jubler i tusinde tal . . . Publikum på julekonserter [We are thankful and rejoicing . . . The audience at Christmas concerts]. In Pål Repstad and Irene Trysnes (eds.), Fra forsakelse til feelgood. Musikk, sang og dans i religiøst liv. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 245–259. Løvland, Anne and Pål Repstad 2014. Playing the sensual card in churches: Studying the aestheticization of religion. In Andrew McKinnon and Marta Trzebiatowska (eds.), Sociological Theory and the Question of Religion. Farnham: Ashgate, 179–198. Martin, David 1969. The Religious and the Secular. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Martin, David 1978. A General Theory of Secularization. Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David 1984. Music and religion: Ambivalence towards the aesthetic. Religion 14, 269–292. Martin, David 1991. The secularization issue: Prospect and retrospect. British Journal of Sociology 42(3), 465–474. Martin, David 2002. Christian Language and Its Mutations. Aldershot: Ashgate. Martin, David 2005a. On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory. Aldershot: Ashgate. Martin, David 2005b. Secularization and the future of Christianity. Journal of Contemporary Religion 20(2), 145–160. Martin, David 2006. The sociology of religion and Handel’s reception. In Elisabeth Arweck and William Keenan (eds.), Materializing Religion. Aldershot: Ashgate, 161–174. Martin, David 2011. The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization. Farnham: Ashgate. Martin, David 2013. The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist. Vancouver: Regent College Publishing. Martin, David 2014a. Religion and Power: No Logos without Mythos. Farnham: Ashgate. Martin, David 2014b. Secularization: An international debate from a British perspective. Society 51(5), 464–471. Martin, David 2016. Ruin and Restoration. London: Routledge. Norris, Pippa and Ronald Inglehart 2004. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. 2nd Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2nd edition 2011. Østergaard, Uffe 1998. Europa. Identitet og identitetspolitik. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.


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Repstad, Pål 2008. Christmas concerts: Maintaining vicarious religion. In Lise Kanckos and Ralf Karaunen (eds.), Social samhörighet och religion. Festskrift til Susan Sundback. Åbo: Åbo Akademis förlag, 101–110. Repstad, Pål 2009. A softer God and a more positive anthropology: Changes in a religiously strict region in Norway. Religion 39, 126–131. Repstad, Pål 2016. Hvordan fastslå kristendommens virkninger? [How to determine Christianity’s influence?]. In Knut Dørum and Helje K. Sødal (eds.), Mellom gammel og nytt. Kristendom i Norge på 1800-og 1900-tallet. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, 255–269. Tønnessen, Aud 2014. The Church and the welfare state in postwar Norway: Political conflicts and conceptual ambiguities. Journal of Church and State 56(1), 13–35. Zuckerman, Phil 2009. Why are Danes and Swedes so irreligious? Nordic Journal of Religion and Society 22(1), 55–69.


Taking religion back out On the secular dynamics of armed conflicts and the potentials of religious peace-making Andreas Hasenclever

Introduction To make a long and complex argument very short: for David Martin, religions do not cause wars. Wars follow the logics of group conflict under the conditions of scarcity and anarchy. They are driven by the political necessities of social inclusion and exclusion, the struggle for power and welfare and the quest for reputation and honor (see most recently Martin 2017: 118–135). To the extent religions become politically effective, they tend to support these dynamics by providing societies with a strong collective identity, by reinforcing in-group-out-group distinctions and by mobilizing social support. In this regard, however, religions can be substituted with other collective identities such as ethnicity or political ideology. What counts in the final analysis are “the underlying dynamics of power, solidarity and violence exercised against the Other whether the dominant ideology is Christian, nationalism or Communism” (Martin 2014: 4). Moreover, religions have no choice but to adapt to the prevailing modes of political organization even if this implies serious inflections of their original message and a selective reading of their core traditions or, alternatively, to become marginalized and largely irrelevant in public affairs. Consequently, David Martin (1997: 19f) does not expect the world to become a better place if religion were to simply disappear: I know of no evidence to show that the absence of a religious factor in the contention of rival identities and incompatible claims leads to a diminution in the degree of enmity and ferocity. . . . In Swiftian terms, all you need is the difference between Big-endians and Little-endians. In what follows, I will show that the empirical evidence from peace and conflict research strongly supports David Martin’s argument. I will also contend, however, that at least in my understanding of his work, David Martin puts too strong an emphasis on the final unavoidability of war in and between states. This leads him to underestimate the impact that religious communities can have on both conflict escalation and de-escalation.

124 Andreas Hasenclever Moreover, his reluctance to develop a generic understanding of what religions are about – a reluctance which is firmly rooted in his context-oriented sociology – leads him to see religions at work where they might not be. In a nutshell, while David Martin is certainly right to point to the inevitable inflections of religious traditions to political exigencies and the complicity of religious communities with the powerful – mostly under conditions of socalled organic societies – he runs into serious problems in recognizing their autonomy and the critical potential that at least post-axial religions might develop and which they can, under certain conditions, mobilize for political change. In fact, when David Martin discusses the originality of Christian peace traditions, they are mostly considered to be “on the books” but without any major political relevance. They only survived because they were remembered by some religious virtuosi and small communities who are living at the margins of their respective societies (Martin 2014: 34). Moreover, while modernity provides new spaces for Christian churches to refocus on their original traditions, this went along with their political disempowerment. I do not doubt the historic appropriateness of these observations. But I still find it difficult to understand how we can discuss the declining relevance of religion for modern politics without a substantive debate on what (post-axial) religions are about and how to appropriately analyze their political role beyond the claim that they are mostly supportive of the prevailing power relations. In the first part of the paper, I give a brief introduction into the arguments of those who think that religions are particularly divisive forces in human history. Following that, I will summarize the counter position as defended by David Martin in his writings. I then turn to the empirical evidence. It will become clear that the strong expectations of the critics of religion are not supported by the available evidence. Religious issues and religious differences do not make armed conflicts more likely, they do not affect their intensity and they do not significantly increase their duration. All we can say is that religions might operate as one identity marker among others. Such an identity marker is certainly necessary for any group or society to wage war, but as outlined by David Martin there are powerful substitutes such as ethnicity or political ideologies that might serve the same social and political functions. Human groups and societies evidently do not need religion to build strong in-groups and wage war. This finding leads me to the question whether so-called religious conflicts are about religion at all. Do we see religions at work when we observe the use of religious symbols and religious language to mobilize political support and legitimize violence? The answer will be a clear-cut “no” which will result from a probably not so clear-cut conceptualization of religion. Following Winston L. King (1987) and Martin Riesebrodt (2010), I will argue that at least the so-called post-axial religions are concerned with the inescapable contingencies of human life. Given these inescapable contingencies, they promise salvation. Such a promise, however, is credible only insofar as it

Taking religion back out


is backed by some sort of transcendent power. With this understanding of religion, I will try to make a case for the strictly secular character of armed conflicts. Or to put it differently, even if religious symbols appear to be constitutive for warring parties and even if religious traditions are used to mobilize the faithful into action, they largely miss the intended truth of religions and degenerate into something that I will call “halved religions”. Halved religions as social practices preserve religious forms but lose religious content. They simply evolve into one collective identity among others. As such, halved religions are in fact just as powerful in driving armed conflicts as ethnicity or political ideology. In the final part of the paper, I will discuss the implications of my argument for the protection of religions against political instrumentalization. In my understanding, religious communities who take their traditions seriously are characterized by what I call “religious awareness”, “religious education”, “religious public” and “religious autonomy”. Given these four features, I expect religious communities not only to be resilient to politicization – which would also imply that there are no genuinely religious arguments for a just war! – but at the same time they should be in a position to promote social justice and peace.

Debating the impact of religions on armed conflict: theoretical arguments and empirical findings The critics of religion Religions have a bad reputation in large parts of Western societies. Public intellectuals such as Jan Assmann (2006), Ulrich Beck (2008), Richard Dawkins (2006), Sam Harris (2007) and Samuel Huntington (1996) consider them to be particularly divisive forces in human history and responsible for a growing number of high-intensity conflicts. Cases in point might be the civil wars waged in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Palestine, Syria or Thailand, which are all fought in one way or another along religious fault lines. To explain the extraordinary virulence of religious differences, critics of religion put forward three major arguments. First, religions tend to go along with absolute trust claims, which are of ultimate concern to the faithful. Compromises on sacred issues become next to impossible and even small interest incompatibilities escalate quickly when aligned with religious claims. Or, as Jan Assmann (2006: 475) has put it: “Religions are not the opium but the dynamite of the people”. Sam Harris (2007: 80) holds that “religion raises the stakes of human conflict much higher than tribalism, racism, or politics ever can”. Similarly, Michael Horowitz (2009: 168) argues that “religious beliefs make a higher-order claim on behaviour than do claims by groups organized along purely ethnic, linguistic, or cultural lines”. And according to Monica Toft (2007: 100), it is the “uncompromising nature” of religions – and most of all monotheistic religions – which significantly contributes to the likelihood

126 Andreas Hasenclever that conflicts between groups or societies of different faiths quickly escalate into violence. Second, religions are said to tend to separate the world into true believers and cosmic foes. Under conditions of armed conflict, such a worldview quickly translates into the demonization of opponents who deserve to be battled with all available means. Mercy in the fight against satanic forces is self-defeating and must be avoided. Accordingly, Mark Juergensmeyer (2008: 257f) holds that “religious violence is especially savage and relentless since its perpetrators see it not merely as part of a worldly political battle but as part of a scenario of divine conflict”. Perry Schmidt-Leukel (2004: 7) argues that “it is precisely this conviction of doing a right and holy thing that makes religious violence so specific, so difficult and dangerous: the total absence of any sense of guilt or moral indifference”. And for Michael Ignatieff (1998: 150), it is beyond doubt that “war is always at its most unrestrained when religion vests it with holy purpose”. Third, religions are said to increase the willingness of the combatants to make sacrifices. They tend to see themselves as holy warriors who are fighting for the salvation of the world, and they are willing to accept great hardship in return for eternal peace. Or, as Richard Dawkins (2006: 303) has stated: “only religious faith is a strong enough force to motivate such utter madness in otherwise sane and decent people”. Because they know that heaven is on their side, self-declared holy warriors refuse to give in even if the situation is grim and the prospects of success are minimal. In fact, as Michael Horowitz (2009) has pointed out, “religion is a powerful motivator”. Believers tend to “de-emphasize physical survival in favor of spiritual reward”, which makes it easier to start a war and more difficult to end it before definite victory or defeat. David Martin’s argument For David Martin, the critics of religion are stating the obvious. It is undeniable that religions have time and again been closely affiliated with armed conflicts. They have the potential to strengthen in-group solidarity, to organize social support for the use of force and to increase the willingness of combatants to make sacrifices. This does not mean, however, that religions are particularly divisive forces in human history. The social world as such is characterized by intergroup competition and recurring violence – be it with religion or without religion. From a sociological perspective, religions therefore simply do what they are expected to do. As human institutions they “adjust to the general social dynamics of survival” (Martin 1997: 37). Or, to put it differently, religions are always related to specific groups or societies. These groups or societies are interacting in a quasi-Darwinian environment where “the struggle for dominance is the default position” (Martin 2014: 57). Under these conditions, religion tends to operate as one possible collective identity marker among others and as such support the fundamental

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“socio-logic of difference” (Martin 1997: 30). Consequently, religions should not be understood as “disembodied notions but codes which penetrate into and are shaped by system properties and by given social systems” (Martin 1997: 38). They simply cannot escape the dynamics of political conflict, but they are entangled into the “tragedy of power” (Mearsheimer 2001). The iron laws of political competition und social integration and their impact on religion can be best studied in the evolution of Christianity. According to David Martin (2014: 41f), “the New Testament originally runs counter the necessities of the struggle for survival”. The Christian basic repertoire and its sacred texts are strictly speaking not compatible with the profane dynamics of power and domination. To survive, however, religions have to adapt to the prevailing modes of organizing societal life and Christianity is no exception to this rule. Its original sources were subjected to highly selective readings by dominant elites, which brought the texts’ meaning into line with the hegemonic understandings of politics and society in the ancient Roman Empire, feudal monarchy, early modernity and modern nationalism. Or, as David Martin (2011: 179) has aptly summarized this point: Normatively understood, Christianity is that particular kind of transcendent vision that looks for “peace on earth, goodwill toward men”. However, it encounters the social sacred, as articulated by Durkheim, which partly absorbs it, and the resistant secularity of politics, power and violence, as articulated by Machiavelli, which largely deflects it. To be sure, the non-violent traditions of Christianity were never completely forgotten. They remained “on the books” (Martin 2014: 34). This was mostly achieved by small, often sectarian Christian movements, which developed at the margins of their societies such as the early Franciscans, the Waldensians, the Anabaptists or Pietists. On the one hand, however, these movements were too small to make a difference, and more often than not, they were relentlessly persecuted by the authorities of their time. On the other hand, even these movements were not completely free from the necessities of political organization: “The pre-conditions of society as such are in part replicated in groups designed to subvert them, otherwise protest itself cannot survive” (Martin 2011: 183). According to David Martin, it was only with progressing social differentiation in the modern age that Christianity was given a chance to rediscover its original sources on a broad scale and to engage for biblical justice and non-violent conflict management. Ironically, however, this became possible because functional differentiation was negatively correlated with political relevance. In fact, politics, economics, law or culture as social fields gained in autonomy and began to operate according to their own codes. As a consequence, more and more wars were waged not with the support of Christian authorities but against their declared will. This Christian pacifism might even be observed in conflicts where strong secular arguments exist for the

128 Andreas Hasenclever necessity of the use of armed force to prevent a larger evil. As a result, religions evidently lost much of their political and social relevance with the transition from organic to differentiated societies. But as a rule, this declining social and political relevance of religions in differentiated societies did not significantly impact the occurrence, intensity or duration of armed conflicts. This is so because, according to David Martin (2017: 57): violence is written so deeply into human relationships and into the unremitting struggle for power, wealth, honor and dominance, generated by the difference between Us and Them, that we can take it for granted. Religion will be complicit in this struggle because it provides a major and powerful marker of difference between Us and Them. But so does every form of social solidarity. In recent centuries other forms of solidarity, for example nationalism and secular political ideology, have been as complicit as religion in the struggle for dominance.

Empirical findings on conflict onset To support their arguments of a particularly disastrous connection between religious differences and organized violence, critics of religions point to a number of contemporary armed conflicts, which are de facto fought along religious fault lines. Additionally, they can show that the share of conflicts with a clear religious dimension has increased over the last 20 years (Basedau and Rudolfsen 2016; Svensson 2007). On closer inspection, however, the empirical evidence of their strong theoretical claims is surprisingly weak. Despite intense research, quantitative studies have not found any robust correlation between religious differences and the risk of armed conflict onset so far (Hegre and Sambanis 2006; Croissant, Schwank and Trinn 2009; Tusicisny 2004). What has been found time and again is the high relevance of political discrimination, state failure and economic crisis (Buhaug, Cederman and Gleditsch 2014). Most recently, Matthew Isaacs (2016) even provided strong evidence that in many cases religion does not cause armed conflict but that armed conflicts tend to politicize religion. Or to put it differently, religion often follows armed conflict because rebellions always need moral justification and strategic resources, and under certain conditions religious communities can provide these justifications and resources. Similarly, Alexander De Juan (2016) argued that the rise of politicized religiosity in large parts of Nigeria was a consequence of war experiences and did not precede conflict escalation. Or, to put it differently, armed conflicts time and again create situations in which people have strong psychological reasons to turn to their religions for existential reassurances. Moreover, Nils-Christian Bormann, Lars-Erik Cederman and Manuel Vogt (2017: 746) showed that linguistic cleavages play a far more important role in the escalation of ethnic conflicts than religious differences. “In

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fact, for the period since World War II, language is more clearly associated with ethnic conflict than religion”. In other words, religious differences are not exceptionally violence-prone when compared to other social cleavages. This finding even holds true when we focus on conflicts with Muslim participation. Süveyda Karakaya (2015) convincingly argued that “states characterized by oil-dependent economies, repressive regimes, transnational political institutions, and ethnic diversity are more conflict prone, whereas neither Islam nor religious diversity has any significant effect”. A similar finding was produced by Victor Asal, Marcus Schulzke and Amy Pate (2014), who studied political movements in the MENA region. They found that Islamic groups are not particularly prone to violence when compared to other groups. This finding nicely fits with the observations of many case studies. Here scholars have repeatedly been puzzled by the observation that some Islamic groups are very violent while others with very similar religious beliefs are not. In fact, as Quintan Wiktorowicz (2004) and Holger Albrecht and Kevin Köhler (2008) outlined in their works, the decision to use violence by Islamist groups seemed to be much more driven by strategic considerations than by dogmatic beliefs. What we do find repeatedly, however, is the escalating power of social identity overlaps. In this context, Matthias Basedau, Birte Pfeiffer and Johannes Vüllers (2016) showed that the fusion of ethnic, regional and religious identity does significantly increase the risk of conflict onset. The logic behind this finding, however, does not follow from any specific virulence of religions but from the lack of cross-cutting cleavages which are generally found to work against the escalation of conflicts (Gubler and Selway 2012; Stewart 2008). This impression is further supported by the observation that religious calls to arms do not generally increase the risk of conflict onset but are only found to be correlated with the subgroup of interreligious conflicts, a fact which is not surprising (Basedau et al. 2016). What evidently matters are therefore horizontal inequalities as such – social groups are excluded from political power or are otherwise marginalized in a society – and not whether inequalities are genuinely characterized by the discrimination of religious groups. This is further supported by a recent study by Jonas Bunte and Laura Thaut Vinson (2016). They showed for the Middle Belt in Nigeria that conflicts between Christian and Muslim groups tend to escalate only when one group is politically discriminated by the other. Conversely, the districts in Kaduna and Plateau State that have viable power-sharing mechanisms experience significantly fewer violent clashes when compared to those districts where one identity group is excluded from political decision-making. Or, to put it bluntly, it is political discrimination that matters and not religion as such. Empirical findings on conflict intensity Similarly, the findings on the intensity of religious conflicts are not as clearcut as would be expected given the strong conceptual arguments by the

130 Andreas Hasenclever critics of religion. While Jonathan Fox (2004) and Monica Toft (2007) report some evidence in support of a religion-severity nexus, their conclusions result from bivariate analyses only. Additionally, Monica Toft’s study is particularly puzzling. On the one hand, she claims that “religious wars are much more destructive than wars fought over other issues: They result in more casualties and more noncombatant deaths”. Her concrete findings, however, point to the opposite conclusion. Monica Toft reports an average of 28,000 civilian deaths per year for civil wars in which religion was a central issue. In nonreligious civil wars, the annual death toll was 43,000 on average. Consequently, “non-religious civil wars seem to brutalize civilians even more than central religious wars” (Toft 2007: 116f, fn. 53). The multivariate studies by Bethany Lacina (2006) and Ragnhild Nordås (2007), in contrast, could not detect any significant difference in the intensity of religious und non-religious armed conflicts. Susanna Pearce (2005) even found that between 1946 und 2001, 24% of all secular conflicts in her sample reached the highest intensity levels while only 20% of all religious conflicts did. Similarly, Frances Stewart (2009: 28) observes that among the incidents of mass killings since 1956, “there is no single case of religion alone, but religion combined with ethnicity/nationality played a role in four cases out of the 16”. This finding is further supported by considerable anecdotal evidence. In fact, for some of the worst instances of organized violence after the Second World War, religious differences did not matter at all. Cases in point are the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Guatemala and Rwanda, as well as the civil wars in Angola, Congo, Mozambique, Somalia and South Sudan. Violent groups evidently do not need gods to engage in atrocities of a monstrous scale (Cavanaugh 2009; Joas 2014). Empirical findings on conflict duration Empirical findings on the religion-conflict nexus are also mixed when it comes to conflict duration. Monica Toft (2007: 116) reports that “whereas nonreligious civil wars last on average 76 months, religious civil wars last 103 months”. This difference is not significant, however, and what is even more puzzling: conflicts in which religion is a peripheral issue last on average 28 months longer than civil wars in which religion is a central issue. Following Toft’s own reasoning, the opposite should be the case. According to a study by Tanja Ellingsen (2000), religious differences impacted positively on the duration of armed conflicts only after the Cold War. During the Cold War, the opposite holds true. Andrej Tusicisny (2004: 494), by contrast, found “no statistically significant relationship between civilizational difference and duration of conflict whether we consider the post-Cold War period or the whole period 1946–2001”. With a slightly different focus, Paul Collier, Anke Hoeffler and Måns Söderbom (2004) also could not detect any particular impact of religious fractionalization on conflict duration while ethnic fractionalization was relevant. Finally, data provided by Isak Svensson

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suggest that among the twenty conflicts with the longest duration after the Second World War, none was about religious incompatibilities and in only nine did the conflicting parties have different religious identities. Up to now, only findings on conflict termination largely fit with the outlined critical expectations. As demonstrated by Isak Svensson (2007), belligerents are very unlikely to reach a negotiated settlement in conflicts over religious issues. In the clear majority of cases, these conflicts come to an end by military victory only. According to Isak Svensson (2007), this follows from the indivisibility of religious demands which prevent the belligerents from making the necessary concessions. But even though the tendency of religious armed conflicts to continue until one side wins is strong, there were “holy wars” such as those in Indonesia or on the Philippines in which the belligerents were able to stop the fighting by “desacralizing” their confrontation. Moreover, Nils-Christian Bormann and his colleagues (2017: 756) criticize the either-or coding in Isak Svensson’s study. On closer inspection, many conflicts in the data set were both religious and ethnic. Given this observation, the classification of conflicts as either religious or ethnic is arbitrary and leads to non-robust conclusions. To summarize: given the strong critical arguments in favor of a specific religion-conflict nexus, the empirical record is surprisingly weak. Religious wars do not substantively differ from profane violence in terms of conflict onset, conflict intensity or conflict duration. The empirical record, therefore, largely supports the core argument of David Martin: the broad prevalence of serious armed conflicts without religious fault lines clearly suggests that armed conflicts in general are driven by secular power dynamics: “The proclivity for violence and the possibility of a resort to violence are universal, and the forms of violence that to this or that degree involve religion are contingent rather than necessary and quite limited in their historical incidence” (Martin 2017: 123). In this context, religions appear to operate as fungible mobilization resources. They can provide for the necessary legitimation of organized violence and they can develop sufficiently strong collective identities for sustained combat. But ethnicity and political ideology clearly operate similarly. To put it bluntly, whether an armed conflict is conducted as a religious, ethnic or political struggle is seemingly as relevant for the understanding of war and peace in human history as the distinction of vodka, whisky and gin in the explanation of youth deviance. Putting the empirical findings into perspective While David Martin is certainly right to stress the secular power dynamics of war and peace and to elaborate on the interchangeability of religion, ethnicity and political ideology as ideational conflict resources, this does not imply, however, that religions and religious differences as such are largely irrelevant for the occurrence and conduct of armed conflict. Conflict research has shown that the construction and maintenance of collective identities

132 Andreas Hasenclever is not only crucial for the formation and operation of armed groups, but that they cannot be taken for granted. Collective behavior always presupposes some sort of successful social framing (De Juan and Hasenclever 2015; Jackson and Dexter 2014; Sanín and Wood 2014).1 Political leaders have to engage in substantive meaning and identity work to build up group cohesion and mobilize their constituencies for collective action. This dimension of meaning and identity work, however, is largely missing in David Martin’s studies on religion and conflict. By closely following the realist school in International Relations, he seemingly considers the justification of organized violence and the development of robust collective identities to be rather unproblematic. Recent research on non-violent protest movements and their surprisingly high success rates, however, suggests that this assumption has to be qualified (Chenoweth and Stephan 2011; Karakaya 2016). People in many cases have a choice to either support armed rebellion or not. Under these conditions, religious communities can make a difference as the emergence of non-violent protest movements on the Philippines, in South Africa and many other places of the world confirms (Appleby 2000; Weingardt 2007). What is crucial here is the insight that political conflicts can take different courses depending on how strongly calls to arms resonate with a given population, that this resonance might be influenced by the position that religious authorities take and that this positioning is not fully determined by political power struggles.2 So understood, religions can make a difference even though religious differences as such are in no way more or less violenceprone than secular differences. What is more, given the outlined difficulties in empirically distinguishing the effects of secular and religious identities on conflict trajectories, the question arises whether these types of collective identities differ in substance and not only in form. If not, one might argue that the effects of religious identities largely equal those of secular identities. While they can still be distinguished according to their ultimate points of reference, their real effects are more or less identical. Religion has to be considered one social marker among others, even though it can still be recognized and addressed as religion. This seems to be David Martin’s argument. Conversely, and this will be my argument, one might hold that as soon as religious symbols and traditions are used to mobilize and sustain armed conflict, religion properly speaking dissolves and develops into a secular identity. Or, to put it differently, what drives armed conflicts are secular social identities all the way down. Religion is not involved at all!3 As will become clear in the following section, my argument strongly benefits from the distinction between pre-axial and post-axial religions (Bellah 2005; Eisenstadt 2012; Joas 2012). If we take the time around the middle of the fifth millennium BCE as the period of axial transition, then a core feature of pre-axial religions appears to be their cosmological worldview where “super-nature, nature and society were all fused in a single cosmos” (Bellah 2005: 70). Mostly as a reaction to social and political crises, this belief in the

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unity of the sacred and the profane came under strong pressure in the axial period and we observe the formation of second-order thinking. On the one hand, second-order thinking implies the reflection on, and the questioning of, the “religio-political premises of society” (Bellah 2005: 81). On the other hand and according to many scholars, it went along with the “emergence of the idea of transcendence” (Joas 2012: 11). A sharp distinction was introduced between the profane world and a transcendental realm where the latter serves as ultimate point of reference both for existential security in times of turmoil and for re-ordering social and political relations in a way that corresponds to religiously sanctioned principles. So understood, the idea of transcendence goes along with a strong critical potential in that it opens new perspectives on social and political reality which is perceived as largely out of tune with the superior principles of the transcendental realm. At the same time, however, the idea of a transcendent realm and the corresponding ontological dualisms between the profane and the sacred entails major epistemological tensions. How to relate the higher transcendent order to the derivative profane order in a way that profane forms appropriately articulate transcendent content? Or as Shmuel Eisenstadt (2012: 281) has put it: The specific kind of reflexivity, especially second-order thinking, characteristic of Axial visions or programs, produced a number of internal antinomies or tensions. The most important of these tensions concerned, first, the great range of possible transcendental visions and the ways of their implementation; second, the distinction between reason and revelation or faith (or their equivalents in non-monotheistic Axial civilizations); and third, the problematique of whether the full institutionalization of these visions in pristine form is desirable. To conclude this section: what is characteristic for post-axial religion is the development of a genuine understanding of faith as a form of critical knowledge that relates to a reality fundamentally distinct from the profane world. As such, the transcendental always escapes complete translation into, and adequate expression by, historical languages, symbols and institutions. Therefore, a crucial intellectual innovation of the Axial Age consists of “the recognition of symbolicity as symbolicity, the understanding of symbolic signs as pointing to a meaning that can never be fully exhausted by signs” (Bellah and Joas 2012: 4).

Understanding religion as a complex social practice For the purpose of developing an appropriate understanding of religion that helps to answer the question whether religion in a strict sense is involved in armed conflict, I largely follow the works of Winston King (1987) and Martin Riesebrodt (2010). Martin Riesebrodt (2010: 75) defines religion “as a complex of practices that are based on the premise of the existence

134 Andreas Hasenclever of superhuman powers, whether personal or impersonal, that are generally invisible”. Given the everyday experiences of injustice, hardship and death, these powers are expected to provide salvation to the faithful. Or, as Winston King (1987: 287) stated: “Salvation is but another name for religion. That is, all religions are basically conceived as means of saving men at one level or another”. Accordingly, the major function of religion as a complex of social practices is to communicate the promise of salvation and to organize religious life in a way that corresponds to its core message. The faithful should come to the conclusion that they are not lost on earth but may hope for rescue. Consequently, “religion is based on communication with superhuman powers and is concerned with warding off misfortune, coping with crises, and laying the foundation for salvation” (Riesebrodt 2010: XII). From a post-axial perspective, however, this promise of salvation makes sense only when the revered powers are not subject to the contingencies of our social and physical world but transcend it. Otherwise, the promise would not be credible. In fact, humans do not want their gods to be of the same stuff and subjected to the same constraints as they are themselves. Religions must refer to a mysterium fidei which is considered a source of hope exactly because the promise of salvation is backed by powers that are not controlled by the logics governing human bodies and societies. The extent to which such an understanding of religion is confined to Christianity, Islam and Judaism or whether it can be extended to the great eastern religions is still a contested issue, but given this understanding, it becomes clear that religions consist of inherently complex traditions and practices. As outlined by the eminent German scholar Wolfhart Pannenberg (1988: 157), religions must be conceived of as “double-sided phenomena”. They try to translate the promise of salvation and its implications as understood by the faithful into historically appropriate forms, which means that they have to find convincing articulations for a message which is by definition not – or at best partly – from this world. To put it literally, the faithful do hear some sort of a voice promising salvation, but they cannot know where this voice is coming from. And while they might understand that salvation is promised, the social and political implication of this message for the organization of religious communities and their relationship to secular authorities is far from evident. This is the case because the infinite, which is the “intended truth of religion”, necessarily escapes the contingent symbols that humans have at their disposal and which vary according to time and place. Consequently, accumulated religious practices and their meanings are necessarily complex and established religious traditions cannot be free of internal tensions and at times contradictions. This is the case because their main function is to give temporal expression for a promise that is backed by a transcendent power that humans cannot fully understand. The intended truth of every religion is always more than its temporal form. Or as Hans Joas (2012: 23) has put it: Religions are “attempts to articulate the neverfully expressible experiences of the divine”.

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Such an understanding of religion necessarily comes along with some sort of an uncertainty relation. The closer the faithful approach the sacred as the core of post-axial religions, the more they appreciate the promise of salvation but the less they know how to organize their communities beyond the formal requirement that their religious practices should correspond to the promise of salvation. How the faithful implement this requirement is far from evident. It depends on human reasoning and on the way religious authorities conceive of their social environment and their own place in the human world. Such a conceptualization of religion with its strong focus on the indeterminacy of the sacred beyond the original promise of salvation – an indeterminacy that is necessary for the sake of salvation in a post-axial cultural setting – has strong implications for any translation of religious beliefs into political or social programs. In fact, what is needed is a constant and self-critical evaluation by religious authorities regarding whether the form and content of their faith are still in harmony or whether the way the promise of salvation is articulated has to be modified to keep the original message alive. To clarify this point, Wolfhart Pannenberg (1988: 188–205) distinguishes between an objective and a subjective side of religion. Religion in the strict sense means that both sides concur, i.e. content and form are at least temporarily consistent with one another. If this is not the case and if the subjective form of religion starts to conceal its objective content, then religion degenerates into magic (Pannenberg 1988: 202). It reflects human needs and people’s power of imagination and not its intended truth. Magic therefore appears as a “form of decay of religion”, and religion develops into one inner-worldly ideology amongst others from which it only differs in that it claims to communicate salvation with authority – an authority it no longer has. In my understanding, this is precisely what happens when religions become too closely related with war. They degenerate into “halved religions” because the legitimation of armed conflict and the mobilization of political support for war presuppose decisiveness in black and white thinking that religions as a matter of principle cannot provide. Religions communicate salvation with reference to a transcendental realm. What salvation means for politics and society, however, is a matter of human reasoning and results from the application of sacred principles to contingent human circumstances. There is no direct way from heaven to earth but only temporarily mediated interpretations of the original promise of salvation. Religions thus always have a strong critical potential (Graf 2013: 14). Because they communicate salvation, they know about the miseries of the world, which should by corrected as far as possible. Otherwise salvation would not be necessary at all. How the political and social world should be organized to minimize human suffering and political repression, however, is not a question that religion can answer.4 If this argument is taken to its logical end, though, then in my understanding there is no religion in war at all. Armed conflicts are driven by secular dynamics only! Religious symbols and traditions can be politicized and can

136 Andreas Hasenclever help to legitimate violence and mobilize support. But then they deflect from the intended truth of post-axial faith and develop into one social identity marker among others. The religious communities we would therefore expect to be vulnerable to the political instrumentalization of their symbols and tradition would be those that do not manage to develop an appropriate understanding of what post-axial religions are about. As outlined in the next section, this lack of understanding should be observable in the way religious communities are organized. In a nutshell, religious communities that accept or even support the politicization of their traditions and symbols should be characterized by a lack of “religious awareness”, “religious education”, “religious public” and “religious autonomy”. Conversely, religious communities that are strong in these four dimensions are expected to prevent the instrumentalization of their symbols and traditions. By doing so, their authorities might even position themselves as potential mediators and can support post-conflict reconciliation and peace-building.

Taking faith seriously: formal features of post-axial religious communities As outlined in the previous paragraph, I assume religious communities that take the intended truth of their symbols and traditions seriously to be characterized by four features: religious awareness, religious education, religious public and religious autonomy. Religious awareness In a formal sense, religious awareness refers to the ontological difference between the profane and the transcendent which is so typical for post-axial religions (Graf 2013; Joas 2016). Religious awareness of a faith community becomes accessible by studying their discourses, which should mirror the need for the permanent interpretation of the sacred. Additionally, they should comprise a fair share of poetic language to reflect its other-worldliness. The opposite of religious awareness is religious fundamentalism. Religious fundamentalists are convinced that religious truth is directly accessible and can serve as an unproblematic blueprint for the re-organization of politics and society. There is no need to carefully translate the promise of salvation into contingent symbol systems because the religious sources speak for themselves and have to be taken literally. In this sense, Islamists believe that the Quran is the solution as Creationists are convinced that God created man without evolutionary detours. Understood in this way, fundamentalists do not need any sort of “soteriological bridge” (Elkana 1986) to connect the transcendental with the profane but the profane can be and should be straight-forwardly modeled according to absolute religious standards. Consequently, fundamentalists deny the irreducibility of the political realm and the necessity of political wisdom for translating religious beliefs into

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social contexts (Martin 1997: 107, 135). Empirically, studies consistently found that fundamentalism is strongly correlated with outgroup hostility and support of violence. Conversely, very religious persons as measured by the frequency of prayers or the reported importance of religion/god for their daily lives are significantly less likely to support violence (Fair and Shepherd 2006; Ginges, Hansen and Norenzayan 2009; Koopmans 2015; Pearce 2005; Wright 2016). Religious education Religious education refers to a shared knowledge of the inner plurality of religious traditions. All major religions are composed of a wide variety of sources and symbols that cannot be reduced to a common and simple understanding of absolute truth but necessitates complex interpretations in the horizon of religious awareness. The opposite of religious education would be “religious illiteracy” (Scott Appleby), which considerably increases the vulnerability of faith communities to the politicization of their traditions. Scott Appleby (2000: 69), for instance, found that the governments of Serbia and Croatia in the Bosnian Civil War were only able to justify their wars of conquest in religious terms because their citizens were not familiar with even the most basic tenets of their own faiths as a result of decades-long alienation under Tito. The same applies to graduates of radical madrassas in Pakistan: The students . . . are indoctrinated to remove all doubts; the only truth is divine truth and the only code of conduct is that written in the Qur’an and the Hadiths as selected by the clerics. The teachings cannot be questioned; there is no debate and only one answer permissible. (Korteweg et al. 2010: 42) Moreover, a representative survey in Pakistan in 2011 found that better knowledge of Islam does predict significantly less support for militant Salafist groups such as the Afghan Taliban or Sipah-e-Sahaba-e-Pakistan (Fair, Goldstein and Hamaza 2016). Typically, fundamentalists of all colors are repeatedly found to practice highly selective readings of their traditions and to ignore teachings that condemn violence and call for tolerance toward other religions and confessions. If religious communities were more knowledgeable about their sources, such a selective reading simply would not resonate. Religious public Religious public refers to an institutionalized space of religious discourse where religious authorities justify their interpretation of common traditions before an informed public (Hasenclever and De Juan 2007). If we

138 Andreas Hasenclever understand religious traditions as inherently complex textual bodies, then the religious public serves to cope with this complexity. On the one hand, it reflects the temporary nature of specific interpretations and marginalizes readings with low or no public resonance. On the other hand, religious public legitimizes understandings that succeed in convincing a broad audience. To the extent that a religious community disposes of a religious public, the risk of its traditions being instrumentalized decreases. Under such circumstances, radical interpretations must compete with other more mainstream interpretations and as shown by social movement research, frame competition negatively impacts on political mobilization (Benford and Snow 2000). The opposite of religious public would be “religious autism” (Endres and Jung 1998). As shown by empirical research, militant religious movements have a strong tendency to isolate their members from the broader society and to systematically prevent intellectual interaction. Rem Korteweg and his colleagues (2010: 31), for instance, found that a primary factor contributing to radicalization in Pakistan madrassas was the lack of debate concerning the interpretation of holy texts among religious scholars. Similarly, Mohammed Hafez (2003) showed that the radicalization process before the Algerian Civil War went hand in hand with the “self-encapsulation” of militant groups from their social environment and the development of highly hermetic readings of the Quran. Conversely, religious groups that resist the instrumentalization of their traditions for the legitimation of violence and political mobilization are characterized by intra-religious structures that prevent the establishment of “monopolies of interpretation”. Networks across societal levels are crucial characteristics of such structures. Local communities are bound into regional and national associations that act in transnational arenas like the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the Alliance of Civilizations or the World Parliament of Religions. On all these levels, people publicly compete for the accepted understanding of their beliefs; and this competition prevents radical interpretations from prevailing unchallenged. A similar pattern could be observed in 2004 in Iraq when the radical call of the Shiite preacher Muqtada al-Sadr to resist American occupation did not resonate with the wider public because of the unbroken authority of the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who presides over a religious council in Najaf which is recognized as an authoritative body for the settlement of religious disputes (Cole 2007). Religious autonomy Religious autonomy refers to the independence of religious communities from political authorities (Appleby 2000: 74–78). Autonomous communities are in a position to organize their religious practices according to their own rules and with no or only little interference from powerful external actors. The opposite of religious autonomy is political dependence or integration in an “organic society” (Martin 1997). In general, religious communities

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need personnel and resources to practice their faith. Additionally, they have to institutionalize cooperative relations with their home societies. Religious festivals, religious teachings and religious services are public activities that presuppose a benign environment and depend on the goodwill of political authorities. Consequently, there is an enduring risk that religious authorities become a constitutive integral part of public politics and under certain conditions would be ready to legitimize politics of violence to ensure the institutional survival of their faith communities (De Juan 2008, 2015; Vüllers 2012). A case in point might be the close entanglement of the Catholic Church with pre-genocidal politics in Rwanda. Under president Habyarimana, the high clergy was part of the political elite and strongly supported governmental policies (Van Hoyweghen 1996: 383). The Vatican seemingly accepted the regime’s demand that the country’s bishops be ordained in cooperation with the president and, thus, surrendered the independence of the country’s national church. Vincent Nsengiyumva was first appointed bishop and then archbishop while he was simultaneously a leading figure in Rwanda’s single-party system. Similarly, a close connection existed between the state and the church on the local and regional level: often, bishops and priests were active members of local political institutions (Theunis 1995: 291). This close connection between church and state played a crucial role in the passive legitimization of the genocide by the church in 1994. Conversely, financial and institutional autonomy from state and society has often been characteristic for religious groups resisting instrumentalization. It was, for instance, crucial for South African churches’ anti-Apartheid politics that they disposed of their own theological training centers like the Christian Institute in Johannesburg. Similarly, the Second Vatican Council, introducing the institution of national Episcopal conferences, wanted to strengthen the independence of national churches from secular powers. In the same fashion, the Shiite clergy traditionally cultivates its independence from national governments. Religious scholars are predominantly financed through religious taxes (zakat and khums) and endowments (waqf ) by individual believers (Gleave 2007). Additionally, the high Shiite clergy around al-Sistani organizes transnational financial networks to shield themselves from governmental as well as societal interference into internal religious affairs (Rahimi 2007: 5). To summarize: religions promise salvation, and the need for salvation presupposes contingency. Therefore, religions cannot abrogate contingency but are essentially built on the experiences of crisis and misfortune. Or, to put it differently, there would be no need for religions in a safe and perfect world. This does not mean that religions uncritically accept and sustain the status quo. As outlined above, religions have frequently developed very clear understandings about what is wrong with society and what social and political changes are needed. Religions as such, however, are not in the position to provide for a master plan to devise and implement the necessary social and political reforms. Their primary function is to articulate

140 Andreas Hasenclever the promise of salvation under conditions of crises and existential threat. At least from a post-axial perspective, this implies an awareness of the ontological difference between the profane realm and the transcendental realm, which prevents any shortcut from transcendent salvation to immanent problem-solving. With the specific focus on the transcendental realm comes the insight that religions always fall short of translating the message of salvation into the finite symbol-systems of human life. Consequently, post-axial religions have developed a robust understanding of the “symbolicity of symbols” (Hans Joas) which, for instance, must prevent them from legitimizing violence and mobilizing political support for religious reasons. To be sure, religious authorities time and again and as a matter of fact do legitimize violence and mobilize political support for armed conflict. But by doing so, they leave the “transcendental sector” and necessarily engage in profane reasoning. If religious authorities do not respect this fine line and act as if it were possible to directly sanction secular policies with religious reasons, then religions transform into what I have called “halved religion” or what Wolfhart Pannenberg would have referred to as magic. In my view, this insight into the implications of any credible promise of salvation should lead religious communities to be organized according to religious awareness, religious education, religious public and religious autonomy as described above. Moreover, religious communities which are characterized by these four features should be able to prevent the instrumentalization of their faith for the legitimization of violence and the mobilization of political support. At the same time, they should be best positioned to engage in conflict mediation and post-conflict reconciliation (Hasenclever 2015).

Conclusion Against the strong expectations of the critics of religion and in clear accordance with David Martin’s argument, religious differences neither systematically increase the risk of armed conflict nor do they affect conflict intensity or duration. These findings point to the conclusion that in cases of war about religious issues, political dynamics dominate the violence and religion tends to transform into one collective identity marker among others. It is politics all the way down. In contrast to David Martin, however, in this line of argument the formation of collective identities necessary for sustained armed conflict is not unproblematic. Groups or societies have to be convinced to wage war. These framing efforts can fail, and anticipating failure might lead political elites to refrain from conflict escalation when they realize that they are lacking the necessary mobilization resources (Desrosier 2015; Granzow 2015; Sändig 2015; Theobald 2015). Consequently, religious movements and their authorities can make a difference. Either they might strongly support non-violent protests as on the Philippines or in South Africa, or they could resist the politicization of religious traditions for conflict escalation as done by Christian-Muslim Councils in Liberia and the Ivory Coast which

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has put religious communities into the position of promoting peace-building and reconciliation after the violence stopped. Even though war and warfare are at least as old as human civilizations, their occurrence evidently is not constant but varies. From the perspective of peace and conflict research, it is therefore necessary to better understand under which conditions war is more likely to break out and how to manipulate these conditions for the benefit of peace. As the empirical evidence suggests, religious communities do not react uniformly in times of turmoil and political crisis. Time and again, we can observe that they accept or even support the politicization of their sacred traditions, sometimes they clearly oppose the escalation of conflicts for good reasons and sometimes they might hinder the use of armed force if there is a clear responsibility to protect threatened populations from military aggression. More research is needed to uncover the mechanisms and dynamics that can account for the variance. The idea of this chapter has been that religious communities characterized by religious awareness, religious education, religious public and religious autonomy strictly oppose the politicization of religious traditions for warfare. While this does not mean that the members of accordingly structured religious communities must reject warfare as such, they are likely to know that the justification of the use of force cannot be provided by religious arguments. War is not the business of gods. They have to deal with the consequences of human brutality.

Notes 1 David Martin seems to think there are some iron laws of politics that dictate war and peace under specifiable circumstances. This, however, underestimates agency in politics and the impact of culture on political decision-making. Understood in this way, religions can both promote violence and support non-violent conflict strategies. 2 As far as I can see, David Martin (1997, 2014) at least tacitly acknowledges the power of religions to make a difference in political conflicts when he discusses the potential irresponsibility of Christian pacifism. 3 At this point of my (still very speculative) argument, I should mention that I do not want to whitewash religious communities from their involvement in armed conflict. I simply try to argue that they betray their own traditions by letting them operate as identity markers in organized violence. Religion in a strict sense is structurally unable to motivate the use of force. 4 As far as I can see, David Martin (1997: 188) would agree with this conclusion: “Religious images, whether offering cover to states or to oppressed nations, remain broad and lack tactical or strategic content. . . . It is precisely the generality and open texture of such aspirations that keeps them available and allows them to motivate and inspire. Once they are deployed for too specific a purpose they are rendered impotent. Indeed, at the very moment a condensed symbolism is harnessed for too specific a purpose, it slips the harness and makes its way back to its original home in the broad iconography of faith where, indeed, it can be used to criticize its misuse. . . . Icons . . . are, in short, not waiting for politicization and a chance for real power, but exerting and retaining real power by resisting politicization.”

142 Andreas Hasenclever

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Converting: a general theory of David Martin Michal Luczewski

David Martin’s importance lies not where we look for it.1 Whereas academics, including Martin himself (2017), see his fundamental contribution in the field of the sociology of religion, his lasting achievement is the discovery of the no man’s land between sociology and religion (see Gill 2001; Harrop 1987; Martin 2001). This is where he opened a new field of exploration and left his indelible mark. Martin’s expertise as a sociologist versed in theology has been widely recognized and acclaimed, but it is where sociology and theology clash and coalesce into a “disciplinary hybrid” – a space Martin (1997: vi) calls “socio-theology” – that his importance rests. “I want to trace a route from Pentecost to Trinity by using my imagination as a sociologist”, Martin once wrote (Martin 2008: 159). This very sentence – where Christian dogmas are mentioned in the same breath as the sociological imagination – points to Martin’s venture. Already in his programmatic inaugural lecture in the LSE held in October 1972, he combined sociological insights with theological depth. He set out “to be inquisitorial about” the modern cult of spontaneous, punctual, unencumbered self, which “rejects all distinctions based on role, whether articulated in a vertical hierarchy or rooted in division of function” (Martin 1973: 136). Why inquisitorial? Because that cult – he claimed – was “a popular local heresy” and that heresy “is unbalanced truth”. What is balanced truth then? First, it is sociological truth: The nature of man involves an embedded freedom. . . . to ignore this embedded character of human potential leads to further dangers: an exaggeration of the possibility of being context free and of the degree to which contemporary humans in our society are bound to context. (Martin 1973: 137) Second, it is also theological truth: Man is neither so context-bound as an animal nor so context free as an angel. . . . Those who have accepted the condition of confinement find they are present at miraculous birth, limited by time and place, fully human, before which even the angels cover their faces. (Martin 1973: 137, 155)


Michal Luczewski

In retrospect, he called his lecture “preliminaries to an incarnational theology rooted in particularities of place and time” (Martin 1973: 136). The stake of his work is thus not so much contributing to some pre-existing discipline but describing truth, which entails drawing on both sociology as well as theology. Martin works through collections of essays rather than systematic treatises. His thought is extremely dense and versatile, moving in many directions: from religion to politics, from theory to practice, from biography to history, from social differentiation to social symbols, from music to architecture, from Latin America (through Poland) to Great Britain, from violence to liturgy, and finally: from the City of Man to the City of God. To disentangle and master all threads of his thought, I will seek “subtler languages”, which can analyze it as both process and structure. To address these two facets I will draw on the theoretical perspectives of René Girard and Carl Schmitt. They help understand the interplay and unity between the dynamism and content of Martin’s work. It is quite striking that Martin has commented on neither Girard nor Schmitt. The silence is striking because they covered the same field as him. Since at least the 60s, Martin has been attending to the link between the religious and the secular (Martin 1969, 1973), the religio-political question (Martin 1975) and the religious-political tension (Martin 2002a: 23–40). In touching on the question of violence, religion and the sacred, Martin followed a parallel path to Girard’s classic La Violence et le Sacré (1972). Martin’s (1997, 2008, 2014a) socio-theological reflections on conversion, reconciliation, scapegoat, contagion, at-one-ment, ritual or the City of God bear resemblance to Girard’s fundamental studies, such as Deceit, Desire, and the Novel and Evolution and Conversion. Meanwhile he has directly engaged questions formulated in the early 1920s by Carl Schmitt in his classic Politische Theologie (1985 [1922]). The arresting similarities between these three thinkers can be explained by their profound understanding that religion is not out of this world but of this world. All of them could have supported Martin’s position: My faiths have been as much political and social as religious, partly because I think all three spheres intimately overlap without being coincident, and partly because all our major life choices, religious, political, social (and, of course, intimately personal) are acts of faith, equally subject to doubt and to those breaches of faith we call faithlessness. (2013: 217) There is also a common root of their thinking: radical dualism, verging on a Gnosticism of Augustinian and Pascalian origins. Though drawing sometimes opposite normative consequences, it is in this light that they see the world as based on the fundamental tension between the City of God and the City of Man. In the case of Martin, Pascal and Augustine exerted intellectual and spiritual influence very early on, bringing about his conversions:

Converting: a general theory of David Martin


The foundation for a sombre and realist approach to utopianism, religion and politics was first laid down when I read Pascal’s Pensées at the end of my teens, especially the introduction by T. S. Eliot, though it was years before I saw where that might lead when it came to my passionate pacifism. . . . Meanwhile I had moved to the theology of St. Augustine, in particular as expounded by Reinhold Niebuhr in Moral Man and Immoral Society (1934). There is a profound resistance to the peaceful kingdom of God proclaimed in the Gospels and redemption begins in acknowledging wretchedness and accepting the divine gift of grace embodied in the self-giving of the Saviour. (2013: 97, 238)

Sociological conversions “Conversion” with its all-possible renderings – “alteration”, “shift”, “pilgrimage”, “spiritual journey” – is a fundamental and recurrent motif in Martin’s writing. His studies of Christian symbols constantly underline their dramatic and paradoxical status: darkness and light, ruin and restoration, breaking and building (see Martin 1980). All those symbols center on the experience of conversion, i.e. the passage from the former to the latter. Indeed, in one of his articles, revealingly entitled “Christianity: Converting and Converted” (2002a: 33–40), he states that the essence of Christianity is a “voluntary change of heart”. He is especially interested in the intimate relation between Christian symbolism and the arts. For example he recognizes that the Adagio of Schubert’s String Quintet is his “final testament”, where he “both accepts the finality of death and rejects it” (Martin 2008: 322). All those elements can be unraveled with the help of Girard’s theory. In his path-breaking book, Deceit, Desire, and the Novel, Girard (1965 [1961]) coined the term “novelistic conversion” to describe the passage from “romantic lie” to “novelistic truth”. While the romantic lie is based on the misinterpretation of one’s desires as autonomous and independent, the truth discovered by the great novels is that all our desires are mediated by the desires of others. Put differently, the self is not – as romantics imagine – in possession of desires; rather the self is unwittingly possessed by them. It is not that others imitate us, we are imitating them; in short, we are not selfcontained entities but interdependent, relational beings. As Girard put it, in conversion [d]eception gives way to truth, anguish to remembrance, agitation to repose, hatred to love, humiliation to humility, mediated desire to autonomy, deviated transcendency to vertical transcendency.  .  . . The hero triumphs in defeat; he triumphs because he is at the end of his resources; for the first time he has to look his despair and his nothingness in the face. But this look which he has dreaded, which is the death


Michal Luczewski of pride, is his salvation. The conclusions of all the novels are reminiscent of an oriental tale in which the hero is clinging by his finger-tips to the edge of a cliff; exhausted, the hero finally lets himself fall into the abyss. He expects to smash against the rocks below but instead he is supported by the air: the law of gravity is annulled. (Girard 1965: 294)

According to Girard in a novel this transformative experience is infused with religious symbolism (vertical transcendence), even if, as in the case of Proust, the author is not religious himself: Conversion is, as he sees it, “an almost miraculous descent of novelistic grace” (Girard 1965: 310). He pays special attention to Christianity, as novelistic conversion reminds him of “the Christian rebirth” (Girard 1965: 308), and he concludes with a bold claim: “Christian symbolism is universal for it alone is able to give form to the experience of the novel” (Girard 1965: 310). Now, Girard’s theory provides a useful frame to analyze David Martin’s life, as the latter sees himself in statu conversionis: Most of us have at some time undergone losses and recoveries of faith. . . . If you extend the meaning of conversion I had several of them, like the moment of release from obligatory beliefs I experienced on the train to Cardiff as I read Karl Popper on Marx in The Poverty of Historicism. Secular beliefs, like all other beliefs, derive much of their power over you from the authority of a group to which you defer. (2013: 217) The fundamental change in his education that occurred prior to reading Karl Popper was hearing and following a sociological calling. In this process, David Martin (2013: 229) underwent a conversion experience, which he narrated in a remarkably Girardian way: I moved to my intense surprise, and with a great deal of trauma, from a failed musician and a would-be “writer” teaching in primary schools, to a post in the sociology department of the LSE and then in 1971 to the chair of the department. Would-be writers need something other than “the self” to “express” and write about. I needed some objective problem about which I cared, and in the event what had been the meagrely stocked field of the sociology of religion provided enough subject matter for a lifetime. I did not become the writer of my romantic imagination, pouring out selfhood, but I did become a writer of sorts, judged by the content of what I argued. To write well mattered, but like happiness it came indirectly as an uncovenanted grace. In the final instance, just as with the writers described by Girard, Martin had to shed his “romantic imagination” and unending quest for self-expression to

Converting: a general theory of David Martin


find out his nothingness as a writer (in his words, he came to realize that he would have always remained just a “would-be writer”). This enabled him to search for some more solid ground than the self, which he eventually discovered in the “objective problem” and “the content of arguments”. To articulate his own experience Martin reached, as we might by now expect, for religious symbolism: writing well was for him an “uncovenanted grace”. David Martin’s conversion entailed elements described by Girard. His biography served him as a bridge from agitation to repose, from anguish to remembrance. Over his life, he realized that he was indeed pursuing the path of autonomy and freeing himself from pride: After my “conversion” I no longer had an instinct for what I “ought” to think or say, and preferred nourishing my friendships over the large area where agreement was still possible to airing my opinions where it was not. It was a serious moment when I lost my automatic bearings and mistrusted all authorities. I realized that abject humility in these matters before what even then were the established sources of correct opinion was just the academic version of the “deference” academics so despised in people of my background. Like St. Joan, adjured for arrogance by the inquisitor in Bernard Shaw’s play, I came to the disturbing conclusion that the only source of judgement I possessed was my own. There is no alternative to making up our own minds even though we also need sounding boards. The loss is serious when your echo-box no longer lets you hear yourself played back by cherished friends, but it has to be borne. (Martin 2013: 230–231) Yet, let us not turn Martin into a sociological saint too quickly. When he reflects on the history of reception of his work, he is far from the state of repose: The initial critique of secularisation in the sixties that I and then others put forward has been rediscovered as though it were unknown territory where hitherto no human feet had trod. . . . At a certain age you become aware it is advisable to die at the right time to achieve the optimum obituary. If you fail to conform to your cohort’s average age of death, your contemporaries have mostly predeceased you, and you are left to the mercies of new generations. I recollect one reviewer who complained I was still there to answer back, a ridiculous situation that in my late eighties cannot last much longer. (Martin 2017: 9) What ails Martin here is that his original contribution to the debates on secularization has been eclipsed by the next generation of scholars who did


Michal Luczewski

not care about their intellectual predecessors. But they are not to be blamed as much as the contemporary shape of the Western academia: I was misled by the outer façade of research practice rather than its inner workings, jostlings and power plays. I should not have supposed there was one continuing conversation but rather recognised there were a number of conversations with very variable ability to resonate and gain currency and a hearing. As I earlier pointed out I attribute this not so much to the ubiquity of corruption, though that can never be discounted, as to the dynamics of proximity. (Martin 2017: 20)

Socio-theology Novelistic conversion brings about fundamental changes in the literary construction of reality. By the same token, sociological conversion brings changes to the sociological construction of reality. What kind of socio-theology is then born out of Martin’s sociological conversion? To address this question, let me draw on Carl Schmitt, who was the first to establish a “disciplinary hybrid”, which he called “political theology”. Modifying Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde’s (1983) useful conceptualization, I will start by enumerating three dimensions of “political theology”: (a) genealogical political theology, which entails a transfer of theological concepts to non-theological spheres: law, psychology, anthropology, economics, sociology (the task of the researcher then is a reconstruction of the genesis of secularized concepts);2 (b) structural political theology, which signifies a redoubling of theological thinking in the new field (then the task of the researcher is a reconstruction of the analogy between theological and secularized concepts); and (c) normative political theology, which is concerned with the ties between religion and the political order, more specifically, between the church and state (this is the space for discussing the question of religious legitimation/ de-legitimation of politics and the political legitimation/de-legitimation of religion). 1. Genealogical political theology The Breaking of the Image (1980) already showed Martin’s interest in transfers – or as he called them mutations (Martin 1975) – between the secular and the religious – and vice versa. The very idea of mutations of Christian language into secular language is reminiscent of Joas’s (2013) concept of sacralization and Cavanaugh’s (2011) idea of “the migration of the holy”. Whereas Schmitt’s Political Theology predominantly focused on the transfer of concepts, a motif that was taken up by the discipline of conceptual

Converting: a general theory of David Martin


history (Begriffsgeschichte; Koselleck 2004), David Martin set out to analyze transfers of images. This path was taken before by Schmitt (in a contribution devoted to the image of Leviathan 2008 [1939]) and Ernst Kantorowicz in his classic The King’s Two Bodies (1957). This strand of investigations was eventually taken up by Hans Blumenberg (1997, 2010) and turned into the new disciplinary project of metaphorology. Martin – being “neither a philosopher nor a historian of ideas” (Martin 2002a: 163) – did not carry out the kinds of meticulous historical analyses characteristic of Koselleck and Blumenberg. Instead, he confined himself to phrasing general yet inspiring insights. The most important of all concepts was for him “secularization”: As I originally argued – he underlined – secularisation is not a simple empirical concept but part of a programme to promote a particular view and put it “in power”. Secularism had its own symbolic structure and promoted particular interests. That involved, again as I had argued, standing Christianity on its head as the locus of darkness versus the party of light and humanity. (Martin 2017: 38) In general, Martin noted that Christian vocabulary is drawn from ordinary secular experience but impregnated by a different spirit. . . . This fundamental change must alter the meaning of basic words in ordinary natural language, like war and peace, kingship and lordship, eating and drinking, body and blood. Each will acquire new meaning inside the old forms, and that meaning will reflect a new spirit. You have entered a spiritual warfare, not for the kingdoms of the world but for the kingdom of Christ. (Martin 1980: 119, 128) Here Martin described what he would later call the universalization and spiritualization of concepts like “the land, the city, the kingdom, power, warfare” (Martin 1997: 13–14). Still, he noticed also a move in the opposite direction, i.e. the de-spiritualization, temporalization and terrestrialization of religious concepts: These symbols, pointers and signposts encounter the frontier of social resistance. So strong is this resistance that two things happen. They are turned round and appear to defend what they attack and they also form a structure of radical symbols lying like bombs across the frontier of the social possible. So the Son is reassimilated by the Father. The Virgin becomes patroness of place and family and country and warrying armies. . . . The heavenly city returns to space and time: Rome or Byzantium or Moscow. (Martin 1980: 130)


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Martin devoted his Religion and Power: No Logos without Mythos (2014a) to the discussion of these theological genealogies. Amongst the most important symbols he analyzed are those of body and light. With regard to the former, he showed the multifarious meaning Christianity imparted to the body: Body of Christ, the body of his people, the body of the polis and of the peoples of the world. Interestingly, his analyses go hand in hand with William Cavanaugh’s (1998) study of the changing imagery of the body. As for light, in one of his later essays he noticed: Perhaps light in the sense of religious illumination and the light of Enlightenment are destined for continuous dialectic and dialogue, not the suppression of the one by the other. . . . Once the theocratic frame was broken and priestly control undermined, clergy and secular intellectuals could pursue a dialogue rather than engage in conflict.  .  . . At any rate, both Anglican church and Protestant dissent in England were bearers of Enlightenment. In the United States the revolution was itself powered by a combination of dissenting religion and the French and English Enlightenments. And here we see, of course, different symbolisms of light operating, not only the light of reason, but also the illuminism of freemasonry and the inner light of Protestant individual conscience. (Martin 2002a: 169, 167–168) In several broad strokes, Martin has sketched here a research paradigm focused on analysis of the changing concepts and metaphors of light over the centuries (see Blumenberg 1993). He pointed out once again that metaphors can travel across time and space, between the religious and the secular and vice versa. His sociological imagination enabled him to understand that Christian symbols can be employed against the world as well as for the world, that – in other words – transfers between the secular and the religious are accompanied by the simultaneous transfers between the religious and the secular: the result of these negotiations with different types of society can be “internal secularisation”. Two processes occurred simultaneously: the process whereby Christianity compromised with “the world”, sometimes to the point where it became internally secularised, as in the renaissance Papacy, and the process whereby it infiltrated alternative potentials. That paradox provided the existential core of my work. (Martin 2017: 119) Hence, he has avoided most of the common mistakes committed by philosophers and historians of ideas – and sociologists – who want to force the complexity of the world into one master-frame. In this, he followed a parallel path to Kantorowicz who concentrated not only on concepts, but chiefly upon metaphors, and stressed that just as theological concepts are secularized, so also political concepts can be theologized. Therefore, the

Converting: a general theory of David Martin


transfers between these spheres were bilateral. Specifically, Kantorowicz (1951) showed how the concept of the heavenly kingdom was transformed into an earthly kingdom and how the religious idea of martyrdom turned into secular idea of pro patria mori (see Martin 1997: 13). 2. Structural political theology Let us focus on the essential analogy between theology and social sciences. To understand Martin’s position it is expedient to juxtapose him with John Milbank (2008). In his Theology and Social Theory, which prompted the intellectual movement of Radical Orthodoxy, John Milbank posited that in modernity sociology set out to replace theology as a queen of social sciences, effectively becoming theology itself. While David Martin generally acknowledges with Milbank that sociology in its vision of history and the world remains dependent on extant narratives and “metaphysical underpinnings” (Martin 1997: 24), he does not embrace any radical diagnosis of sociology as covert-theology. He identifies sociology as a moral science: In social life one thing does follow from another in extended series of spiralling consequences. Socio-logic has to do with what follows from the pursuit of particular options, and that involves, so far as may be, pre-science and pre-vision. In that sense sociology is a practical science, and its understanding of “practice” includes the dialectic of religious vision and social practicality. (Martin 1997: 18) What sociology and theology have in common is their elusive material, metaphorical discourse, foundational concepts, like peace and violence, love and power, fluid and amorphous paradigms, constant revivals reaching back to classics and an inability to produce what is entirely novel (Martin 1997: 15, 21–23): “This similarity between them makes it difficult to establish how the one impinges upon the other” (Martin 1997: 22). Yet it is clear that we are dealing with two distinct modes of analyzing the word and two vocabularies. [S]ociology is a human science which seeks regularities within the specific densities and local character of culture as that unfolds over time in an understandable narrative. It is a mode of telling “the story”, and so its vocabulary overlaps the vocabulary of the participants and the actors in the story. It also subjects the inwardness of human culture to a certain amount of external redescription. (Martin 1997: 2) While it is a discipline that employs contextualization as well as a comparative and historical approach (Martin 1997: 5–12, 14–18, 21), theology focuses on events, dramas and images. Where sociology describes limits, theology leaves space for hope (Martin 1997: 5–12, 14–18, 21).


Michal Luczewski

All in all, David Martin is well aware of the theological genealogy of the social sciences, but he does not accept that there is a structural analogy between sociology and theology, thereby resisting both sociological as well as theological imperialisms. Rather, he strives for establishing the autonomy of the disciplines with their own vocabularies and methods. In this way, sociology does not replace theology; neither does theology replace sociology. These are distinctive areas of learning, yet not separate. The difference between them is distinction rather than dichotomy; it is – in Martin’s parlance – a “shift of tonality” (Martin 1997: 14). 3. Normative political theology According to Böckenförde (1983), Augustine’s City of God is the defining work in this domain. Walking in the footsteps of Augustine, Martin understands world-history as “the history of the relations between the City of God and the City of Man” (Martin 2008: 13), and he resists any temptation to identify one with the other. Just as he analyzed the theological genealogy of social sciences and defended their autonomy, so he analyzed the theological genealogy of politics and defended its autonomy: Politics comes to be regarded as “more real” than religion, in spite of being informed by mythic thinking and concepts with a theological genealogy, like charisma, Founding Fatherhood, and martyrdom. . . . Consider, for example, the role played by these concepts in ideologies of nationalism. They derive from the template in the Bible. . . . This archetypal pattern of election and covenant embedded in a narrative of providential salvation history has been constantly replicated in modern nationalism, most obviously and directly in the United States but much more widely than that. It is just one form of the contemporary transcendent. (Martin 2017: 15, see also Martin 2014b) This is David Martin’s signature motif. In all his theo-political commentaries, he keeps on warning against transfers from the religious to the political and vice versa. He opposes the idea of employing Christian emblems for earthly purposes, specifically any nationalization of Christianity, as in any identification of the Pilgrim People of God with a nation (Martin 1997: 13). This opposition is rooted in what he perceives as the defining characteristics of Christian symbols: ambiguity and resistance. There is the ineffaceable double-entendre inscribed in Christian language. Religious symbols do not allow for just one single translation and specifically “one specific political translation” (Martin 1980: 127). These are political activists who try to get rid of ambiguities and resistance, in search for clarity and power. Yet, such a project “destroys the idea of an alteration” (Martin 1980: 127). As Martin’s theo-political vision is on the opposite pole of Schmitt’s political theology, it might be termed negative political theology or anti-political

Converting: a general theory of David Martin


theology. In search of the stable source of the political order, Schmitt (2014: 122–123, 149–150) deconstructed Trinitarian dogmas, pointing to supposed stasis between the Son and the Father. By this route, he arrived at the katechonic vision of the political, whereby only the all-powerful sovereign (modeled after the Father) can contain a war of all against all. Contrary to Schmitt, Martin comes very close to the political theology of Girard, which centers around the marred body of Christ (see also Martin 2010).

Conversion as an option I set out to demonstrate that the life and work of David Martin are inextricably entwined. This, however, would be rather a dull argument. What was more important for me was to show how they are entwined, i.e. what kind of sociological conversion brings about what socio-theological worldviews. First, whereas Girard remains within the ambit of literature (hence “novelistic conversion”), Martin moves beyond literature to social sciences: “writing which defines itself as primarily literature or history can rapidly veer towards sociology or theology” (Martin 1997: 24). This allows us to further expand a Girardian notion of conversion to encompass not only literature or the arts in general but also social sciences. Over his long career, we can follow the internal dynamism of Martin’s oeuvre, a dynamism leading him from the local to the general, from the question of religion in Great Britain (Martin 1967) to the general theory of secularization (Martin 1978), and ultimately from a European (Martin 1978) to global perspective (Martin 1990, 2002b). Next to this horizontal expansion of Martin’s interests, there was a vertical development, i.e. the deepening of his sociological analyses. Consequently, we have witnessed a move from explaining social phenomena to understanding them, from analysis of social differentiation to a hermeneutic approach. Yet, Martin’s goal has always been to seek the truth rather than guarding the boundaries of one’s discipline, to understand social phenomena rather than just being a sociologist. As he writes, “I came to see it [sociology] more as a way of understanding the power and depth of the image, the sign and the story, in sustaining our collective and personal existence and our identity over time” (Martin 2013: 222–223). But this is precisely where it encounters faith and theology (see Martin 1997: 5–12, 14–18, 21): Faith is realised in the density of the image. It is not waiting to receive a philosophical translation into principles. What is condensed in the image is not an obscure apprehension one day to be clarified at the touch of pure reason. (Martin 2013: 223) It is in this light that he interprets his own calling: “Sociology for me has been about the social incarnation of religious and political visions of human betterment and their refraction by social realities” (Martin 2013: 1–2).


Michal Luczewski

Where Girard was looking for “novelistic truth” and Martin was pursuing “sociological truth”, they both were looking for the truth. And it was the same truth – the truth of conversion. Second, at times Girard implied that conversion is a one-time event. The case of David Martin makes us realize that conversion is rather an unending process. Interestingly, Girard (2015: 285) came to retract his own previous position and highlighted how the new meaning Christianity as conversio entailed breaking with the circular vision of history and opening up future and linear development. He warned, however, not to identify this experience with the “conversion as something so momentous that it could occur only once in a lifetime”. Although David Martin’s biography is unique in the social sciences, his conversion is not. He himself noticed similar trajectories in the life of the anthropologists who inspired him: Victor Turner and Mary Douglas. More interestingly, we can trace sociological conversions among his peers: Charles Taylor (from explanation of behavior to Catholic Modernity), Hans Joas (from pragmatism to faith as an option) or José Casanova (from theology to sociology and back). It seems that in these cases similar itineraries result in similar political theologies – that similar processes result in similar structures of thought. The question is whether such sociological conversions with their ensuing socio-theologies will be still possible. Martin sees dire straits in the future: The American academic world has created a business model of career management, of impact and of academic formation based on technique, and this has now spread to Europe and more widely. I adhered to another and very different model, based in particular on the ethos of the humanities, especially literature. After all my initial disciplinary interests were literature and music. . . . I wrote prolifically for pleasure as and when invited to do so, under the supposition that just writing discharged my academic vocation. It happened that I wrote so much (one critic hinted that someone with so much to say need not be taken that seriously) that I more than fulfilled the requirements of promotion. All the same, I failed to realise that when it comes to building a reputation, writing books and articles is necessary but not sufficient. After all, I had no conception of building a reputation or a professional profile. . . . I should have been delighted to see my old heresy, for which I had paid some rather serious professional costs, preached by others to loud acclaim as a new orthodoxy. After all, truth is always there ready and waiting to be rediscovered. For disinterested lovers of truth that really ought to be enough. Magna est Veritas et Praevalebit. (Martin 2017: 21–23) The conclusion of “The Sacred History and Sacred Geography” (2008: 327) reads: “What is that truth? It is not literal, based on reproducing what

Converting: a general theory of David Martin


is already given, the datum, nor is it fabrication, tricked out with pretty phrases and metaphors. It is, instead, transformation, embodied, enacted, told and sung”. Whilst Martin is tempted here to separate the sociological truth from the truth of conversion, opposing his life to his work, in the final instance they should be reconciled. Maybe not here and now, but somewhere and sometime. Until that time, however, sociology will keep playing its role, as it “underscores the theological affirmation that the banquet is both here already and not yet. The good and the bad ‘grow together to the harvest’” (Martin 1997: 18).

Notes 1 I would like to thank Hans Joas, David Martin and Keith Tester for their generous help in writing this essay. My work was supported with the grant of National Science Foundation NCN 2011/01/D/HS6/0197. 2 As Schmitt notes (1985: 38), because in the twentieth century sociology took the place of natural law, therefore a legal political theology should be replaced by a sociological theology. Schmitt himself published the first three chapters that later went into the book Political Theology in a posthumous Festschrift for Max Weber (The Main Problems of Sociology) under the title The Sociology of the Concept of Sovereignty and Political Theology. There is a deep connection between Weber’s vision of the modern state and world as an “iron shell” (in the Gnostic context this translation of this metaphor is much more apposite than the “iron cage”) and Schmitt’s vision. This opens up the field of analysis for the earlier transfer between the sociological field and the legal and theological fields.

References Blumenberg, Hans. 1993. Light as a Metaphor for Truth: At the Preliminary Stage of Philosophical Concept Formation, in: David Kleinberg-Levin (ed.), Modernity and the Hegemony of Vision. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 30–62. Blumenberg, Hans. 1997. Shipwreck with Spectator: Paradigm of a Metaphor for Existence. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Blumenberg, Hans. 2010. Paradigms for a Metaphorology. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Böckenförde, Ernst-Wolfgang. 1983. Politische Theorie und politische Theologie, in: Jacob Taubes (ed.), Der Fürst dieser Welt. Carl Schmitt und die Folgen. München: Schöningh, pp. 16–25. Cavanaugh, William T. 1998. Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Cavanaugh, William T. 2011. Migrations of the Holy: God, State, and the Political Meaning of the Church. Grand Rapids and Cambridge: Eerdmans. Gill, Robin. 2001. David Martin’s Reflections on Sociology and Theology, in: Andrew Walker and Martyn Percy (eds.) Restoring the Image: Religion and Society – Essays in Honour of David Martin. Sheffield: Academic Press, pp. 192–202. Girard, René. 1965. Deceit, Desire, and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press. Girard, René. 1972. La Violence et le Sacré. Paris: Éditions Bernard Grasset.


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Girard, René. 2015. Literature and Christianity: A Personal View, in: Pierpaolo Antonello and Heather Webb (eds.), Mimesis, Desire, and the Novel: René Girard and Literary Criticism. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, pp. 279–290. Harrop, Jonathan D. 1987. The Limits of Sociology in the Work of David Martin: Towards a Critique of David Martin’s Sociology of Religion, Centred on His Essay: ‘Can the Church Survive?’. Religion, 17(2), pp. 173–192. Joas, Hans. 2013. The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights. Wasington: Georgetown University Press. Kantorowicz, Ernst. 1951. Pro Patria Mori in Medieval Political Thought. The American Historical Review, 56(3), pp. 472–492. Kantorowicz, Ernst. 1957. The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Koselleck, Reinhart. 2004. Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. New York: Columbia University Press. Martin, Bernice. 2001. ‘Restoring Intellectual Day’: Theology and Sociology in the Work of David Martin, in: Andrew Walker and Martyn Percy (eds.), Restoring the Image: Religion and Society – Essays in Honour of David Martin. Sheffield: Academic Press, pp. 202–224. Martin, David. 1967. A Sociology of English Religion. London: SCM. Martin, David. 1969. The Religious and the Secular: Studies in Secularization. New York: Schocken Books. Martin, David. 1973. Tracts against the Times. Guildford and London: Lutterworth Press. Martin, David. 1975. Mutations: Religio-Political Crisis and the Collapse of Puritanism and Humanism, in: Paul Seabury (ed.), Universities in the Western World. New York: Free Press, pp. 85–97. Martin, David. 1978. A General Theory of Secularization. Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David. 1980. The Breaking of the Image: A Sociology of Christian Theory and Practice. Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David. 1990. Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David. 1997. Reflections on Sociology and Theology. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Martin, David. 2002a. Christian Language and Its Mutations: Essays in Sociological Understanding. Burlington: Ashgate. Martin, David. 2002b. Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David. 2008. Sacred History and Sacred Geography: Spiritual Journeys in Time and Space. Vancouver: Regent College Publishing. Martin, David. 2010. A Relational Ontology Viewed in Sociological Perspective, in: John Polkinghorne (ed.), The Trinity and an Entangled World: Relationality in Physical Science and Theology. Grand Rapids and Cambridge: Eerdmans, pp. 168–183. Martin, David. 2013. The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist. London: SPCK. Martin, David. 2014a. Religion and Power: No Logos without Mythos. Farnham: Ashgate. Martin, David. 2014b. Nationalism and Religion; Collective Identity and Choice: Evangelical Revolution in the Global South; Revolution in the Arab World. Nations and Nationalism, 20(1), pp. 1–17.

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Martin, David. 2017. Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion. London and New York: Routledge. Milbank, John. 2008. Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Schmitt, Carl. 1985 [1922]. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Schmitt, Carl. 2008. The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes: Meaning and Failure of a Political Symbol. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Schmitt, Carl. 2014. Political Theology II: The Myth of the Closure of any Political Theology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

10 Thinking with your life David Martin

There is before all else a major debt of gratitude to be acknowledged to Hans Joas as the founder and originator of this intellectual feast. I treat it as a gift. I am not thinking just of the immense labour involved in setting it up and making innumerable arrangements, or of the task of monitoring all the contributions, but of the generous and powerful intellectual conception that lies behind everything else. All that apart, in his introductory essay Hans Joas has shown the extent and depth of his scholarly engagement with my work over more than fifty years. His essay goes to the heart of the problems that have preoccupied me over that period and in his speaking of that work as in a positive sense more Weberian than Weber, no sociologist could wish for more. I want to respond to a remarkable group of essays commenting on aspects of my work with a through-composed essay picking up various aspects in turn. Apart from initially explaining the biographical genesis of my work I first focus on two important essays which deal with fundamental aspects of it without fully engaging with what are to me foundational aspects of my intellectual project. In the case of José Casanova, the problem relates to his deliberately limited engagement with what is for me very much a global phenomenon. In the case of Pål Repstad, he is working within a very different sociology of music though I very much appreciate how that sociology of music fits into his critical, careful and nuanced comments on my treatment of Scandinavia as a crucial element in the General Theory. But as for my type of Weberian sociology of music, Repstad’s engagement with it is tangential. That means (as I explain again below) that I have to expound at some length what my sociology of music is about and make clear in particular its centrality from the very beginning up to the present. I need to show how it is intimately related to the secularisation theme, including the significant variations on that theme in the related arts of painting, poetry and architecture. As I approach these articles, I begin at the point where I began nearly sixty years ago: with the problems of peace and violence. That is the intellectual and autobiographical matrix that set the terms of my later engagements, in particular my commitment to the realist theology of Reinhold Niebuhr. I guess from reading the comments of most of my interlocutors

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that this crucial commitment may not be obvious and that Niebuhr is not a key reference point for most of them or indeed any kind of notable presence. Nevertheless, he has been the most influential political theologian of the twentieth century and his viewpoint matters crucially to someone for whom the sociology of religion is not readily distinguished from political sociology and who has a major concern with violence, with power and with the corruptions of power. As someone from a revivalist background who in late adolescence became imbued with the liberal socialist and aesthetic critique of compulsion, destruction and the social genesis of war, the imposition of peacetime conscription posed an acute moral problem the moment I became eighteen in 1947. Indeed, in my arguments before a tribunal (which were distinctly unwise given the predilection of tribunals for straightforward religious objections) I anticipated all the categories I later used in my thesis on pacifism). I became a religious and political conscientious objector in the army with non-combatant status and was forced constantly to think through the problem of authorised collective violence. My confrontation with that issue fused three years later with a more wideranging religious crisis caused by reading Albert Schweitzer’s Quest of the Historical Jesus (1911). I had released myself from the fundamentalist revivalism of my upbringing, but I was not used to this type of biblical criticism nor (and this is more surprising) was I used to absorbing arguments sustained around a thesis for a whole book. I was being educated at disturbing speed. I immediately plunged into a process of self-education in every type of biblical criticism on which I could lay my hands, as well as in theology proper. The biblical literature included Loisy, Goguel and Streeter. The theological literature included Brunner among Lutherans, Quick, Gore, Mascall, Underhill and Temple among Anglicans, D’Arcy, Gilson, Lunn, Chesterton and von Hügel among Catholics, as well as historians like Dawson, Heer, Butterfield and Spengler. The foundations of my reading were the English metaphysical poets, T. S. Eliot, Hopkins, Berdyaev and Pascal. The reading was catholic with a small and even a large C. Beyond this avid self-education my only theological qualifications were the lay preachers’ examinations of the Methodist Church. (The fact that I later turned down invitations to chairs in theology was only partly because I was unqualified but because being a theologian interested in sociology is very different from being a sociologist engaged by theology.) It was reading Reinhold Niebuhr that started to undermine my pacifism, along with five years of doctoral work studying the consequences of pacifism and the consequences of being pacific in a generalised manner without regard to specific political challenges (Niebuhr 1932, 1944). I also encountered Max Weber, especially the framework provided by his ‘Religious Rejections of the World and their Directions’ and his notion of political responsibility and vocation (Weber 1948). Niebuhr’s political theology became my touchstone even though I was probably developing an


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idiosyncratic version of my own. It runs broadly like this and would fit into the kinds of arguments recently put forward in The Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra (2017). It involves recognising empirically the central role played by corruption in all our human projects. Corruptio optima pessima. Corruption is a word that mutually implicates sociology and theology, an indication that sociology can be simultaneously an empirical and a moral science. Niebuhr had been through the same left/liberal and pacifist crucible that I had. Like him, I remained liberal in my outlook but rejected liberal optimism about the in-built direction of history and the idea that education and the elimination of ignorance was any kind of panacea. I took from Niebuhr a sense of the likely corruption of those displaying good intentions and signalling they were unambiguously children of the light. I believed that power-seeking by people and by all major institutions was endemic. I anticipated the corruption of ideals and utopian expectations, and, in addition, my reading of sociology increased my sense of unintended consequences and actions gone awry in their long-term and often paradoxical results. We had to seek justice in a world that was morally ambiguous and where the lesser ‘evil’ was an interim expression of the good. I suspected the idealism of those who believed what was morally ambiguous could never be a necessary choice, the idealism of those who thought there must be good solutions to problems that were in fact intractable, and the idealism of those who identified the extension of Western interests as for the good of humanity at large. My sense of the exigencies of politics was reinforced by my five-year (1959–1964) study of British pacifism between the wars (and of pacifism in history generally). I concluded that pacifism brought about what it was most concerned to prevent, especially given the reluctance of its influential proponents to use pre-emptive force in the late 30s. This conscientious reluctance means that action is postponed until fully justified, so that millions eventually have to pay the cost of moral scruple. Perhaps I should stress here that realism certainly does not imply that anything goes, for example, allied policy with regard to the saturation bombing of German cities in the Second World War. I was deeply shocked by visiting Pforzheim, a town much worse hit than Dresden, soon after the war in the course of attending the Liberaler Weltkongress in Stuttgart. Realism is not a variety of Realpolitik. I expressed these convictions in a portrait of ‘the politician as moral hero’ in Maurice Cranston The New Left (Cranston 1970) as well as in the last chapter of my autobiography (Martin 2013a). In my essay on R. D. Laing in the Cranston collection (also printed in Martin 1973b), I embrace the moral heroism of the politician in an inherently morally ambiguous real world over against the free-floating and often costless moral heroism so often claimed by the artist or Karl Mannheim’s free-floating intellectual. The key section is as follows: The politician can be a man who wears a mask over his humanity the better to serve that humanity. Admittedly it is often a conventional mask:

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yet it could be that behind the disguise lies more humanity than in those who affect no disguises, whose appearance of open-hearted innocence depends on a proclivity for unmasking other people. In any case, many people accept the disciplines that require a mask in particular areas of their life, say their profession, but are able to relax into simple humanity in other spheres; others have no imperative need for masks . . . because they have chosen just those areas of social life where the discipline of social relations can be lax and easy, where few exigencies constrict and few responsibilities congeal. The politician, however, has chosen a role where exigency and responsibility require a mask at nearly all times. (Martin 1973b, p. 92) This essay is one of the most comprehensive statements of my position. I want to explain how, over the past thirty years, I have understood the significance of the most important global manifestation of Christian revivalism, Pentecostalism, alongside Muslim (or indeed, Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu) revivalism. I stress the global aspect because in several summary articles, for example my chapter in Robert Hefner’s edited collection on Global Pentecostalism in the 21st Century, this comparative approach provides the central focus (Martin 2013b). I begin with its integral relation to my general theory. That is important because Casanova’s comments are limited to Latin America, more particularly to Brazil, and the weight of his criticisms focuses on my treatment of Catholicism. I respond to those criticisms in due course indicating that my position and his are perhaps not as opposed as may appear. Of course, I appreciate very much what he has to say about the General Theory (Martin 1978) – which reflect the very substantial agreements we have shared over many years – and the learning that lies behind his carefully argued agreements and disagreements with my work on Latin America. I suspect some of these disagreements go back to my Niebuhrian understanding of power-seeking. I relate Pentecostalism in all its global manifestations less to Weber’s Protestant Ethic than to his work on the small sects of North America (Weber 1946) and to Troeltsch’s underdeveloped category of free churches. In 1962 I formulated this category as the ‘denomination’, a religious formation characteristic of Anglo-America (Martin 1962). Denominations are separated from the state’s monopoly of violence and are associated with peaceful cultural evolution rather than violent revolution. My treatment of this category in the 1962 article is a major clue to my later writing, and I discuss it further in my response to Luczewski. In my general theory, and in my treatment of Pentecostalism, I leaned on Halévy’s thesis about the difference between France and England due to the influence of Evangelical Revival. Pentecostalism in Latin America represented the appearance there of idiosyncratic versions of ‘the denomination’ as the dominant form in North America. I do not assimilate spirit-filled Pentecostalism to a reactive fundamentalism but view it as one major modality of the contemporary multiple modernities of


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Eisenstadt (Eisenstadt 2000) and as fitting into Himmelfarb’s discussion of Methodism in her account of three different roads to modernity (Himmelfarb 2004). It faces off in a pacific manner against the territorial emplacements of old and new monopolies whether in Muslim sub-Saharan Africa, or Orthodox Russia, or Hindutva India, or Communist China. It inevitably encounters the suggestion, earlier propagated with great animus in Latin America, that it represents the religious wing of America’s global cultural project. Theologically, Pentecostalism is based on a reversal of the confusion of tongues at Babel’s and Joel’s prophecies about the outpouring of the Spirit on men and women, young and old. It rests on the idea of a universal shared tongue as part of the eschatological direction of salvation history, on the inner experience of a life-changing baptism in the Spirit, and on the ingathering of the harvest by way of a spiritualisation of Shavuot. Pentecostalism as a shared tongue corresponded to the universal oekumene of the Roman Empire. Today it corresponds to a new global reality prefigured in the multicultural society of North America. Its carriers are people on the move (say) from Korea to the USA, or on the move from rural areas and small towns to megacities including the megacities of the global north. They are affiliated to the imagined transnational communities made possible by modern technology and media, and in Grant Wacker’s phrase, they ‘seek Eden with a satellite dish’ (Wacker 1995, p. 139). Pentecostalism is pre-adapted to non-Western contexts through a fusion of black and white revivalism in the Methodist holiness tradition. It is a pre-eminent carrier of the decentralised and fissile pluralism of an open religious market, equipped with portable identities and, as already indicated, its direction of travel contrasts with the revived energies of old and new monopolies rooted in a territory and the state. I argue that Pentecostalism has the advantage of potent ambiguity, so that one asks questions as to whether it is a trade union of the dispossessed, especially women, and of what I call a ‘buried intelligentsia’ of religious entrepreneurs running their own shows; or whether it is a form of patriarchal authoritarianism exploiting charisma for sexual and financial gain. It is perfectly possible that there is truth in both views and to suppose otherwise would be to set standards of acceptability outside any concrete human possibility. In any case, potent ambiguity subverts more effectively than direct confrontation. Pentecostalism can undermine gender hierarchies by requiring mutual respect in an environment based on the table rather than the street, rather than by demoting the male. It is a mutation of the original Lutheran confrontation with the joint powers of church and state, and of the priesthood of all believers (Martin 2013c [i]). The Lutheran thrust morphed into a learned ministry, and into a discipline and an organisation useful to the national state. In Pentecostalism today, it morphs into a ministry open to people of talent and forceful inspiration, speaking a popular lingo and training on the job and in biblical institutes. Pentecostalism creates a charismatic leadership where authoritarian

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potential is intimately linked to the management of turbulent participation, and it generates a combination of religious entrepreneurship with bureaucratic management. Among the myriad little people it fosters discipline, mutual help, aspiration and confidence, and among mega-churches it often manifests and fosters business management in a way that gives plausibility to its affinity with the neo-liberal project. Certainly, Pentecostals prefer practical expertise to humanistic self-cultivation. The big question raised by the example of Methodism, with which Pentecostalism competes as a spiritual doppelgänger of its past, is whether Pentecostalism will cool down, enter a cathedral phase with a trained ministry and exchange vital fission for ecumenical fusion. Meanwhile Pentecostals draw on the relation between God, goods and the good found both in the Hebrew Scriptures and in African religiosity in a manner I describe as ‘AfroJewish’. In Africa, they can even engage in the sale and promotion of salvation in a way Luther might have found all too familiar. Sometimes popular Pentecostalism can seem like popular Catholicism in Latin America with the intercession of the Virgin and the Baroque saints transferred to the gifts of the Spirit. This is where Catholic reformers clearing out the old sources of intercession have left a vacuum; and in Pentecostal homes, one can see the old sacred niches now occupied by open Bibles and education certificates on the walls. Old images of self-flagellation and processions of people carrying the dead Christ are exchanged for images of flowing streams and healing waters as well as images of Jerusalem that express solidarity with an imagined contemporary Zion in Israel. Pentecostals are enthusiastic visitors to the Temple Mount. The efficacy of the old powers may be rendered dubious but they can be reincarnated in the new. Birgit Meyer’s monograph Translating the Devil (1999) makes the point that the old demonic powers are not so much denied as absorbed in the Pentecostal universe. This is one reason why Africans find Pentecostalism more authentically African than the mainstream churches. Those churches, in common with churches in Latin America (and the Philippines), themselves cultivate charismata. The ‘kingdom come’ is not pie in the sky but includes pie here and now. Sacrifices beget blessings and God is faithful. To quote Charles Wesley (and St. Paul), ‘all things are possible to the believer’, whether the expulsion of demons or the conversion of the profligate husband or the cure of diseases or assaults on the soul. The dreams promised by the prophet Joel are also concrete dreams of a better future and Pentecostals make a bet on the old Victorian hope of betterment. All this is part of the classic tension between the purification of faith through interiority and sincerity and tangible manifestations of spiritual power, especially in some Neo-Pentecostal churches and in body-building churches like Livets Ord (‘Word of Faith’) the Swedish group studied by Simon Coleman (2000). In responding to Casanova, I am very grateful for the care he has expended on what (as I now understand) was a delimited engagement. I particularly appreciate his initial restatement of our many concordances on the wider


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issues of secularisation and even on the nature and importance of the Pentecostal phenomenon. Some of his comments surprise me, notably his claim that the Catholic Church in Latin America no longer seeks such access to power and such maintenance of hegemony as it can manage. My recollection is, though I cannot chase up the relevant passage, that Daniel Levine, whom he and I much respect, warned observers not to suppose the Catholic Church had relinquished its ancient connections (Levine 1986). In any case my political sociology takes a realist view of the interested power-seeking nature of great institutions, whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Buddhist or Islamic. However, that is not the same thing as saying that the Catholic Church is wedded to corporatist structures or that this represents neo-traditionalism. Casanova argues that it is a matter of social logic for the Catholic Church to abjure the ambition to be a sociological church in a democratic society. This kind of statement depends on how you expand or contract the notion of church. It also depends on taking the normative statements of particular pressure groups in the Catholic Church as having more empirical purchase than seems to me likely. Logic is less important than interest and the Catholic Church like all other significant structures has an inevitable interest in its own institutional maintenance, even where its scope for manoeuvre is weakened as in Brazil. Casanova’s charge that I scant discussion of the Catholic Church is contradicted by my detailed discussion of it on pages 17–22 of Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish (2002a) as well as Chapter 4 of Tongues of Fire (1990). In the 2002 book, I compare Catholicism and Pentecostalism as the two ‘most vital’ contemporary Christian options. I point out that Catholicism has ‘residual links’ with social hierarchies, cultural continuities and folk practices. I also say that it has roots in territory, the organic frame and peoplehood, and places a sacred canopy over the average and religiously relaxed. Crucially I describe the upshot as a ‘halting course’ towards the status of a ‘voluntary interest group’, which is precisely the view Casanova puts forward. I then go on to say that this does not mean the Catholic reflex of power-seeking is finally relaxed. Casanova is sceptical about the causal importance of Pentecostalism. He describes Pentecostal growth from the 1960s as dependent on the voluntary renunciation of its institutional dominance by the Catholic Church. Yet Pentecostal growth was not part of a long-term laissez-faire pluralism under Catholic aegis. I agree with Casanova that Catholic pluralism has always been endemic in sheltering the folk religions of indigenous and black subjects under a Catholic sacred canopy. (Under colonialism, the Inquisition was never applied to these illiterate non-Hispanic people.) It was precisely the elective affinity of Pentecostalism with this cultural reservoir of indigenous and black Latin American religious traditions that enabled it to ‘leap the species barrier’. I agree with Casanova that the continuing potency of this cultural reservoir – never challenged by any sustained attempt to spread Enlightenment ideas, or even, until very recently, mass literacy, through the

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state education system – has largely preserved an ‘enchanted’ culture from the popular spread of secularity. Some of the contemporary forms of pluralism within the Catholic Church, like the charismatic movement and some strategic imitations of Pentecostalism, are certainly novel. I am impressed with David Lehmann’s account of Pentecostal singularity in his Struggle for the Spirit (1996), where he notes how Pentecostalism rejects the patronage of upper class intellectuals and is in turn rejected by them. The collusion of erudite and popular is broken, and Pentecostalism sets itself against the demons of popular religion even while drawing on its forms. One contribution to the Pentecostal take-off which had no debt to any renunciation of Catholic hegemony was the novel ability of the new Protestants to use the resources of technology as part of a transnational imagined community rather than remaining invisible and voiceless at the bottom of the local social hierarchy. There are several indications of the interest of the Catholic Church in using its privileged position in the structures of cultural and status dominance to maintain its influence and promote its moral programme for society at large. Even during the period of the military regimes in Brazil and Chile, when the Catholic Church provided space for the protection both of dissidents generally and of Catholic dissidents in particular, it maintained key relationships with the structures of military power. Beyond that, as Thomas Bruneau makes clear (Bruneau 1982), the base communities were primarily religious and became obviously so once the military regime had crumbled. In Chile, General Pinochet was a Catholic whose devotion to the Virgin of Maipú echoed the piety of a sector of the church well disposed to the regime. This does not take away from the brave opposition of Catholics and their sufferings, but it provides a context for the point at issue. In any case liberation theology, whether or not to be applauded, was a project of well-placed Catholic intellectuals seeking to reform society from top to bottom through the ‘conscientisation’ of the masses. Notoriously, as Casanova admits, the church in Argentina colluded with the dictatorial regime. The liberationist positions taken in opposition to the military security state were substantially reversed during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. How the church operates insofar as it retains viable access to power can be indicated from Chile where it sought to capitalise on its moral credit to promote its political agenda. Obviously, those seeking to exercise influence, whether in Chile or elsewhere, have to be more wily and circumspect where they have to compete with Evangelicals operating rival pressure groups. The work of Angélica Thumala in Chile, Riqueza y Piedad (2007), shows how the new religious orders cooperate in providing education for the upper classes, including pious works of charity and patriarchal social concern. I provide a summary statement of my views on this complicated issue of what I call ‘movements world-wide to disentangle the Church from the direct legitimation of power’ (p. 32) in ‘Secularization and the Future of Catholicism and of Protestantism’, Chapter 2, p. 28 et seq. of The Future of Christianity (2011).


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Incidentally, in my own research in Chile on Pentecostals I was impressed by the wide-ranging charitable works undertaken by the Catholic Church in La Pintana, a poor suburb of Santiago, which was different in kind from the mutual aid I observed among Pentecostals. I hope this summary statement goes some way to meeting Casanova’s concerns and bringing about some convergence within a more limited disagreement than might appear. The analysis provided by Frances Hagopian in the Kellogg Institute Working Paper 322, December 2006 (Hagopian 2006) is worth reading alongside Daniel Levine’s Working Paper 340, August 2007 (Levine 2007). She is more sceptical than I am of Anthony Gill’s argument about the adoption of progressive policies depending on the need to pre-empt rivals (Gill 1998) – not in any case a simple ‘rational choice’ argument on my part. But she does indicate how the Catholic Church’s interested behaviour depended on its capacity for mass mobilisation. The result in Argentina and Chile meant that its political stance was moralistic, that in Brazil it leaned towards justice issues and that in Mexico it combined some criticism on economic grounds with moralistic criticism. Where it could, the Catholic Church promoted its agenda through its linkages with elites. In other words, it was vigorously, and for the most part successfully, active in the political arena. But it avoided identifying with a political party, say the Catholic influenced National Action party in Mexico, because it was dangerous in the longer term, and because Catholic stances cross-cut party divisions. As for the suggestion by Casanova that I am antiCatholic in preferring the ‘sectarians’ as they were pejoratively described by many Catholics, this very much contradicts my understanding. I do not think an anti-Catholic would wish both to make a supportive visit to the Catholic University in the Ukraine and to visit the Opus Dei University in Spain to manifest sympathy with attempts to reform its position. Nor would my research in Chile have been done in cooperation with the Pontifical University. I merely think that Pentecostalism has clear links to the authentic Christian kerygma, even though some versions are much influenced by spiritist cultures with very different sources both in Latin America and Africa, to the point where some observers think they might lose their Christian character. When I began to study Pentecostals, massive abuse was heaped on them and I was myself traduced to the point where a prominent Catholic apologist accused me in The Times Literary Supplement of studying them on account of my support for Pinochet (O’Shaughnessy 1990). The opposition to them in terms of propaganda was intense, as John Paul’s description of them as ‘ravening wolves’ indicates. John Paul’s other phrase, ‘the invasion of the sects’, appears in a curious light given the ‘invasion’ was carried out by a leadership far more indigenous than the Catholic priesthood. This extensive hostility has now abated, but in the 1980s it even extended to doubting the size and significance of the Pentecostal movement. It could not be happening and was very dangerous. I give an account of this hostile background in

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Chapter 8 of my 2017 book, Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion (Martin 2017a). What seems to have been read as my ‘anti-Catholic’ animus is no more than a defensive empathy, which may at times have been rather overstated, for a group who were regularly abused in the academic press and in the wider intellectual atmospheric of Latin America, often by people who saw themselves as defenders of an essentially Catholic civilisation, even when they were not obviously practising Catholics. I was very impressed, not to say depressed, when a Catholic priest told me Pentecostals had no right to operate in Latin America. This remark was made to me at a meeting of the neo-catechumenate, not a movement anti-Catholics are likely to be invited to address. I think Casanova misunderstands, too, what I say about forbidden revolutions in my 1996 book of that name (Martin 1996), which focuses solely on the way broad sociological and ideological presuppositions among academic social scientists ‘forbade’ the events in both Latin America and Eastern Europe: my point is simply an extension of the argument in my first critique of secularisation as a concept (Martin 1965b). What I am saying is what Casanova himself writes about such developments being ‘unimaginable’. I am afraid I do not understand his defensive comments about Catholicism and violence. I observe simply that Catholicism provides the cultural framework of societies that are often very violent and Pentecostalism provides an opt-out. I think I picked up this point from Claudio Véliz when he told me that Pentecostals were vastly relieved (and their wives likewise relieved) to find a supportive religious environment for their rejection of machismo and kalashnikov culture. As for his points about similarities between Pentecostal and base community groups, they repeat what I say, for example, in my discussion in Chapter 4 of Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish (2002a), of the potent ambiguities of Pentecostalism, especially in the work of Roger Lancaster (Lancaster 1988, 1992). I am also surprised he dismisses as ‘unnecessary’ my reference to the long-term rivalry of the Anglo-American and Hispanic imperial enterprises, since that was how it was conceived on both sides. The arguments in the (Italian) text of Loris Zanatta (1996) are interesting in precisely this context. The war of 1898 was just one climactic moment in this rivalry, and the notion is no more ‘unnecessary’ than the idea that the conquest of Latin America was an extension of the 800-year war for dominance within Iberia. From time to time, it helps to adopt an approach based on Braudel’s long view of history. Indeed it was Braudel who in his History of Civilisations (1993) foresaw the likelihood of some form of massive reformation in Latin America. These things may not be polite to mention, but sociology is about observing the facts in all their brutal nastiness, and the concept is integral to my whole treatment, beginning with my opening quotation in Tongues of Fire from the controversial English historian J. A. Froude. Organicist understandings met the Anabaptist separation of church and state as described by the Catholic historian Brad Gregory in his


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contribution on the Radical Reformation to Peter Marshall’s The Oxford Illustrated History of the Reformation (Gregory 2015). I now turn to the question of my sociology of music as dealt with by Pål Repstad (and also broached by one or two of the other contributors). As in the case of Pentecostalism in Latin America, my sociology of music is integrally related to my theory of secularisation, both with regard to the necessary collusion of radical primitive Christianity with worldly structures (the ‘aesthetic tension’) and with regard to the different historical paths taken by patterns of secularisation over the last two centuries and more. Pål Repstad refers incidentally to a couple of its categories in my Christian Language and its Mutations (2002c) to frame his own research in Scandinavia though he also very helpfully makes broad reference to the nature of those arguments and is clearly acquainted with them. His contribution comes out of a different and empirical sociology of music of which I am aware and find interesting but I do not see as fundamentally overlapping my own theoretical concerns. I am therefore left with the task of explaining my sociology of music, especially how it relates to my general theory and very closely related analyses of the other arts (Martin 1969, Chapter 7, pp. 79–99; Martin 1980, Chapter 9, pp. 133–149; Martin 2002c, Part III, esp. pp. 47–81; Martin 2013c [ii]; Martin 2016b; Martin 2016a, pp. 81–98; Martin 2016c; Martin forthcoming, 2019). My underlying motive is that I see music as the most powerful reinforcement of the religious sense of transcendence and its most potent rival: Alfred Brendel on the programme ‘Private Passions’ (radio 3, Jan.1, 2018) has described the Heiliger Dankgesang of Beethoven’s quartet opus 132 as ‘sacred’. Though the psalms clearly validate music, there has been in Christianity a persistent reserve, expressed for example by Augustine. Augustine identified music as simultaneously an intimation of heaven and an invitation to the sensuous, even the sensual and erotic. The erotic component in the rhythms of dancing is one obvious source of tension, as is indulgence in display and ornamentation at the expense of intelligibility and rational self-control. The negative critique has been constantly renewed from the Middle Ages and Trent to the early twentieth century, and there has been an equally long tradition of positive evaluations from the Baroque to the Viennese masters and the Romantics. With regard to the Baroque and even the Viennese masters, the issue can be treated for music in general, whereas when we come to the Romantics we have to treat music as an autonomous activity. The Baroque in (say) Monteverdi, Gabrieli and Cavalli engages in tensions, releases and chromaticism in the manner of secular opera. Likewise, Handel constructs a religious drama (or oratorio) with musical resources similar to those of secular opera, plus all the complex panoply of counterpoint, and does so in the secular theatre. Bach breaks Pietist restrictions and redeploys secular sources for religious purposes. There is also a use of operatic resources in Mozart’s religious music. From Monteverdi to Handel and Bach and on to Mozart the restrictions protecting the religious are breached at the same time as they

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illustrate a permeable religious/secular frontier. Works at one time criticised on account of their secular modalities, especially the dance, are also regarded as masterpieces of religious music. With Romanticism there is a momentous change because music moves to the market and the city. It acquires its autonomy and its own institutional forms, notably the concert hall and the conservatoire, the chamber and the home. The concert hall becomes a temple of unanchored intimations of transcendence where, in Robert Schumann’s significant phrase, serious people can be ‘religious without religion’. Music abandons the ecclesiastical, dogmatic and liturgical framework to engage in a free religiosity of the self, sometimes in Promethean mode as in the case of Beethoven. Music is understood as the autobiography of creative genius. It pursues the worship of Nature or the glorification of the people or the nation, and religion becomes a matter of evocation and atmospherics, especially medieval atmospherics. Opera and mass collective singing acquire political meanings and nationalistic meanings. Those composers who retain a loyalty to religious institutions, like Liszt, Dvorˇák, Bruckner and even Mendelssohn, now do so self-consciously, not as something taken for granted, as would have been the case with Haydn. Indeed, Liszt specifically tried to reform the state of church music and to rescue it from what Berlioz described as the cavatina manufacturers. Here we could either pick up my discussion of Mahler in his search for a home and for innocence and his turn to oriental immobility, or my discussion of Wagner. I opt for the latter, partly because he regarded the symphonic tradition as exhausted, with his music-drama making him the only heir to Beethoven, and partly because he typifies major changes, above all the turn to national myth, such as you also find in composers like Sibelius and Nielsen, with religion understood as part of that myth. Wagner believed there was a synergy between music, creativity and religion, in which music could release the latent powers of religion. For him that religion was neither the political faith of the Hebrew Scriptures nor the Christian faith in the resurrected Christ, but redemptive suffering realised in the Eucharist. He did not believe in God, but he did believe in the godliness of the creative individual, which amounts to self-divinisation allied to spirituality. That brings us to what I describe as the return of objectivity rather than the romantic subjectivity of Schleiermacher, and to the return of the liturgical with the collapse of liberal optimism following the catastrophes of the twentieth century. There is an extraordinary galaxy of names in music to illustrate this thesis, from Schoenberg and Stravinsky to Messiaen and Britten, but in parallel with major names in poetry from Eliot and Auden to Rilke and Celan. In Ruin and Restoration (2016a) I characterise this return as recognising the experience of ruin and the possibility of redemption. One highly significant modern Scottish composer who illustrates this return in a truly remarkable way is James MacMillan. Here I bring to bear a distinction in music between a high tradition of devotion focussed on obeisance and order in forms of Catholic and Orthodox


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ceremonialism, and a demotic tradition focussed on participation, expressivity and sincerity. I am interested in the various courses followed by the demotic tradition from its origins in Lutheranism to its manifestations in revivalism, Methodism and Pentecostalism. But there are other trajectories, for example in Charles Ives’ evocation of the hymn and honky-tonk music, or in Gospel music, or in Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Roy Harris. The recent history of Catholicism since Vatican II has been an oscillation between traditional formality and demotic informality with its architectural accompaniments. With the framework just set out in mind, covering the fundamental Weberian tension over the aesthetic and erotic, and the related tension between ceremonial order and demotic expressivity, I turn to the contrasted national traditions of the entrance into modernity since 1776 and 1789. I lay much weight on the contrasts between traditions in France, England, AngloAmerica, Germany and Italy. These contrasted traditions follow the different patterns set out in my general theory of secularisation, with marked emphasis on the difference between France and England as formulated in the Halévy thesis. I again emphasise that these patterns, and the axis of discussion provided by Halévy, govern what I argue both in discussing Pentecostalism and music. I begin with England and the initial problem as to whether there is, in England and elsewhere, a Herderian continuity of spirit in English music. I conclude that there are too many discontinuities, particularly at the Reformation with the division between ceremonial complexity and plain and understandable traditions of participation, but that there is, nevertheless, a distinctive English mode of entry into modernity over more than two centuries. That mode of entry had two sources: evangelical choral singing and the revived cathedral tradition. The former was based on oratorio as the first national genre in the history of music and was related to English selfidentification as another Israel at the point when it was on the verge of providential empire. The mammoth Handel celebrations of 1784 and their provincial accompaniment inaugurated more than a century of ‘raising your voice’ in the service of nation, social harmony, the common good and education. An end to that was signalled in 1900 by Elgar’s masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius with its Catholic text and Wagnerian idiom. The revived cathedral tradition went back to the Three Choirs Festival founded in 1715. Up to the earlier decades of the nineteenth century, the sermon dominated, but with the Oxford movement, a new sense of worship and liturgical form inaugurated a massive musical revival in both parishes and cathedrals. The repertoires of hymn and chant were stabilised and formalised. That introduces the way that the renaissance of English composition in the 1880s was remarkably rural and religious for a country that was the first to be industrialised and urbanised. References to the urban environment were relatively few, for example, Gustav Holst’s Hammersmith, while evocations of rural place were very frequent, for example Holst’s Egdon Heath, as

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they were also in English poetry. Vaughan Williams was not a conventionally religious man but his music often evoked religious themes, including Bunyan’s Puritan classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. Vaughan Williams refurbished the tradition of the English hymn, which was until recently a major communal possession. The same was true of Benjamin Britten. Though his relation to Christianity was linked in a complex way with his pacifist idealism, he wrote copiously for religious and liturgical texts. From now on, I truncate my discussions of the differing traditions in the interests of economy. France offers a dramatic contrast to England based not on an evolutionary politics associated with Evangelicalism but on politics oscillating violently between revolution and restoration. Whereas Enlightenment and nationalism cooperated with religion in England and America, in France they were antagonistic. Because of an initial banning of religious services, France did not experience the linear development of choral singing in England and Germany, apart from mass singing of revolutionary texts. Cherubini is indicative in managing to write both for the execution of Louis XVI and for his requiem. Berlioz is indicative for the nationalist motive undergirding some of his setting of religious texts. Gounod did most to sustain a choral tradition, partly through his direction of the working-class Orphéon. After defeat in 1870, music was recruited to national cohesion and regeneration, even though there was persistent contestation of the role of music in religion. Music was also recruited to the patriotic cause in the First World War, for example Debussy, who was the pioneer of musical modernism. In my treatment I discuss the thematic repertoire of French mélodie, the para-religious seriousness of the symphonic tradition and I conclude with the remarkable emergence within modernism of a major presence of the religious and the liturgical, for example in Poulenc and Messiaen. In Italy, the scene was set by an anticlerical and anti-papal movement to achieve national unification. Sacred music was of minor importance, though with some redoubts in Rome and Venice, and the contributions of major composers like Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini to sacred music were distinctly occasional. After 1848, the drive to distinguish Italian music from its French and German rivals became more urgent, especially as Italians felt threatened by the prestige of the German symphonic tradition. Verdi’s operas became more overtly political and nationalistic, and Verdi and Wagner, both memorialised in Venice, faced each other off as representing two very different kinds of operatic music. Developments in Germany paralleled the English focus on the nation, morality and education, except that in England choirs were mainly drawn from distinct Protestant denominations whereas in Germany they brought together Protestants and Catholics. The Enlightenment approach to music, articulated by Kant, reduced religion to morality but there still remained a religious aura to be appropriated by music as presiding over Schleiermacher’s religion of the feelings. Mendelssohn’s revival of the St. Matthew Passion in 1829 began the consolidation of the narrative of German cultural


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self-understanding that had its source in Bach (and the German Bible), Beethoven and Brahms – or alternatively in Wagner as providing the sound track of the German empire. The climax of the choral tradition came with Mahler’s Eighth Symphony where he united the hugely influential Faust tradition with the Veni Creator Spiritus. The German spirit was expressed in all the associations of Heimat and German supremacy expressed in absolute music. Defeat in the First World War produced much heart searching concerning music as the remaining seal of German supremacy; and music played a major role in validating both the Nazi and Communist regimes. The analysis just provided was complemented by further analyses of the arts too complex and extensive to follow through in detail here. So I merely indicate them for the sake of completeness, because they are by no means marginal. One concerned the contrasted secularisation patterns in music and painting whereby painting exhibited a one directional pattern towards the secular much more obviously than music, particularly in revolutionary France and Russia. Another concerned the secularisation patterns in architecture as they embodied variable disposition of religious and secular power. The problem is that my analyses of the arts moved sideways like a crab over fifty years from my initial critique of secularisation in the 60s, of which it was an integral part, to the present, though key discussions were available to Pål Repstad in Christian Language and its Mutations (2002c), where I inter alia treated the relation of Handel to Protestant nationalism: Handel provides the earliest instance of what became the pervasive relationship of music to nationalism, particularly in nations coming late to national selfconsciousness. The music of the Austro-German canon, for example ‘absolute music’ and organ music as well as the symphony, was conceived as an expression of German speaking national hegemony. Bach too was recruited as the foundation stone of the German Geist and one needs to recognise how canonical repute in general becomes closely related to music’s role in the expression of nationhood. Another central theme of my discussion of secularisation and the arts is the re-emergence in modernism of the religious and the liturgical both in music and in poetry thereby disrupting the unilinear secularisation narrative supposedly associated with modernity: Britten, Messiaen, Poulenc, Eliot, Auden and Rilke. The assumption here is that poetry and, even more so, music, can by their non-rational nature sustain the invocation of the holy and transcendent. In relation to poetry I restrict myself to England because I lack adequate knowledge of the relevant European languages, but I compensate for this by discussing how poetry mediates the Christian presence in England over the 1200 years since it was adopted as the governing faith of a united polity up to and beyond the signal break in its cultural dominance somewhere in the late nineteenth or mid-twentieth centuries. Here I adopt a Weberian perspective based on the adoption of a ‘world-rejecting’ religion and positive reciprocity as a legitimation of political power and the resulting tension with the default position of negative reciprocity. My argument here

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is that one has to not only discuss secularisation in terms of numbers and practice but also in terms of the modification of world denial once Christianity is adopted as the legitimating ideology of the polity. At that point, it both colludes with power and inserts a critique of negative reciprocity. I constantly return to this theme in key discussions, for example in The Breaking of the Image (1980). In some ways my most ambitious treatment of the arts has been in the area of architecture and the way the ecology of spaces and the size and centrality of buildings mediate dispositions of power, religious and secular, and how these dispositions alter in modernity (Martin 2003; Martin 2005, pp. 47–57; Martin 2014, pp. 201–223). Here there is a relatively clear instantiation of uni-directional secularisation, particularly in Russia with the violent demolition or secularisation of sacred buildings (for example St. Isaac’s cathedral at the centre of the sometime capital St. Petersburg and Christ the King cathedral at the centre of Moscow), except that the restoration of both to religious use and in the latter case its rebuilding as a symbol of the religio-political national unity of Russia points to a major, if still partial, reversal with the collapse of communism. The governing principle of this analysis is the contrast between the spatial dispositions of architectural power between centre and periphery, for example Paris and Strasbourg (or Marseilles); and between a historically close union of religion and power, for example in Constantinople/Istanbul, violently broken after the First World War and now revived in both Russia and Turkey. Here I point to the range of types of religious/secular emplacement, for example in the case of the United States there is the clear separation of church and state in Washington in an Enlightenment architectural format, by way of contrast with the rival major churches clustering at the centre of Boston, and the shadows of political/religious union in parts of the Catholic and Hispanic Southwest. In a crucial essay written for a conference on the post-secular at Groningen (itself a city full of secularised churches, like Amsterdam), I attempted to inscribe the whole of my general theory of secularisation in spatial and architectural terms. In this endeavour, I have a particular interest in different triumphal ways, for example, the avenues radiating from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris or the Siegessäule in Berlin or the partial truncation of proposed triumphal ways in London. England also provides instantiation of the shift from a unified monarchical-religious focus to functional differentiation, for example the emergence in nineteenth-century London of different religious and secular universities: for example, the ‘godless’ University College, London and the Anglican King’s College, London. Senate House, London, the 1930s centre of a federal University of London, is a significant example of the secular principle in its adoption of quasi-Egyptian monumentalism as its architectural style. With regard to the essay by Grace Davie, there is very little need for comment, partly because Grace Davie maintained close personal contact with me throughout to ensure we were on the same page. I have only two things


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to say – one minor, one major. The minor point relates to her observation about my neglect of Vatican II in my Sociology of English Religion (Martin 1967). This indeed is an odd omission, since I was very well aware of it, partly because I was closely associated with a Catholic friend, Anthony Spencer, who was, as someone already with ten children, intimately concerned with the Council’s deliberations. I can only surmise I mistakenly thought the Council not consequential for specifically English religion. The major point concerns my broader engagement with the secularisation thesis. A critique of that thesis is present in muted form in the book on English religion (Martin 1967). But throughout this period I was also engaged with a much wider engagement with the version of secularisation focussed on an anti-institutional and anti-ritual critique. This critique has recently been brilliantly documented in the remarkable work of Sam Brewitt-Taylor in his discussion of what amounted to a collective nervous breakdown among a large segment of the clergy (Brewitt-Taylor 2013). The nature of my critique is most easily illustrated in my various pieces collected in my Tracts against the Times (1973b), though it has been a theme to which I have constantly returned: a defence of ordinary institutions, school, university, family, church and what I call ordinary politics against the utopian delusions carried by the student movement and more widely from the 60s on. Key elements in this are to be found in my inaugural lecture at the LSE, published with a lecture I had given to the whole first year intake of the institution, as Two Critiques of Spontaneity (Martin 1973a) as well as in Tracts against the Times (Martin 1973b). There is also, as already mentioned, the key essay ‘Psychiatry and Apocalypse’ on R. D. Laing and a critique of Religious Education published in the same collection (Martin 1973b). In fact, this defence took up my political energies over decades. It is not the focus of any of the essays in this book, nor is it discussed in books on the 60s revolution, for example, Hugh MacLeod’s otherwise comprehensive discussion (MacLeod 2007). I simply take the chance to note its existence here as part of my reflections on ‘the condition of England’. Probably the problem here, for Brewitt-Taylor as well as MacLeod, has been its unexpected location and even its satirical and humorous character. Key elements have, for example, been lodged in the international journal Encounter, which was in its time one of the most influential global journals of debate. Perhaps the reference to Encounter provides a clue to my prolonged engagement with cultural politics, particularly as these impinged on the nature of the Western university. I was not attached to particular groups, for example the controversial ‘Congress for Cultural Freedom’, but rather broadly concerned with certain problems that overlapped my primary academic focus on secularisation and the interconnection of politics and religion. This interconnection of politics and religion was mightily reinforced by intimate acquaintance with a millenarian student movement active in the LSE, a bastion of rationality whose motto is rerum cognoscere causas, exhibiting just the combination and alternation of devotion to peace and

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addiction to violence I had analysed in movements within Christianity: the panther alternating with the dove. I had various foci, one of which was the politicisation, bureaucratisation, instrumentalisation and marketisation of the university. It was the politicisation of the university, promoted by the Marxist New Left that first activated my opposition, whereas the bureaucratisation and marketisation came later from quite different political trends on the right. A group of us, including Martin Lipset, met in Norwich in 1970 and launched a defence of the university which resulted in two major conferences in Venice and Lisbon and two books to which I contributed alongside American and European scholars, edited by Paul Seabury and John Chapman (Martin 1975; Martin 1983). Many of those with whom I associated, like Richard Löwenthal, Melvin Lasky and Martin Lipset, were from the leftwing tradition among Jewish intellectuals, though Edward Shils, another close ally, was not. Others like Nicholas Lobkowicz, a Catholic, and John Passmore, a philosopher and passionate humanist, represented very different traditions. What we stood for in terms of a defence of universities and of democracy against Soviet totalitarianism and associated propaganda, is probably occluded for later intellectual generations, rather as the origins of the secularisation debate are occluded. The debate was largely AngloAmerican though the defence of the university included studies of the situation of universities in several European countries, including Germany. In Germany, I had an unpleasant experience of the kind of revolutionary activity found in the Free University of Berlin and in theological faculties. There were associated causes, notably the education revolution that damaged the very basics of learning and transferable skills in math and English, and made the institution of comprehensive schools, which most academics supported politically, problematic in practice. This was in turn linked to the debate on the state of the language and that again linked to a defence of classic sources of English in the Authorised Version of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. This defence took up vast swathes of my time, including organising a protest which took the form of book of distinguished signatories titled Crisis for Cranmer and King James presented to the Synod of the Church of England (Martin 1979). The campaign took me to the US as well as to Australia. I worked hard with the Anglican novelist P. D. James to separate the deposition of the classic texts in church and school from a conservative opposition to women priests and sympathised with the attempts of Eamon Duffy to ameliorate the crudity of Catholic revisions to the liturgy. I begin my response to the strictly analytical essays by addressing the chapter by Andreas Hasenclever which deals with my approach to violence from the point of view of empirical research on conflict and peace (Martin 1965a, 1997). I acknowledge the usefulness of his research on the conditions under which religion ‘as a complex social practice’ may have some preventative or restraining influence on the inception or the conduct of war. However, I begin with his fundamental criticism that while the structures of power are largely as I understand them, in terms of struggles over scarce


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resources, I have so deterministic an approach that I do not allow for human agency. This was never my intention and a great deal of my writing has been concerned precisely with what the contribution of human agency might be within the limits of a realist sociology of violence. I do not work with a generalised idea of the potential of axial religions, and I am not happy with the idea that religions are essentially about salvation (Martin 2012, 2016a). Rather, I take the Weberian view that different religious visions are in conflict with the world of power to very varied degrees, ranging from Buddhism at the extreme position of tension, followed by Christianity, with Islam in the position of minimal conflict so that it is close to being a political religion. By that I mean that Islam reflects quite closely the dynamic of power to the extent that it seeks where it can to secure super-ordinate status. Christianity by contrast, together with Buddhism, makes a claim upon the world in its doctrine of the good creation and in contrast with Islam, carries forward a long tradition of exclusion from power so that it has existential knowledge of the difference between worldly power and transcendent possibility. These are comparisons grosso modo and one has to be perfectly aware of the variations within Islam and the variations within Christianity of which the most notable in the Christian sphere is the caesaro-papism of the Orthodox Church. I find it highly instructive that even in the most extreme case of world-denial in Buddhism it exemplifies the inflections on attitudes enforced by power, for example, in the two places where it is firmly part of the power structure in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. This is not to argue that religions in high degrees of tension with ‘the world’ are unable ever to act in accordance with their essential vision, but only to insist on the strict limits imposed by power which include the often lethal sanctions imposed against such actions. When I write that these ideal visions remain ‘on the books’, I do not mean they are inert: far from it. On the contrary, I note that the codification of the religious vision in sacred texts always has the potential to inspire action. George Steiner comments on impact that the constant recitation of the Sermon on the Mount at the heart of liturgy must have on the tenor and texture of anything that calls itself Christian civilisation (Steiner 1996). Sometimes this can be all too successful in that the intelligentsias within Christianity can adopt a pacific attitude dangerous to that civilisation’s survival and taking no account of the costs that are placarded in the crucifixion of Christ. Perhaps I can better make my point by a concrete example of how the tension with the ideal vision works out in Christian history. I notice that there is a constant oscillation within Christian history between the desire to set up the ideal kingdom by force, such as one finds prefigured in the prophecies of the Book of Daniel, and withdrawal into sectarian formations dedicated to adamant peaceability. The English Civil War, as I discuss it in my book on Pacifism (Martin 1965a), inaugurated a hope of establishing the Kingdom here and now which ran into precisely the limits I am talking about. It was only when hope failed that the people called Quakers retired into a

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sectarian formation, declaring in 1662 that they would fight neither for the kingdoms of this world nor for the Kingdom of Christ. From that point on the Christian revolution was embedded in an endogamous capsule that, over time, along with the efforts of Unitarians and Evangelicals, gradually released into English society an astonishing range of social changes for the better, from prison reform, ethical business conduct and wholesome food for the poor to the New Towns movement. This is to say nothing about the ameliorative efforts associated with Evangelicalism in the nineteenth century, from abolition to mass education. In all these ways I have always recognised the effects of religious vision on mundane life, short of effectively outlawing war and violence altogether. To move the discussion to America, one has only to think of the huge impact of the Evangelical Park St Church on Boston Common on the abolitionist movement in the United States and a host of other causes up to the present day. At the same time, all these massive enterprises, paradigmatically represented by the extraordinary international influence of a small group like the Quakers, take place within a world governed by the exacting dynamic of power relations of which Britain and the United States are obvious exemplars. To put it rather sharply, the United States is a country of exemplary Christian hospitality and generosity, which nevertheless acts with exemplary ruthlessness in the exercise and pursuit of its international power. There is a disturbing paradox here. The New Testament speaks of a time when Christ must reign and put ‘all his enemies under his feet’. This in itself is a nightmare whether thought of religiously or in terms of its mundane doppelgänger, a secular world authority universally able to enforce its edicts. I was able, in response to a TLS article by Neil Berry on the absolute Christian pacifism of the Reverend Dick Sheppard, so influential in the late 1930s, to summarise my views on these matters in a letter (Times Literary Supplement, 8 December 2017). I quote it in full. The perceptive article [of Neil Berry] on the absolute pacifism of the Revd Dick Sheppard . . . goes to the heart of the matter in that such a position sociologically requires no power or total power rather than morally ambiguous compromise. The New Testament makes this clear where Jesus in turn maintains silence before Pilate, rejects the violence of ‘this world’ and invokes total divine power. This points directly to the political impossibility of Christianity itself, and, I would add, to the creative role of the impossible in human affairs where politics is by definition the art of the possible. The most profound teachings of Christianity are all impossible as compared with the just about possible Hebraic ethic of loving your neighbour, reaffirmed by Jesus: they are forgiveness (the politician who forgives ‘the party opposite’ is bowing out), salvation by grace alone (with the potential corollary of antinomianism) and adamant pacifism (which cedes dominance to violence). In relation to violence we have to put to one side the concept of the


David Martin Abrahamic religions because among them only primitive Christianity adamantly rejects violence so that in this context Christianity’s affiliation is with Buddhism. Both faiths once in power have to compromise politically or step aside into seclusion. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Pope are both bound to fail to face the Rohingya problem directly. Somehow we have to face the reality of the default position of human society: negative reciprocity rather than the positive reciprocity of the Gospel. It seems to me that progressive people sincerely seeking peace do not adequately count the costs, placarded before them at Golgotha, but too often pursue peace to the point where the costs present themselves late in the day, with potentially disastrous consequences, as in the late 1930s. Where pacifism is absolute it faces association with appeasement and is forced to minimize the threat posed by radical evil. It is surely significant that some of those most appalled by the realities of war, like David Jones and Siegfried Sassoon, turn to Catholicism which accepts a division between those who reject ‘the world’, in particular monks, and those who work within its imperfections to ameliorate them. For Catholics it is only in the profound enactments of liturgy that the acknowledgement of our inevitable implication as humans in evil can be redeemed by the pure gift of grace, of forgiveness and of peace with each other and God. Some religious pacifists like John Middleton Murry eventually abandon their pacifism. Some, like Aldous Huxley and Benjamin Britten, went to the United States, abandoning Europe and avoiding the human dilemma by making it geographical. Neil Berry cites the USA as still holding to a Christian stance, but as a political entity it does so on strictly realist principles, which is precisely why American Presidents like Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama have turned to the theological realism of Reinhold Niebuhr. (Martin 2017b, p. 6)

I am particularly grateful to Paolo Costa because his analysis helps explain myself to myself when it comes to my critique of overarching historical trends and the different ways these may be formulated. He draws very helpfully on my 2013 autobiography to bring out my ‘outsider’ approach as someone not initially socialised in sociology, and its relation to a nonconformity which is both religious and generic. I am particularly interested in his comment that my friend Charles Taylor has taken over or mopped up the secularisation debate I originally initiated so far as general awareness is concerned (Taylor 2007). And this has not been through expropriation, since Taylor is the most generous of scholars, but through the accessibility of his narrative approach even though there is a lot to absorb for short-winded readers. This comment about ‘mopping up’ seems to me accurate and I became particularly aware of it when writing my (still unpublished) book on secularisation and English poetry over 1200 years. I noted that English specialists, writing about and

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criticising the assumption of secularisation in the course of the nineteenth century, drew largely on Taylor. In one way that was quite natural given that Taylor’s book was the latest major contribution to the debate but there is more to be said about the issue than that. A narrative approach is affiliated with the history of ideas rather than with sociology and Taylor’s book was far less influential among sociologists than it was with the intellectual class generally. Indeed, the intellectual classes are hospitable to any number of secularisation narratives, a recent example being the racy narrative embedded in The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve (2017) by the literary critic Stephen Greenblatt (reviewed by me in the TLS double Christmas issue 22 and 29 December 2017). The resistance, or rather indifference, of sociological specialists to Charles Taylor’s major intervention lay partly in their highly individual approaches to the subject so that a major contributor like Peter Berger followed his own trajectory with scant interest (say) in another major contributor like Rodney Stark, though for a while they operated in the same institution (Martin 2017a, part 1). The other source of indifference lies in a sociological lack of interest in theoretical ideas in most of British sociology. In Britain, Grace Davie and Steve Bruce are major contributors to the secularisation debate though from distinctly different perspectives, but neither engages seriously with ideas or with Charles Taylor. Martin Riesebrodt’s wide-ranging The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion (2010) does not even feature Taylor in the index. Robert Bellah is a distinct exception when it comes to ideas. It is interesting that in the historian Owen Chadwick’s book The Secularisation of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century (1975), he segregated sociology in a distinct chapter. There is a fissure here of some major significance cognate with other fissures, such as the lack of communication between Anglo-Saxon (above all American) and major European intellectual traditions. The debates in France, for example Danièle Hervieu-Léger, and in Germany, for example Hans Joas, do not figure greatly in American discussions. It is true that in Anglophone sociology there are minor traditions following French theory of discourse after (say) Foucault or Derrida, as well as some influence of phenomenological perspectives, largely introduced into Anglo-American sociology in the 1960s through Peter Berger and his collaboration with Thomas Luckmann. But these remain a minority, more particularly in relation to the secularisation debate. Anglophone sociology on the one hand has exhibited a notorious empiricism and on the other an investment in being ‘objective’ and ‘scientific’: Marilynne Robinson in her The Givenness of Things (2015) has recently mounted a devastating critique of this type of ‘scientism’ in neuro-physiology as well as in the social and human ‘sciences’ as not scientific at all by modern standards. It goes, of course, with the triumph of technology over thought. These characteristics have nevertheless been allied with an often-unexamined set of ‘ideas’ derived from the concepts of the ‘classical’ triumvirate of Marx, Weber and Durkheim, and embedded in competing frameworks roughly grouped between a


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‘functionalist’ and a ‘Marxist’ general provenance. When I was first developing my ‘general theory’ I was acutely conscious of my own discomfort with these taken-for-granted binary options of my discipline and constrained by their determinism and associated taboos. These taboos included what came to be known (and often disparaged) as ‘situated viewpoints’ as well as a view of the use of narrative as little better than an appeal to anecdote instead of scientific (quantitative) testing of hypotheses. This was the context in which a casual reading of Popper’s critique of historicism could act as an epiphany, not by making me a philosophical Popperian tout court, but as offering release from the determinisms of the then-dominant Anglophone sociological straight-jackets, notably what I often refer to as the ‘ages and stages’ evolutionary model of social development. It released me to acknowledge and use contingency and variable historical narratives. Paolo Costa is right to justify defensible and revisable Grand Narratives like that of Charles Taylor, which I admire, from deterministic Master Narratives which I set my face against. I began my response to Paolo Costa by thanking him for explaining me to myself. I should like to end it by appreciating his insightful and sympathetic account of the climactic chapter of my autobiography as a ‘disclosing moment of recognition’ comparable to Odysseus hearing his own story sung by the blind bard. With regard to the contribution by Matthias Koenig, I can only be very grateful for such sustained and careful analysis of my work: his paper represents a huge amount of attentive and generous analytic effort. I particularly appreciate his comments on the crucial role of structure in my work in relation to culture. In general I am very much in accord with his concern, as someone associated with what he calls the ‘third wave’ of the theorisation of secularisation to pursue and encourage more ‘fine-grained’ causal analyses, such as one finds in the innovative work of Damon Mayrl in his comparative study of developments in Australia and the US where the more religious culture paradoxically brings about a more secular consequence (Mayrl 2016), or in the well-known analyses of Christian Smith. As I have become more involved in the work of younger scholars of nationalism I have become aware of how broad categorisations in my own work can be modified, for example by the comparative analysis of Ireland and Greece by Daphne Halikiopoulou (Halikiopoulou 2011), as well as the current research by Effie Fokas of the wide-ranging consequences of the activities of the European Court of Justice. When I come to the last two contributions, by Anthony Carroll and Michal Luczewski, I find myself in the same territory explored by Andreas Hasenclever, Paolo Costa and Matthias Koenig: these form a group of major interpretive essays for which I can only be grateful. These essays, five in all, together with the major introductory essay by Hans Joas, provide the interpretive core of the book as distinct from discrete concerns with particular topics like Pentecostalism, music and English religion. Each of the authors has engaged with the overall nature of what I have been trying to do over more than half a century.

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Anthony Carroll in particular has provided a remarkable close reading based on a continuous documented conversation with me over a considerable period for which I feel extremely grateful. I want simply to pick up his reference to the perturbation I feel about giving up the sense of providence in history. Giving up the sense of a secular providence in history, of which secularisation is a major element, is liberating and it is of course central to my intellectual project. Indeed, soon after Trump was elected I wrote a letter to the TLS in response to a rant about him by the American novelist Richard Ford, which implied his election defied the proper direction of history. It had no right to be and ran against the grain of things. I suggested, on the contrary, that liberal values were essentially precarious and could not rely on some inbuilt historical providence. But giving up divine providence is for me a very different matter. Milton is exemplary here in his failed attempt to give voice to it. He said in the final Chorus of ‘Samson Agonistes’: All is best, though we oft doubt What th’unsearchable dispose Of highest wisdom brings about, And ever best found in the close. (Milton 1952, p. 550) Marilynne Robinson is a novelist theologian in the American version of the Miltonic tradition with whom I have great sympathy, for example in her (already cited) The Givenness of Things (2015), but I cannot believe, as she does, that those whom God loves he chastens or that Christ is the fruition of history. I cannot imagine what that fruition might be or desire it. Milton gives wonderful expression to eschatological anticipation in his hymn written one year before the king was executed in 1649: Rise God, judge thou the world in might, This wicked earth redress, For Thou art He who shall by right The nations all possess. But for me the kingdom of God is within and the judgement likewise immanent rather than exacted by the exercise of divine power at the expense of human freedom. The essay by Michal Luczewski is distinctive, bold and original. Not only has he grasped how far I am from being confined by empirical modes of doing sociology, but he has also grasped the central role played by metaphor in my writing. Though I am not in any way directly indebted to Girard and Schmitt, it is stimulating to see the parallels he so astutely draws with my own mode of thinking. Looking up Schmitt, I can see just how unlikely it is that I would encounter his work on politics but I do grasp that we share the


David Martin

idea that political thinking is metamorphosed theology. As for Girard, whenever I have encountered his thinking, for example about scapegoating, I see the overlap with my own ideas, but I have arrived at them without anything whatever by way of influence. Like Paolo Costa, Michal Luczewski makes me clear to myself, disclosing what I have been saying both in my 2013 autobiography, which I wrote without the kind of control on the personal native to sociological writing (Martin 2013a), and in a book like The Breaking of the Image, where I exploit what I call the ‘double structure’ of theological language so that (paradigmatically) the cross becomes a sword (Martin 1980). I became visually aware of this when I entered the American air force chapel in Colorado Springs discussed in The Breaking of the Image on p. 61 et seq. Here, in the place where vast and unprecedented power had been assembled, the governing sign fused cross, uplifted sword and descending dove. Do artists know what they are doing when they ‘get it right’ in this astonishing way? I ask this question because my own writing in parts of this book took place in a dream-state without fully conscious control so that what Michal says by way of interpretation feels like acute dream analysis whereby I can see how my mind was operating and what it was saying. In the immediate years following, I was three times hospitalised with extremely high blood pressure. Dream-states are closely related to the epiphanies I relate in my autobiography as arriving in moments of intense stress, one of a state of unbroken communion with other people and nature experienced while in the army, another of peace and unconditional acceptance during the singing of George Herbert’s ‘King of Glory, King of Peace’ after a sermon on ‘Hell is other people’ experienced in the wake of divorce, and another after seeing the lights of Philadelphia as my plane hummed towards home and England as the morning light slowly broke over its wings. This third epiphany began with Janet Baker singing Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen for John Barbirolli’s funeral, followed by Mozart’s E flat horn concerto and King’s College choir singing In paradisum deducat angeli . . . . Et perducant te in civitatem Jerusalem from Fauré’s Requiem. Here I want to pick up what Luczewski says about the movement in my writing towards the no man’s land of socio-theology and the use of language that goes with it, notably quoting large parts of the classic 1611 Bible translation by heart. He notices, quite rightly, that I had always wanted to write, in particular poetry as a kind of romantic outpouring of selfhood on paper. This was literally self-defeating, and I found in the problems posed by sociology not subjectivity but subject matter. In a way, it is very surprising that sociology could provide the subject matter for writing because it is so wedded to passives whereby things happen to people rather than people making things happen. Three of my books are comprised of sermons (Martin 1989; Martin 2002b; Martin 2008) and the 2016 book Ruin and Restoration draws upon a large amount of sermonic material. The published sermons are tightly

Thinking with your life


governed by the disciplines of the liturgy: here the creative emerges not from freedom but constraint. As a matter of fact, I have been preaching over a longer period than I have written sociology, finding in theology my subject matter before ever I started writing sociology, notably with my article on ‘The Denomination’, reprinted in the appendix to my 1965 book on Pacifism from its original source in 1962 in the British Journal of Sociology. This was the moment when I first dared to write socio-theology though without properly realising what I was doing. My theological and my sociological subject matter fused subconsciously and I wrote and spoke with inner rather than derived authority. The effect was comparable to the pleasure derived from musical performance where you are so totally inside the music that you can give it out with an authority that secures attention on which you float and fly. I was very quickly aware that I had set the teeth on edge both of proper sociologists and of proper theologians and historians. I suspect that part of my offence for the former was my use of the book on Enthusiasm by Father Ronald Knox and if the truth were known, the Anglo-Catholic poet T. S. Eliot was the unacknowledged sub-stratum of my thinking, above all his play The Rock. I was once asked how I could teach without using bullet points, and I replied that I used charisma, meaning the native force of personal engagement. Of course, that kind of engagement tends to be intermittent, and you are much more often reduced to the inert script. None of this amounts to a claim but relates simply to an existential condition and the physical and psychological costs over time are very considerable. But this kind of engagement defines the proper university experience and it is quite different from the experience of preaching, more particularly when working under the constraints of very large spaces as in a cathedral. Not only have you to understand the resonances of those spaces to the point where your text resembles a notated musical score, but you are working within the constraints of liturgy not to express opinions, argue or entertain. Grubby and compromised Christian that you are, you have to give body to the word as a prelude to the enactment of the Eucharist. For that purpose, you have full permission to use the resources of English at its most potent. You can take risks because you are operating in every sense in an echo chamber. The language must be technically modern but you are drawing on and deploying the most poetic resource in your language just as a German might draw on the resources of Luther’s Bible. This is, in a sense elucidated by Eliot, to work not so much relying on individual talent as shared tradition. You are pushing the rhythms of prose in the direction of the rhythms of poetry. Theology is a kind of solidified and collective poetry, which transmits the transcendent as argumentative prose cannot. It works in pictograms rather than through diagrams. Socio-theology has to work both by argumentative force and by invocation, and by what Eliot calls ‘the beauty of incantation’, which means letting words sing.


David Martin

References Braudel, Fernand, 1993, A History of Civilizations (Richard Mayne, trans.), London and New York: Allen Lane/Penguin. Brewitt-Taylor, Sam, 2012, ‘The Invention of a “Secular Society”? Christianity and the Sudden Appearance of Secularization Discourses in the British National Media, 1960–64’, Twentieth Century British History, 24 (3), pp. 327–350. Bruneau, Thomas, 1982, The Church in Brazil: The Politics of Religion, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Chadwick, Owen, 1975, The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Coleman, Simon, 2000, The Globalization of Charismatic Christianity: Spreading the Gospel of Prosperity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cranston, Maurice (ed.), 1970, The New Left, London: Bodley Head. Eisenstadt, Shmuel Noah, 2000, ‘Multiple Modernities’, Daedalus, 129 (1), pp. 1–29. Gill, Anthony, 1998, Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Greenblatt, Stephen, 2017, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, New York: Norton. Gregory, Brad, 2015, ‘The Radical Reformation’, in Peter Marshall (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the Reformation, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 115–151. Hagopian, Frances, 2006, Latin American Catholicism in an Age of Religious and Political Pluralism: A Framework for Analysis, Notre Dame, IN: Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Halikiopoulou, Daphne, 2011, Patterns of Secularization: Church, State and Nation in Greece and the Republic of Ireland, Farnham: Ashgate. Himmelfarb, Gertrude, 2004, The Roads to Modernity: The British, French and American Enlightenments, New York: Random House. Lancaster, Roger, 1988, Thanks to God and the Revolution: Popular Religion and Class Consciousness in the New Nicaragua, New York: Columbia University Press. Lancaster, Roger, 1992, Life Is Hard: Machismo and the Intimacy of Power in Nicaragua, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. Lehmann, David, 1996, Struggle for the Spirit: Religious Transformation and Popular Culture in Brazil and Latin America, Cambridge: Polity Press. Levine, Daniel, 1986, Religion and Political Conflict in Latin America, Chapel Hill, NC and London: University of North Carolina Press. Levine, Daniel, 2007, ‘The Future of Christianity in Latin America’, Kellogg Institute Working Paper 340, August 2007, accessed: https://kellogg.nd.edu/sites/default/ files/old_files/documents/340_0.pds MacLeod, Hugh, 2007, The Religious Crisis of the 1960s, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Martin, David, 1962, ‘The Denomination’, British Journal of Sociology, 13 (1), pp. 1–14 (reprinted as Appendix in David Martin, 1965, Pacifism). Martin, David, 1965a, Pacifism: An Historical and Sociological Study, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Martin, David, 1965b, ‘Towards Eliminating the Concept of Secularization’, in Julius Gould (ed.), Penguin Survey of the Social Sciences 1965, Harmondsworth: Penguin, pp. 168–182. Martin, David, 1967, A Sociology of English Religion, London: SCM.

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Martin, David, 1969, The Religious and the Secular, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Martin, David, 1973a, Two Critiques of Spontaneity, London: London School of Economics. Martin, David, 1973b, Tracts against the Times, Guildford and London: Lutterworth. Martin, David, 1975, ‘Mutations: Religio-Political Crisis and the Collapse of Puritism and Humanism’, in Paul Seabury (ed.), Universities in the Western World, London and New York: The Free Press, pp. 85–97. Martin, David, 1978, A General Theory of Secularization, Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David (ed.), 1979, ‘Crisis for Cranmer and King James’, Special Issue 13 of Poetry Nation Review, 5 (6). Martin, David, 1980, The Breaking of the Image: A Sociology of Christian Theory and Practice, Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David, 1983, ‘Trends and Standards in British Higher Education’, in John W. Chapman (ed.), The Western University on Trial, Berkeley, CA, Los Angeles, CA and London: University of California Press, pp. 167–183. Martin, David, 1989, Divinity in a Grain of Bread, Cambridge: Lutterworth. Martin, David, 1990, Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America, Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David, 1996, Forbidden Revolutions: Pentecostalism in Latin America, Catholicism in Eastern Europe, London: SPCK. Martin, David, 1997, Does Christianity Cause War?, Oxford: Clarendon. Martin, David, 2002a, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish, Oxford: Blackwell. Martin, David, 2002b, Christian Language in the Secular City, Aldershot: Ashgate. Martin, David, 2002c, Christian Language and Its Mutations: Essays in Sociological Understanding, Aldershot: Ashgate. Martin, David, 2003, ‘Changing Your Holy Ground’, in Stephen C. Barton (ed.), Holiness Past and Present, London and New York: T. & T. Clark, pp. 79–99. Martin, David, 2005, On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory, Aldershot: Ashgate. Martin, David, 2008, Sacred History and Sacred Geography: Spiritual Journeys in Time and Space, Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing. Martin, David, 2012, ‘Axial Religions and the Problem of Violence’, in Robert N. Bellah and Hans Joas (eds.), The Axial Age and Its Consequences, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 294–316. Martin, David, 2013a, The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist, London: SPCK. Martin, David, 2013b, ‘Pentecostalism: An Alternative Form of Modernity and Modernization?’, in Robert Hefner (ed.), Global Pentecostalism in the 20th Century, Bloomington, IN and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, pp. 37–62. Martin, David, 2013c (i) ‘Pentecostals: The Great-Grandchildren of Luther’; and (ii) ‘Handel and British Protestant Nationalism’, in Irene Dingel, Armin Kohnle and Udo Sträter (eds.), Spurenlese: Kulturelle Wirkungen der Reformation, Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, pp. 245–260 and pp. 363–370. Martin, David, 2014, Religion and Power: No Logos without Mythos, Farnham: Ashgate. Martin, David, 2016a, Ruin and Restoration: On Violence, Liturgy and Reconciliation, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Martin, David, 2016b, ‘Music and the Aesthetic, and Worship and Collective Singing: England since 1840’, Society, 56 (6), pp. 647–655.


David Martin

Martin, David, 2016c, ‘Christianity and “Western Classical” Music, 1700–2000’, in Lamin Sanneh and Michael J. MacClymond (eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to World Christianity, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 350–358. Martin, David, 2017a, Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion, London and New York: Routledge. Martin, David, 2017b, ‘Letter to the Editor’, The Times Literary Supplement, December 8, 2017. Martin, David, 2019 (forthcoming), Christianity and “the World”: Secularisation Narratives through the Lens of English Poetry, 800 AD to the Present Time. Eugene, OR, Cascade Books. Mayrl, Damon, 2016, Secular Conversions: Political Institutions and Religious Education in the United States and Australia, 1800–2000, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Meyer, Birgit, 1999, Translating the Devil, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Milton, John, 1952, The Poetical Works of Milton, London: Oxford University Press. Mishra, Pankaj, 2017, Age of Anger: A History of the Present, London: Allen Lane and Penguin. Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1932, Moral Man and Immoral Society, New York: Scribner. Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1944, The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness, New York: Scribner. O’Shaughnessy, Hugh, 1990, ‘Review of David Martin’s Tongues of Fire’, The Times Literary Supplement, August 3, p. 9. Riesebrodt, Martin, 2010, The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Robinson, Marilynne, 2015, The Givenness of Things, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Schweitzer, Albert, 1911, The Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of Its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede (William Montgomery, trans.), London: A. and C. Black. Steiner, George, 1996, ‘A Preface to the Hebrew Bible’, in George Steiner, No Passion Spent: Essays 1978–1996, London: Faber and Faber, pp. 40–87. Taylor, Charles, 2007, A Secular Age, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Thumala, María Angélika, 2007, Riqueza y Piedad: El Catolicismo de la Elite Económica Chilena, Santiago: Debate. Wacker, Grant, 1995, ‘Searching for Eden with a Satellite Dish: Primitivism, Pragmatism and the Pentecostal Character’, in Richard Thomas Hughes (ed.), The Primitive Church in the Modern World, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, pp. 139–166. Weber, Max, 1948, ‘Politics as a Vocation’;‘The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism’; and ‘Religious Rejections of the World and Their Directions’, in H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (trans. and eds.), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 77–128; pp. 302–322 and pp. 323–362. Zanatta, Loris, 1996, Dallo Stato Liberale alla Nazione Cattolica: Chiesa ed Esercito nelle Origini del Peronismo 1930–1943 (translated into Italian from the original Spanish), Turin: Angeli.

Complete bibliography David Martin

Books 1965, Pacifism: A Sociological and Historical Study, London: Routledge. 1967, A Sociology of English Religion, London: SCM Press/New York: Basic Books. 1969, The Religious and the Secular: Studies in Secularization, London: Routledge. 1973, Two Critiques of Spontaneity (Inaugural Lecture at LSE, 12/10/1972), London: London School of Economics; (reprinted in Encounter as ‘The Naked Self’, July 1973, pp. 12–20). 1973, Tracts against the Times, Guildford and London: Lutterworth Press. 1978, The Dilemmas of Contemporary Religion, Oxford: Blackwell. 1978, A General Theory of Secularization, Oxford: Blackwell. 1980, The Breaking of the Image: A Sociology of Christian Theory and Practice, Oxford: Blackwell. 1989, Divinity in a Grain of Bread (Foreword, Abp. Robert Runcie), Cambridge: Lutterworth Press. 1990, Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America, Oxford: Blackwell. 1996, Forbidden Revolutions: Pentecostalism in Latin America, Catholicism in Eastern Europe (F. D. Maurice lectures, King’s College, London, 1991), London: SPCK. 1997, Does Christianity Cause War?, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1997, Reflections on Sociology and Theology, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 2002, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish, Oxford: Blackwell. 2002, Christian Language and Its Mutations: Essays in Sociological Understanding, Aldershot: Ashgate. 2002, Christian Language in the Secular City (Commendation, Abp. Rowan Williams), Aldershot: Ashgate. 2005, On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory, Aldershot: Ashgate. 2008, Sacred History and Sacred Geography: Spiritual Journeys in Time and Space, Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing. 2011, The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization, Farnham: Ashgate. 2013, The Education of David Martin: The Making of an Unlikely Sociologist, London: SPCK. 2014, Religion and Power: No Logos without Mythos, Farnham: Ashgate. 2016, Ruin and Restoration: On Violence, Liturgy, and Reconciliation (Introductory essay by Charles Taylor), London and New York: Routledge.


Complete bibliography

2017, Secularisation, Pentecostalism and Violence: Receptions, Rediscoveries and Rebuttals in the Sociology of Religion, London and New York: Routledge. 2019 (forthcoming), Christianity and “the World”: Secularisation Narratives through the Lens of English Poetry, 800 AD to the Present Time. Eugene, OR, Cascade Books.

Edited books 1968–70, A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain, Vols. 1–3, London: SCM Press. (Volume 3 co-edited with Michael Hill, who took over further issues). 1969, Anarchy and Culture: The Problem of the Contemporary University, New York and London: Columbia University Press and Routledge (Introduction, ‘The Dissolution of the Monasteries’, pp. 1–12). 1970, Key Words in Sociology, London: Lutterworth Press; 1974, Reprinted in Dutch as Sleutelwoorden in de Sociologie, Rotterdam: Universitaire Pers. 1979, Crisis for Cranmer and King James (Special Issue), Poetry Nation Review (13: 6). 1980, Martin, David, Mills OP, J. Orme, and Pickering, W. S. F. (eds.), Sociology and Theology: Alliance and Conflict, Brighton: Harvester Press. 1983, Martin, David, and Mullen, Peter (eds.), Unholy Warfare: The Church and the Bomb, Oxford: Blackwell. 1984, Martin, David, and Mullen, Peter (eds.), Strange Gifts? A Guide to Charismatic Renewal, Oxford: Blackwell. 1984, Martin, David, and Mullen, Peter (eds.), No Alternative: The Prayer Book Controversy, Oxford: Blackwell. 1998, Martin, David, Heelas, Paul, and Morris, Paul (main editor), Religion, Modernity and Postmodernity, Oxford and Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. 2001, Woodhead, Linda, Heelas, Paul, and Martin, David (eds.), Peter Berger and the Study of Religion, London and New York: Routledge.

Associated books 2001, Percy, Martyn, and Walker, Andrew (eds.), Restoring the Image: Essays on Religion and Society in Honour of David Martin (Festschrift), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. (This Festschrift contains a selected bibliography and further CV information, pp. 230–3). 2016, Wei, Dedong, and Zhong, Zhifeng (eds.), A David Martin Reader (Introduction by Grace Davie), Waco, TX: Baylor University Press. 2002, Editor for religion of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (including the personal entry on ‘Religion, War and Peace’), Oxford: Elsevier.

Journal articles 1962, ‘The Denomination’, The British Journal of Sociology (33: 1), pp. 1–14. 1964, ‘El Pacifismo y la Intelligentsia durante la “Guerra de los Treinta Años (1914– 1945)”’, La Revista Mexicana de Sociologia (26: 2), pp. 457–482. 1966, ‘The Sociology of Religion: A Case of Status Deprivation?’, The British Journal of Sociology (17: 4), pp. 353–359. 1966, ‘The Unknown Gods of the English’, Advancement of Science, June. 1966, ‘Utopian Elements in the Concept of Secularisation’, Internationales Jahrbuch für Religionssoziologie: Theoretische Aspekte der Religionssoziologie (1), pp. 87–97.

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1967, ‘Religion in Bulgaria 1’, and ‘Religion in Bulgaria 2’, Theology (70: 569), pp. 495–503; (70: 570), pp. 539–542. 1968, ‘City Man II’ (A critical comment on secular theology), Frontier, Spring, pp. 16–18. 1968, ‘The Secularisation Process in England and Wales’, in G. Walters (ed.), Religion in Technological Society, Bath: Bath University Press; 1969, Reprinted as Chapter 9 of David Martin, The Religious and the Secular. 1968, ‘The Sociology of Knowledge and the Nature of Social Knowledge’, The British Journal of Sociology (19: 3), pp. 334–342; 1973, Reprinted in Gunter Remmling (ed.), Towards the Sociology of Knowledge, London: Routledge, pp. 308–316. 1969, ‘Notes for a General Theory of Secularisation’, European Journal of Sociology (10: 2), pp. 192–201. 1969, ‘The Day Nursery of Revolution’, The Spectator, January 31. 1969, ‘Visit to Inner Space: Jeff Nuttall’s Bomb Culture’, Encounter, August, pp. 70–73. 1970, ‘Red, White, and Black’, Encounter, February, pp. 77–83. 1970, ‘The End of the Protestant Ethic’, The Director, December; and 1971, Freedom at Issue, March. 1970, ‘The Wronged Box’ (Television: Image makers and breakers), The Times Literary Supplement, November 6. 1970, ‘Young Men Seeing Visions’, The Christian Century, September. 1971, ‘R. D. Laing: Psychiatry and Apocalypse’, Dissent, June, pp. 235–251. 1971, ‘The Secularisation Issue: Where Has All the Religiosity Gone?’, Encounter, April, pp. 72–78. 1972, ‘Church, Denomination and Modern Society’, in Michael Hill (ed.), A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain No. 5, London: SCM Press, pp. 185–193. 1972, ‘R. D. Laing’s Family: Me Doctor, You Patient’, Encounter, February, pp. 71–76. 1973, ‘An Essay in Conceptual and Empirical Synthesis’, Acts of the 12th Conference of CISR, The Hague, 1973, Lille: Cédex, pp. 517–528; (re-published as ‘Institutionalism and Community’, Chapter 3 in David Martin, The Dilemmas of Contemporary Religion). 1973, ‘Ethical Commentary and Political Decision’, Theology (76: 640), pp. 525– 531. (Reprinted in Gordon Dunstan (ed.), Duty and Discernment, London: SCM Press, pp. 123–129.) 1973, ‘The Nature of Man: Sociology and Religion’, Christian (1: 3), pp. 233–240. 1973, ‘The Secularisation Issue’, Theology (76: 632), pp. 81–87. 1974, ‘Christianisme, Religion Civique, et Trois Contre-Cultures’, Human Context (6: 3), pp. 575–585; (also re-published in 1978 in English as ‘Christianity, Civic Religion and Three Counter-Cultures’, Chapter 1 in David Martin, The Dilemmas of Contemporary Religion). 1974, ‘Patterns of Secularisation’, The Times, 16 February, and 2 and 16 March. 1974, ‘The Church: The Familiar Unknown Quantity’, Crucible, January–March. 1975, ‘All Cultures and Sub-Cultures Are Equal’, Contemporary Review, September. 1975, ‘Remembering Karl Mannheim’, Encounter, October, pp. 84–86. 1976, ‘Dr. Adorno’s Bag of Tricks’ (the Minima Moralia), Encounter, October, pp. 167–183. 1977, ‘Religious Education in a Secular Culture’ (lecture at Didsbury 1975), Learning for Living, October, pp. 58–65. 1978, ‘The Cultural Politics of Established Churches’, Acts of CISR (Tokyo Conference, 1978), Tokyo: Organizing Committee of Tokyo CISR 1978 Conference/


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Department of Religious Studies, Tokyo University, pp. 147–158; and, 1979, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (6: 1–2), pp. 287–301. 1978, ‘The Sound of England’ (English music), Poetry Nation Review (5: 4), pp. 7–10. 1979, ‘General Tendencies and Historical Filters’, Annual Review of the Social Sciences of Religion (3), pp. 1–14. 1979, ‘Profane Habit and Sacred Usage’, Theology (82: 686), pp. 83–95. 1979, ‘Revs and Revolutions: Trends and Fashionable Theologians’, Encounter, January, pp. 10–18. 1979, ‘Secularization in the European West’ (in Japanese), Toyo Gakujutsu Kenkyu (18: 3). 1979, ‘Tendencias generales y filtros históricos’, Cuadernos Aragonesas de Sociología (Zaragoza) Estudios de sociología de la religion, pp. 53–80. 1982, ‘Worship’, Theology (85: 704), pp. 83–91. Given originally for Victor de Waal, Dean of Canterbury, at Canterbury, and reprinted as the Introduction to a book of sermons Divinity in a Grain of Bread, Lutterworth Press, 1989. 1983, ‘Assessing the New Liturgies: The Beautiful, the Holy and Our God-forsaken Liturgies’, Epworth Review (10: 3), pp. 49–56. 1983, ‘The Clergy, Secularisation and Politics’, This World (6: Fall), pp. 131–142. 1983, ‘The State, res publica and the Church of England’, Acts of the 17th CISR Conference (London), Lille: Cedex/CISR, pp. 325–342. 1983, ‘What Mean These Stones? Tradition and the National Church’, Theology (86: 711), pp. 171–179. 1984, ‘Conservation and Vision: The Nature of Christian Education’, in David Martin and Roger Homan (eds.), Dialogue with Tradition (Special Issue), Faith and Worship, pp. 44–54. 1984, ‘Polity and Religion in Charles Sisson’, Poetry Nation Review 39 (Special Issue: Charles Sisson at Seventy) (11: 1), pp. 23–25. 1984, ‘Religion and Music: Ambivalence towards the Aesthetic’, Religion (14: July), pp. 269–292. 1984, ‘The Recovery of the Real Handel’, The Times Higher Education Supplement, December 21, p. 16. 1985, ‘Comment on Robert Wuthnow’, Acts of the 18th CISR Conference (Leuven), Lille: Cedex/CISR, pp. 145–150. 1985, ‘Religion and Public Values: A Catholic-Protestant Contrast’, Review of Religious Research (26: 4), pp. 313–331. 1985, ‘The Issue of Revivalism as It Has Been Articulated in Christian Cultures’, Culture, Religion et Politique et la Reconstruction du Liban (Acts of Beirut conference), Beirut: La Mouvement Culturel Antélias, pp. 34–45. 1990, ‘Fundamentalism: Some Definitions’, Political Quarterly (61: 2), pp. 129–131. 1990, ‘The Prayer Book Issue: Ten Years after PN Review 13’, Poetry Nation Review (74: 16): pp. 42–45. 1991, ‘Otro Tipo de Revolución Cultural: El Protestantismo Radical en América Latina’, Estudios Publicos (44: Primavera), pp. 41–62. 1991, ‘The Cathedral and the English City’, in Christiane Haussy and Solange Dayras (eds.), Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique (6: 3), pp. 152–158. 1991, ‘The Secularisation Issue: Prospect and Retrospect’, The British Journal of Sociology (42: 3), pp. 465–473. 1991, ‘What Makes People Good?’, National Review (43: 16), September 9, pp. 25–29.

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1992, ‘Kyrkorna i tredje världen’, Svensk Tidskrift (79: 6), pp. 299–303. 1993, ‘In Tune with Heaven Examined’ (Report on Church Music), Faith and Worship (34: 2), pp. 4–10. 1993, ‘The Logic of Sticking to a Single Cause’ (on resigning from the Prayer Book Society), Church Times, May 7, p. 10. 1994, ‘Believing without Belonging: A Commentary on Religion in England’, Crucible, April–June, pp. 59–64. 1994, ‘Säkularisierung in Europa–Glaubensviel-falt in Amerika: Zwei Ausnahmen und Keine Regel’, Transit (8: Herbst), pp. 42–52. 1994, ‘The Case of the Baffled Professor’ (Harvey Cox), National Review (46: 23), December 5, pp. 73–75. 1994, ‘The Fall of Rome: Today’s Catholic Predicament’, Religion (24:2), pp. 95–102. 1995, ‘Christianity: Witness for Peace and Motive for Religious Nationalism’, Crucible, January–March, pp. 5–14. 1995, ‘Sociology, Religion, and Secularisation: An Orientation’ (originally given in the Magna Aula, Timisoara University), Religion (25: 4), pp. 295–303. 1995, ‘The New Rise of Evangelical Protestantism’, National Review (47: 25), December 31, pp. 26–30. 1997, ‘Theology and Sociology: The Irish Flâneur’s Account’ (on Kieran Flanagan’s The Enchantment of Sociology), New Blackfriars (78: 913), pp. 105–110. 1997, ‘Unitarianism: A Space for Rational Religion and Social Enlightenment’ (Strasbourg conference ‘On the Enlightenment’), Social Compass (44: 2), pp. 207–216. 1999, ‘The Church, War – and the WCC’, Modern Believing (40: 1), pp. 22–33. 1999, ‘The Stripping of the Words: Conflict in the Episcopal Church over the Eucharist’, Modern Theology (15: 2), pp. 247–261; reprinted in Sarah Beckwith (ed.), Catholicism and Catholicity, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 135–150. 2000, ‘Christianity Converting and Converted’, Modern Believing (41: 1), pp. 13–22. 2000, ‘The Language of Christianity’, Teologinen Aikakauskirja: Teologisk Tidskrift (6), pp. 475–482. 2003–4, ‘Religionsmuster in Europa’ (Originally given to a Reflection Group of the European Commission, chaired by Romani Prodi in Brussels), Transit (26: Winter), pp. 120–144. 2004, ‘The Christian, the Political and the Academic’ (1973 Paul Hanly Furfey Lecture), Sociology of Religion (65: 4), pp. 341–356. 2005, ‘Secularisation and the Future of Christianity’ (Catholic conference, Dallas, Texas, 2004), Journal of Contemporary Religion (20: 2), pp. 145–160. 2005, ‘Secularisation and the Future of Christianity’, Modern Believing (41: 1), pp. 13–21. 2005, ‘The Global Expansion of Radical Primitive Christianity’ (lecture), Princeton Seminary Bulletin (26: 21, New Series), pp. 111–122. 2006, ‘Rescripting Spiritual Autobiography’, Exchange: Journal of Missiological Research (Conference at Free University, Amsterdam) (35: 1), pp. 92–101. 2007, ‘How Is Christianity Incarnated in Society?’, International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church (7: 4), pp. 323–336. 2007, ‘Master Narratives and the Future of Christianity’ (Keynote: American Academy of Religion, Philadelphia, November 20, 2005), Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte (59: 1), pp. 1–10. 2007, ‘What I Really Said about Secularization’, Dialog (46: 2), pp. 139–152.


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2008, ‘De l’Appartenance Territorial au Choix Consumériste? Le Context Social des Droits de l’Homme’, Conscience et Liberté (16), pp. 95–102. 2008,‘Does the Advance of Science Mean Secularisation?’ (Templeton Lecture, Cambridge), Scottish Journal of Theology (61: 1), pp. 51–63; also published 2007, Science and Christian Belief (19: 1), pp. 3–14. 2009, ‘La vuelta de Dios: la marca pentecostalista’, Revista de Libros (146), Febrero, pp. 7–11. 2010, ‘Religiöse Antworten’, Transit, Sommer, pp. 58–76. 2012, ‘Feeding the Minds of Serious Christians’ (the mind of Rowan Williams), Church Times (7809), November 16, p. 21. 2012, ‘The Essence of an Accidental Sociologist: An Appreciation of Peter Berger’ (First Annual Peter Berger Lecture, November 11, 2011, Boston University), Society (49: 2), pp. 168–174. 2012, ‘The Political Future of Religion’ (prepared for a workshop at the Villa Gillet, Lyons, July 2012), www.villagillet.net/en/portal/users-guide/detail/article/ quel-avenir-politique-pour-les-religions 2012, ‘Пятидесятничество: транснациональный волюнтаризм в глобальном религиозном хозяйстве’, государство религия џерковь: в россии и за рубежом (30: 1), pp. 165–189. 2012, ‘Релігія, політика і секуляриоація у Східній і Західній Европ’, наукові записки українсбкого католиџбкого університету (число iii: філософія 1), pp. 263–282. 2012–3, ‘Religion und Gewalt: Eine Kritik des “Neuen Atheismus”’, Transit (43: Winter), pp. 137–158. 2013, ‘Establishment Not Unusual’, Faith and Worship (72: 2), pp. 29–36. 2013, ‘Secularisation, Secularism and the Post-Secular’ (variously in German, English and Russian), Religion, Church and State in Russia and Worldwide, Fall issue; also given as a lecture at Heidelberg University in July, 2013. 2014, ‘Nationalism and Religion: Collective Identity and Choice: The 1989 Revolutions, Evangelical Revolution in the Global South, Revolution in the Arab World’ (Ernest Gellner Memorial Lecture), Nations and Nationalism (20: 1), pp. 1–17. 2014, ‘Secularization: An International Debate from a British Perspective’, Society (51: 6), pp. 464–471. 2015, ‘Christentum und Gewalt’, Transit (47: Herbst), pp. 125–130. 2015, ‘Difficult Texts: Matthew 10:37’, Theology (118: 2), pp. 115–117. 2015, ‘Sociology and Theology: With and against the Grain of “the World”’, Implicit Religion (18: 2), pp. 159–176. 2016, ‘Music and the Aesthetic in Worship and Collective Singing: England since 1840’, Society (53: 6), pp. 647–655.

Single published lectures 1985, ‘Religious Vision and Political Reality’, Pamphlet Library No. 7, Centre for the Study of Religion and Society, University of Kent at Canterbury, pp. 1–24. 1986, ‘Religious Vision and Political Reality’ (The Third Sir Robert Madgwick Lecture, given in the University Hall, University of New England, Australia, April 28, 1986), pp. 1–13. 2010, ‘Has Secularisation Gone into Reverse?’ (Given in Malta for Discern: Institute for Research on the Signs of the Times, Director Father Iguanez), Valetta: Signs of the Times, Occasional Paper 13, pp. 3–28.

Complete bibliography


Chapters in edited books 1965, ‘Towards Eliminating the Concept of Secularization’, in Julius Gould (ed.), Penguin Survey of the Social Sciences, Harmondsworth: Penguin, pp. 169–182. 1967, ‘Interpreting the Figures’, in Michael Perry (ed.), Crisis for Confirmation, London: SCM, pp. 106–115. 1968, ‘Trouble in the University’, in Derwent May (ed.), Good Talk (selected BBC broadcasts), London: Gollancz, pp. 121–129. 1970, ‘Persons and Things: R. D. Laing’s Experience of Politics’, in Maurice Cranston (ed.), The New Left, London: Bodley Head, pp. 179–208. 1970, ‘Rome and the Sociologists’, in David Martin and Michael Hill (eds.), A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain No. 3, London: SCM, pp. 1–11. 1971, ‘England’ (with Colin Crouch), in Margaret S. Archer and Salvatore Giner (eds.), Contemporary Europe: Class, Status and Power, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, pp. 241–278. 1971, ‘The Status of the Human Person in the Behavioural Sciences’, in Ronald K. Preston (ed.), Technology and Social Justice (WCC), London: SCM, pp. 237–268. 1972, ‘Great Britain: England’, in Hans Mol (ed.), Western Religion, The Hague and Paris: Mouton, pp. 229–247. 1973, ‘Negare a Validita all Concetto di Secolarizzazione’, in Sabino Acquaviva and Gustavo Guizzardi (eds.), La Secolarizzazione, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp. 187–198. 1975, ‘Mutations: Religio-Political Crisis and the Collapse of Puritanism and Humanism’, in Paul Seabury (ed.), Universities in the Western World, New York: The Free Press, pp. 85–97. 1977, ‘A Command of Words’ and ‘Thee I Love’, in More Words (BBC broadcast talks), London: BBC, pp. 35–38. 1977, ‘Die Aussichten für Glauben und Ideologie’, in Henry Cavanna (ed.), Die Schrecken des Jahres 2000, Stuttgart: Ernst Klett, pp. 230–243. 1977. ‘Secularisation in Spain, Portugal and Greece’, in Mario Vasallo (ed.), Contributions to Mediterranean Studies (University of Malta Conference 1976), Valetta: University of Malta Press, pp. 14–30. 1979, ‘Music and Health, with a Key to Harmony, the English Experience’, in David Moberg (ed.), Spiritual Well-Being: Sociological Perspectives, Washington: University Press of America, pp. 205–214. 1980, ‘A Plea for Our Common Prayer’, in Bryan Morris (ed.), Ritual Murder, Manchester: Carcanet, pp. 11–30. 1980, ‘Age and Sex Variations of Church Attenders’, in Peter Brierley (ed.), Prospects for the Eighties, London: Bible Society, pp. 12–14. 1980, ‘Disorientations to Mainstream Religion’, in Bryan Wilson (ed.), The Social Impact of New Religious Movements, New York: Rose of Sharon Press, pp. 43–58. 1980, ‘The Sociological Mode and the Theological Vocabulary’, in David Martin, John Orme Mills OP and William S. F. Pickering (eds.), Sociology and Theology, Brighton: Harvester Press, pp. 46–58. 1981, ‘Comparing Different Maps of the Same Ground’, in Arthur Peacocke (ed.), The Sciences and Theology in the Twentieth Century, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, pp. 229–240. 1981, ‘Constraints from Society at Large’, The Bloxham Project on Religion in Independent Schools (chair Basil Mitchell), a booklet published by the project, pp. 14–19.


Complete bibliography

1982, ‘The Peace Sentiment Old and New’, in Eileen Barker (ed.), New Religious Movements: A Perspective for Understanding Society, New York and Toronto: Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 107–122. 1983, ‘A Definition of Cult: Terms and Approaches’, in Joseph Fichter, SJ (ed.), Alternatives to American Mainline Churches, New York: Rose of Sharon Press, pp. 27–44. 1983, ‘An Essay in Synthesis’ (Concluding Paper, Rome Conference, April, 1981, Euro-Arab Research Group), in Mourad Wahba (ed.), Youth, Violence, Religion, Cairo: Anglo-Egyptian Bookshop, pp. 425–437. 1983, ‘Revived Dogma and New Cult’, in Mary Douglas and Steven M. Tipton (eds.), Religion and America: Spirituality in a Secular Age, Boston: Beacon Press, pp. 111–129 (originally published in Daedalus [110], Winter, 1981). 1983, ‘The Christian Ethic and the Spirit of Security and Deterrence’, in David Martin and Peter Mullen (eds.), Unholy Warfare: The Church and the Bomb, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 83–107. 1983, ‘Trends and Standards in British Higher Education’, in John Chapman (ed.), The Western University on Trial, Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 167–183. 1983, ‘Where Stands the Prayer Book Now?’, in Anthony Kilmister (ed.), When Will Ye be Wise? The State of the Church of England, London: Blond & Briggs, pp. 151–168. 1984, ‘From Established Church to Secular Lobby’, in Digby Anderson (ed.), The Kindness which Kills, London: SPCK, pp. 134–142. 1984, ‘Personal Identity and a Changed Church’ (originally given in Savannah, Georgia, March 1981), in David Martin and Peter Mullen (eds.), No Alternative: The Prayer Book Controversy, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 12–22. 1984, ‘The Political Economy of the Holy Spirit’, in David Martin and Peter Mullen (eds.), Strange Gifts? A Guide to Charismatic Renewal, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 54–72. 1985, ‘The Professor’, in William Purcell and Kate Purcell (eds.), Seekers and Finders, Oxford: Mowbray, pp. 87–96. 1986, ‘The Secularization Thesis – and the Decline of Particular Religions’, in Hartmut Zinser (ed.), Der Untergang von Religionen, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, pp. 309–320. 1987, ‘Christianity and Secular Modernity’, in Henry Chadwick and Gillian Evans (eds.), Atlas of the Christian Church, Oxford: Equinox, pp. 262–269. 1988, ‘A Cross-Bench View of Associational Religion’, in Giles Ecclestone (ed.), The Parish Church?, London: Mowbray, pp. 43–52. 1988, ‘Catholicism in Transition’ (Introductory Essay), in Thomas Gannon, SJ (ed.), World Catholicism in Transition, London and New York: Macmillan, pp. 3–35. 1988, ‘The Religious Politics of Two Rival Peripheries: Preliminary Excursus on Center and Periphery’ (Festschrift for Edward Shils, my focus being Northern Ireland), in Liah Greenfeld and Michel Martin (eds.), Center: Ideas and Institutions, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 29–42. 1988, ‘The Warring Peripheries: Lebanon’, in Roberto Cipriani and Maria Immaculata Macioti (eds.), Omaggio a Ferraroti, Rome: Siares, pp. 413–424. 1989, ‘The Churches: Pink Bishops and the Iron Lady’, in Dennis Kavanagh and Anthony Seldon (eds.), The Thatcher Effect, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 330–341.

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1991, ‘The Economic Fruits of the Spirit’, in Brigitte Berger (ed.), The Culture of Entrepreneurship, San Francisco: ICS, pp. 73–84. 1993, ‘Marginalisation and Restoration’, in Michael Perham (ed.), Model and Inspiration: The Prayer Book Tradition Today, London: SPCK, pp. 24–28. 1993, ‘The Evangelical Expansion South of the American Border’, in Eileen Barker, James Beckford and Karol Dobbelaere (eds.), Secularization, Rationalism and Sectarianism: Essays in Honour of B. R. Wilson, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 101–124. 1994, ‘David Martin: Personal Experience’, in Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok (ed.), Glimpses of God, London: Duckworth, pp. 50–52. 1994, ‘Evangelical and Charismatic Christianity in Latin America’, in Karla Poewe (ed.), Charismatic Christianity as a Global Culture, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, pp. 73–86. 1994, ‘Religion in Contemporary Europe’, in John Fulton and Peter Gee (eds.), Religion in Contemporary Europe, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 1–16. 1994. ‘Sosiologi og theologi’, in Gustav Erik Gullikstad Karlsaune (eds.), Religionsfag – Samfunnsfag, Trondheim: Tapir Forlag, pp. 109–121. 1995, ‘Bedeviled’ (Case Studies of charismatic possession), in Richard K. Fenn and Donald Capps (eds.), On Losing the Soul: Essays in the Social Psychology of Religion, Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 39–68. 1995, ‘Evangelical Religion and Capitalist Society in Chile’, in Richard Roberts (ed.), Religion and the Transformations of Capitalism: Comparative Approaches, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 215–227. 1995, ‘Jesus Christ and Modern Sociology’, in William Farmer (ed.), Crisis in Christology: Essays in Quest of Resolution, Livonia, MI: Dove Books, pp. 39–46. 1995, ‘L’autonomie de la Religion a l’Égard de la Politique’, in Frank Alvarez-Péreyre (ed.), Le Politique et le Religieux, Jerusalem: Diffusion Peeters, pp. 343–352. 1996, ‘Europa und Amerika’, in Otto Kallscheuer (ed.), Das Europa der Religionen, Frankfurt: S. Fischer, pp. 161–180. 1996, ‘Religion, Secularization and Post-Modernity: Lessons from the Latin American Case’, in Pål Repstad (ed.), Religion and Modernity: Modes of Coexistence, Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, pp. 35–43. 1996, ‘Remise en Question de la Théorie de la Secularisation’, in Grace Davie and Danièle Hervieu-Léger (eds.), Identités Religieuses en Europe, Paris: La Découverte, pp. 25–44. 1997, ‘Collective National Guilt: A Socio-Theological Critique’, in Lawrence Osborn and Andrew Walker (eds.), Harmful Religion: An Exploration of Religious Abuse, London: SPCK, pp. 144–162. 1999, ‘Christian Foundations, Sociological Fundamentals’, in Leslie Francis (ed.), Sociology, Theology and the Curriculum, London and New York: Cassell, pp. 1–49. 1999, ‘Liturgy and Music’ (with Grace Davie), in Tony Walter (ed.), The Mourning for Diana, Oxford and New York: Berg, pp. 187–198. 1999, ‘The Evangelical Upsurge and Its Political Implications’, in Peter Berger (ed.), The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, pp. 37–49. Reprinted in Books and Culture January– February, 2000, pp. 12–15. 2000, ‘Canada in Comparative Perspective’, in David Lyon and Marguerite Van Die (eds.), Rethinking Church, State and Modernity: Canada between Europe and America, Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press, pp. 23–33.


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2000, ‘Retrospective Reflections on the Sacred and the Prayer Book’, in Peter Mullen (ed.), The Real Common Worship, Denton: Edgeways, pp. 83–98. 2001, ‘Berger: An Appreciation’, in Linda Woodhead, Paul Heelas and David Martin (eds.), Peter Berger and the Study of Religion, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 11–16. 2001, ‘Personal Reflections in the Mirror of Halévy and Weber’, in Richard K. Fenn (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 23–38. 2002, ‘The Universality of Christianity’ (in Greek), in Th. Lippovats, N. Demertzis and B. Georgiadou (eds.), Religions and Politics in Modernity, Athens: Edition Kritiki, pp. 42–55. 2003, ‘Changing Your Holy Ground: An Ecology of Sacred and Secular in Cities of the Centre and the Periphery’, in Stephen Barton (ed.), Holiness: Past and Present, London and New York: T&T Clark, pp. 68–92. 2003, ‘On Secularisation and Its Prediction: A Self-Examination’, in Grace Davie, Paul Heelas and Linda Woodhead (eds.), Predicting Religion: Christian, Secular and Alternative Futures, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 30–39. 2004, ‘Evangelical Expansion in Global Society’, in Donald M. Lewis (ed.), Christianity Reborn: The Global Expansion of Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge and Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmanns, pp. 273–294. 2004, ‘The Theological Mode and the Sociological Vocabulary’, in David Martin, John Orme Mills OP and William S. F. Pickering (eds.), Sociology and Theology: Alliance and Conflict (Conferences at Blackfriars, Oxford, 1978 and 1979). Boston and Leiden: Brill, pp. 47–60. 2005, ‘Christianity and Society’, in Rupert Shortt (ed.), God’s Advocates: Christian Thinkers in Conversation, London: DLT, pp. 153–174. 2005, ‘Issues Affecting the Study of Pentecostalism in Asia’, in Allan Anderson and Edmond Tang (eds.), Asian and Pentecostal: The Charismatic Face of Christianity in Asia, Oxford: Regnum Books, pp. 26–36. 2005, ‘Sociology and Spiritual Information: Challenging “Obvious” Opinions’, in Charles Harper (ed.), Spiritual Information: 100 Perspectives on Science and Religion (in honour of Sir John Templeton’s 90th birthday), London and Philadelphia, PA: Templeton Foundation Press, pp. 342–347. 2006, ‘Comparative Secularisation North and South’, in Manuel Franzmann, Christel Gärtner and Nicole Köck (eds.), Religiosität in der säkularisierten Welt, Wiesbaden: VS, pp. 105–122. 2006, ‘Evangelical Expansion and “Progressive Values” in the Developing World’, in Lawrence Harrison and Jerome Kagan (eds.), Developing Cultures: Essays on Cultural Change, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 117–136. 2006, ‘The Sociology of Religion and Handel’s Reception’, in Elisabeth Arweck and William Keenan (eds.), Materializing Religion: Expression, Performance and Ritual, Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 161–174. 2007, ‘Secularisation: Master Narrative or Several Stories?’, in John Stenhouse and Brett Knowles (eds.), Christianity in the Post Secular West, Adelaide: ATF Press, pp. 3–26. 2007, ‘Das europäische Modell der Säkularisierung und seine Bedeutung in Lateinamerika und Afrika’, in Hans Joas and Klaus Wiegandt (eds.), Säkularisierung und die Weltreligionen, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, pp. 435–464; published in English in 2009, as ‘The Relevance of the European Model of Secularization in

Complete bibliography


Latin America and Africa’, in Hans Joas and Klaus Wiegandt (eds.), Secularization and the World Religions (translated by Alex Skinner), Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 278–295. 2007, ‘The Sound of England’ (English music), in Athena S. Leoussi and Steven Grosby (eds.), Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 68–85. 2008, ‘Integration and Fragmentation: Patterns of Religion in Europe’, in Krzysztof Michalski (ed.), Religion in the New Europe, Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, pp. 64–84. 2008, ‘Творение и зсхатология в свете социологии и антропологии’, in науное ѝ богословское осмбісление пределбнбіх вопросов: космология, твореие, зсхатология, Под редакцией Андрея Гриба (ed.), москва: библейско-богословский инстиут, pp. 149–166. 2009, ‘Christianity, Violence, and Democracy: Socio-Historical Selection from a Basic Religious Repertoire’, in Robert Fatton and R. K. Ramazani (eds.), Religion, State, and Society: Jefferson’s Wall of Separation in Comparative Perspective, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 137–154. 2009, ‘Is There an Eastern European Pattern of Secularisation?’, in Simon Marincˆak (ed.), Religion: Problem or Promise? The Role of Religion in the Integration of Europe, Kosˆice: Orientalia et Occidentalia, pp. 129–143. 2009, ‘Sociology and the Church of England’, in Lilian Voyé and Jacques Billiet (eds.), Sociology and Religion, Leuven: Leuven University Press, pp. 131–138. 2009, ‘The Settled Secularity of Happy Denmark’, in Lisbet Christofferson, Hans Iversen, Hanne Petersen and Margit Warburg (eds.), Religion in the 21st Century: Challenges and Transformations, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 183–190. 2009, ‘The USA in Central European Perspective’, in Jürgen Gebhardt (ed.), Religious Cultures: Communities of Belief, Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, pp. 11–23. 2010, ‘A Relational Ontology Reviewed in Sociological Perspective’ (the example of musical performance), in John Polkinghorne (ed.), The Trinity and an Entangled World, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmanns, pp. 168–183. 2010, ‘Homeland and Diaspora: The Case of Pentecostalism’, in Allon Gal, Athena Leoussi and Anthony Smith (eds.), The Call of the Homeland: Diaspora Nationalisms, Past and Present, Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 345–361. 2010, ‘Inscribing the General Theory of Secularization and Its Basic Patterns in the Architectural Space/Time of the City: From Presecular to Postsecular’, in Arie Molendijk, Justin Beaumont and Christoph Jedan (eds.), Exploring the Postsecular: The Religious, the Political and the Urban, Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 103–206. 2010, ‘Pentecostalism: A Christian Revival Sweeping the Developing World’, in Eliezer Ben-Rafael and Yitzhak Sternberg (eds.), World Religions and Multiculturalism: A Dialectic Relation (Jerusalem conference), Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 93–118. 2010, ‘Religion and Politics’, in Eileen Barker (ed.), The Centrality of Religion in Social Life: Essays in Honour of James A. Beckford, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 161–174. 2012 (with Rebecca Catto), ‘The Religious and the Secular’, in Linda Woodhead and Rebecca Catto (eds.), Religion and Change in Modern Britain, London and New York: Routledge: pp. 372–390. 2012, ‘Axial Religions and the Problem of Violence’, in Robert Bellah and Hans Joas (eds.), The Axial Age and Its Consequences, Cambridge, MA and London: Belknap Press, pp. 294–316.


Complete bibliography

2012, ‘Charisma and Founding Fatherhood’, in Vivian Ibrahim and Margit Wünsch (eds.), Political Leadership, Nations and Charisma, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, pp. 40–51. 2012, ‘Religión, Politíca y Secularización: Comparaciones entre Europe del Ouest y Europe del Este’, in Rodrigo Mun´oz, Javier Canizares and Guitian Sánchez (eds.), Religión, Sociedad Moderna, y Razón Práctica, Pamplona: EUNSA, pp. 15–31, also printed in Ukrainian for a visit to L’viv Catholic University, 2011. 2013, ‘Handel and British Protestant Nationalism’, in Wolfgang Flügel (ed.), Spurenlese: Kulturelle Wirkungen der Reformation, Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, pp. 363–378. 2013, ‘Pentecostalism: An Alternative Form of Modernity and Modernization?’, in Robert Hefner (ed.), Global Pentecostalism in the 21st Century, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, pp. 37–62. 2013, ‘Pentecostals: The Great-Grandchildren of Luther’, in Wolfgang Flügel (ed.), Spurenlese: Kulturelle Wirkungen Der Reformation, Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, pp. 245–260. 2013, ‘Voluntarism: Niche Markets Created by a Fissile Transnational Faith’, in Robert Hefner, John Hutchinson, Sara Mels and Christiane Timmerman (eds.), Religions in Movement: The Local and the Global in Contemporary Faith Traditions, New York and Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 180–195. 2014, ‘Andrew Walker: On Walking the Interface between Sociology and Theology’, in Martyn Percy and Pete Ward (eds.), The Wisdom of the Spirit: Gospel, Church and Culture (in honour of Andrew Walker), Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 139–150. 2015, ‘Discrete Constellations, Occluded Foundations, and Implicit Contestations in the Sociology of Religion’, in Abby Day and Mia Lövheim (eds.), Modernities, Memory and Mutations: Grace Davie and the Study of Religion, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 79–94. 2016 (with Bernice Martin) ‘Afterword’, in Martin Lindhardt (ed.), New Ways of Being Pentecostal in Latin America, Lanham, MD: Lexington, pp. 225–241. 2016, ‘Christianity and Western Classical Music (1700–2000)’, in Michael McClymond and Lamin Sanneh (eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to World Christianity, Oxford, Chichester and Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 350–358. 2016, ‘Christianity in Europe and North America: Decline, Transition or Pluralization?’, in Michael McClymond and Lamin Sanneh (eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to World Christianity, Oxford, Chichester and Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 719–732. 2017, ‘Theology, Social Science and the “Power” of Religion and of the Spirit’, in Mathew Guest and Martha Middlemiss Lé Mon (eds.), Death, Life and Laughter: Essays on Religion in Honour of Douglas Davies, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 161–174. 2019, ‘A Response to Charles Taylor’, book edited by Anthony Carroll.

Selected reviews Books and Culture Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America, Anthony Gill (Chicago: University of Chicago Press); and The Brazilian Popular Church and the Crisis of Modernity, Manuel Vasquez (Cambridge: Cambridge

Complete bibliography


University Press). ‘Bear Market for Base Communities’ (and the competition of Pentecostalism) (5: 1), January/February, pp. 20–22. American Evangelical Christianity: An Introduction, Mark A. Noll (Oxford: Blackwell). ‘Whatever Happened to Methodism’ (7: 3), May/June, 2001, pp. 14–17 and 40–43. Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba, John Peel (Indianopolis: Indiana University Press); and David Maxwell (ed.), Christianity and the African Imagination: Essays in Honour of Adrian Hastings (Leiden and Boston: Brill). ‘Africa: A Mission Accomplished?’ (8: 6), November/December, 2002, pp. 11–15. The Anthropology of Christianity, Fenella Cannell (ed.) (Raleigh and Durham: Duke University Press); and Webb Keane, Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter (Berkeley: University of California Press). ‘Anthropology’s “Other”’ (13: 3), May/June, 2007, pp. 20–21. Reason to Believe: Cultural Agency in Latin American Evangelicalism, David Smilde (Berkeley: University of California Press); and Gender, Social Change and Spiritual Power: Charismatic Christianity in Ghana, Jane Soothill (Leiden and Boston: Brill). ‘“I yet not I”’ (14: 2), March/April, 2008, pp. 36–39. Butterflies and Barbarians: Swiss Missionaries and Systems of Knowledge in SouthEast Africa, Patrick Harries (Athens: Ohio University Press). ‘Unintended Consequences’ (15: 1), January/February, 2009, pp. 16–18. The Role of Religion in Modern Societies (Focus East Germany), Detlef Pollack and Daniel Olsen (eds.) (London and New York: Routledge). ‘Post-Secular?’ (15: 5), September/October, 2009, pp. 17–19. (Second Part) ‘East Germany: Nature & Artefact’ (15: 6), November/December, 2009, pp. 25–29. The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia, Annette Landgraf and David Vickers (eds.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). ‘The Handel Revolution’ (17: 2), March/April, 2011, pp. 11–15. The Passing of Protestant England: Secularisation and Social Change c. 1920–1970, Simon Green (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). ‘Another Strange Death: Protestant England’ (20: 3), May/June, 2014, pp. 11–14.

The Times Literary Supplement The Sociological Interpretation of Religion, Roland Robertson. ‘The Sociological Church Militant’, March 5, 1970, Issue 3547. A Rumour of Angels, Peter Berger. ‘Signals of Transcendence’, June 4, 1970, Issue 3562. The Conditions of Social Performance, Cyril Belshaw. ‘All the World’s a Stage’, June 25, 1970, Issue 3565. The Sociology of Protestantism, Roger Mehl. ‘Church Social’, October 2, 1970, Issue 3579. Television: The Ephemeral Art, T. C. Worsley. ‘The Wronged Box’, November 6, 1970, Issue 3584. Masters and Scholars, Eric Ashby. ‘Styles of Academic Liberalism’, January 29, 1971, Issue 3596. Sociological Work, Howard Becker. ‘Joining and Deviating’, May 7, 1971, Issue 3610. Functionalism, Exchange and Theoretical Strategy, M. J. Muckay. ‘The Stagnation of Theory’, July 9, 1971, Issue 3619. University Authority and the Student: The Berkeley Experience, Michael Otten. ‘Lost Order’, June 16, 1971, Issue 3620.


Complete bibliography

The Exploding University, Christopher Driver. ‘Rapid Movement around the Campus’, August 27, 1971, Issue 3626. Anarchy and Apathy: Student Unrest 1968–1970, Margaret Anne Rooke. ‘Students versus Staff’, October 29, 1971, Issue 3635. The Black Papers on Education. C. B. Cox and A. E. Dyson (eds.). ‘False Alarm?’, December 17, 1971, Issue 3642. Sens et Puissance, Georges Balandier. ‘Convergence and Difference’, January 7, 1972, Issue 3645. Crisis in Utopia, Peter Munch. ‘To the Present and Back’, March 10, 1972, Issue 3654. Max Weber and Modern Sociology, Arun Sahay (ed.). ‘The Technical and the Ethical’, March 24, 1972, Issue 3656. R. H. Tawney’s Commonplace Book, R. H. Tawney. ‘A Socialism based on Christianity’, April 28, 1972, Issue 3661. Toward a Sociology of Irreligion, Colin Campbell. ‘To Measure Godlessness’, April 28, 1972, Issue 3661. Towards Deep Subjectivity, Roger Poole. ‘Beyond Mere Cognition’, June 23, 1972, Issue 3669. The Explanation of Social Behaviour, Rom Harre and P. T. Secord. ‘Making Room for Language’, October 27, 1972, Issue 3686. Rebellion in the University, Seymour Martin Lipset. ‘Liberal Illiberalism’, November 17, 1972, Issue 3689. Rethink: A Paraprimitive Solution, Gordon Rattray Taylor. ‘The Absent Father’, November 17, 1972, Issue 3689. The Making of a Television Series: A Case Study in the Sociology of Culture, Philip Elliot. ‘Gliberalism on the Box’, November 24, 1972, Issue 3690. The Applicability of Organisational Sociology, Christopher Argyris. ‘The Human Angle’, December 1, 1972, Issue 3691. The Intellectuals and the Powers, Edward Shils. ‘The Ideal of Civility’, January 20, 1973, Issue 3699. Knowledge, Education and Cultural Change, Richard K. Brown. ‘Progressive Curricula’, March 30, 1973, Issue 3708. The Concept of a University, Kenneth Minogue. ‘On Being an Academic’, June 29, 1973, Issue 3721. Individualism, Steven Lukes. ‘The One and the Many’, July 13, 1973, Issue 3723. Meanings and Situations, Arthur Brittan. ‘More than Just a Reflex’, September 14, 1973, Issue 3732. The Symmetrical Family, Peter Willmot. ‘Keeping It in the Family’, October 26, 1973, Issue 3738. Dons and Students: British Universities Today, John MacCallum Scott. ‘Quality before Equality’, November 9, 1973, Issue 3740. Making the World Safe for Pornography, Edward Mishan. ‘Decency’s Defence’, November 16, 1973, Issue 3741. The Idea of Culture in the Social Sciences, Louis Schneider and Charles Bonjean (eds.). ‘The Model Modellers’, December 14, 1973, Issue 3745. Ideology and Social Knowledge, Harold Bershady. ‘The Action Approach’, January 11, 1974, Issue 3749. Making Institutions Work, Geoffrey Vickers. ‘Human and Institutional Man’, February 1, 1974, Issue 3752.

Complete bibliography


Class and Religion in the late Victorian City, Hugh McLeod. ‘The Breaking of the Sabbath’, February 14, 1975, Issue 3806. Religious Movements in Contemporary America, Irving Zaretsky and Mark Leone (eds.). ‘Polymorphous Pieties’, June 13, 1975, Issue 3823. Gypsy Demons and Divinities, E. B. Trigg. ‘Hard Travelling’, January 2, 1976, Issue 3851. Center and Periphery, Edward Shils. ‘Of Social Bridge’, March 19, 1976, Issue 3862. Pyramids of Sacrifice, Peter Berger. ‘A Calculus of Pain’, May 14, 1976, Issue 3870. Music and the Middle Class, William Weber. ‘Overture for Promenaders’, May 21, 1976, Issue 3871. Music and Society since 1815, Henry Raynor. ‘Social Harmonies’, October 1, 1976, Issue 3890. Citizens for Decency, Louis Zurcher and R. George Kirkpatrick. ‘Prestige versus Porn’, December 24, 1976, Issue 3902. Religion and Respectability, Thomas Walter Laquer. ‘To School on Sunday’, April 29, 1977, Issue 3920. Richard Titmuss, David Riesman. ‘Speaking for Welfare’, December 2, 1977, Issue 3949. Immigrants and Minorities in British Society, Colin Holmes. ‘John Bull’s Other Islanders’, May 26, 1978, Issue 3973. Rastafarian: The Rastafarian Movement in England, Ernest Cashmore. ‘Looking to Ethiopia’, January 25, 1980, Issue 4009. The World of Goods, Mary Douglas and Baron Isherwood. ‘Naming, Branding and Marketing’, June 20, 1980, Issue 4030. Fundamentalism and American Culture, George Marsden. ‘Back to the Beginning’, December 18, 1981, Issue 4107. Tradition, Edward Shils. ‘Containing the Progressives’, July 23, 1982, Issue 4138. Between Pulpit and Pew, David Clark. ‘Warmed Hearts by the Sea’, October 15, 1982, Issue 4150. A Woman to Deliver Her People, James K. Hopkins. ‘The Woman Clothed with the Sun’, November 26, 1982, Issue 4156. Risk and Culture, Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky. ‘Pollution and a Sense of Proportion’, March 18, 1983, Issue 4172. A History of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, ‘Faith, Flour and Jam’, April 1, 1983, Issue 4174. The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, Michael Novak. ‘Getting away from Gradgrind’, December 2, 1983, Issue 4209. The Cross and the Bomb, Francis Bridger (ed.). ‘The Limits of Pacifism’, February 4, 1984, Issue 4221. Habits of the Heart, Robert Bellah. ‘Searching for the Agora’, September 20, 1985, Issue 4303. Religious Enthusiasm in the New World, David Lovejoy. ‘Piety with Prosperity’, March 7, 1986, Issue 4327. The Way of the Black Messiah, Theo Witvliet. ‘Holding Together?’, September 11, 1987, Issue 4406. The Future of Christianity, David Edwards. ‘Through Pink Glasses’, January 8, 1988, Issue 4423. Will Herberg, Harry Ausmus. ‘Land of the Free to Believe’, February 12, 1988, Issue 4428.


Complete bibliography

Representing God in Washington, Allen Hertzke. ‘States of Being Almost Chosen’, August 5, 1988, Issue 4453. Wilderness Lost, David R. Williams. ‘Standing Fast in the Promised Land’, September 30, 1988, Issue 4461. The Work, Fergal Bowers. ‘Practising the Apostolic Art’, September 22, 1989, Issue 4512. Awash in a Sea of Faith, Jon Butler. ‘In a Spiritual Hothouse’, September 21, 1990, Issue 4564. All Things New, Robert S. Fogarty. ‘Brave New World Settlers’, December 28, 1990, Issue 4578. Handel, Hamish Swanston. ‘Hallelujah Case Study’, March 29, 1991, Issue 4591. The American Religion, Harold Bloom. ‘Self-Knowing Self Worship’, October 30, 1992, Issue 4674. Popular Voices in Latin American Catholicism, Daniel Levine. ‘Faith Escaping the Hierarchies’, December 18, 1992, Issue 4681. When Time Shall Be No More, Paul Boyer. ‘Scripture Tells Us’, March 5, 1993, Issue 4692. Serpent Handling Believers, Thomas Burton. ‘Snakes Alive’, February 4, 1994, Issue 4736. Religion and the Making of Society, Charles Davis. ‘Consensus under the Mount’, March 25, 1994, Issue 4747. Pedlar in Divinity, Frank Lambert. ‘The Market for the Messiah’, June 22, 1994, Issue 4764. Special Love/Special Sex, Robert S. Fogarty. ‘A Snake in Eden’, May 19, 1995, Issue 4807. Plurality and Christian Ethics, Ian Markham. ‘Diversities of Faith’, July 14, 1995, Issue 4815. Struggle for the Spirit, David Lehmann. ‘Space for the Expansive Spirit’, March 28, 1997, Issue 4904. The New Age Movement, Paul Heelas. ‘Medium and Massage’, August 29, 1997, Issue 4924. Glorious Battle, John Shelton Reed. ‘Plucked out of Nostalgia’, November 28, 1997. Redeeming Laughter, Peter Berger. ‘The Divine Comedy’, December 12, 1997, Issue 4939. Lived Religion in America, David Hall (ed.). ‘In the Republic of Spirit’, May 22, 1998, Issue 4962. The Bible and the Comic Vision, J. William Whedbee. ‘Larking about Arks’, December 25, 1998, Issue 4993. The Character of God, Thomas E. Jenkins. ‘Not Cast in This World’s Forms’, April 2, 1999, Issue 5008. Apocalypses, Eugen Weber; and Messianic Revolution, David Katz and Richard Popkin. ‘Opening up the Heavenlies’, December 31, 1999, Issue 5047. Pentecostalism in Brazil, André Corten. ‘The Noisy Ecstasy of the Poor’, April 7, 2000, Issue 5062. Desire and Duty at Oneida, Robert S. Fogarty. ‘Not Making Music’, August 25, 2000, Issue 5082. Choice and Religion, Steve Bruce. ‘Market Forces’, February 23, 2001, Issue 5108. Concise Encyclopedia of Language and Religion, John Sawyer and J. M. Y. Simpson (eds.). ‘Babels and Bibles’, September 21, 2001, Issue 5138.

Complete bibliography


Religion in Mind, Jensine Andresen; and Religion Explained, Pascal Boyer. ‘It Used to Be Catching’, May 29, 2002, Issue 5165. Atheism, Morality and Meaning, Michael Martin. ‘The Ideal Observers’, February 7, 2003, Issue 5210. Strong Religion, Gabriel Almond. ‘Blinded by the Enlightenment’, June 20, 2003, Issue 5229. Religion in Europe at the End of the Second Millennium, Andrew Greeley; and Europe: The Exceptional Case, Grace Davie. ‘The Future Is Not That Orange’, November 28, 2003, Issue 5252. Christianity and the Religions, Jacques Dupuis. ‘Pews for Pagans’, March 5, 2004, Issue 5266. All in Sync, Robert Wuthnow. ‘Soul Music’, May 21, 2004, Issue 5277. Bonds of Imperfection, Oliver O’Donovan and Joan Lockwood O’Donovan. ‘Some Academic Distinctions’, December 24 and 31, 2004, Issue 5308. To Heal a Fractured World, Jonathan Sachs. ‘If Way to the Better’, August 19, 2005, Issue 5313. Waiting for Antichrist, Damian Thompson. ‘The Ripe Time’, October 7, 2005, Issue 5348. Shamans, Sorcerers and Saints, Bryan Hayden. ‘Prayers for our Ancestors’, March 24, 2006, Issue 5373. A Sociological History of Christian Worship, Martin Stringer. ‘And Then There’s Ufology’, July 16, 2006, Issue 5385. The Great Transformation, Karen Armstrong. ‘Shelves of Sincerity’, June 30, 2006, Issue 5387. Christianity: The Complete Guide, John Bowden (ed.). ‘Bright and Beautiful’, August 4, 2006, Issue 5392. The Branch Davidians of Waco, Ken Newport. ‘Cereal Beliefs’, September 29, 2006, Issue 5400. Is Religion Dangerous?, Keith Ward. ‘Beware, Beware’, December 15, 2006, Issue 5411. The Talking Book, Allen Dwight Callaghan. ‘Despised, Revised’, April 6, 2007, Issue 5427. The Price of Peace, Charles Reed and David Ryan (eds.). ‘To Fight or Not’, June 29, 2007, Issue 5439. Black Mass, John Gray. ‘Spilt Religion’, August 10, 2007, Issue 5445. Culture Counts, Roger Scruton. ‘A Common Pursuit’, January 11, 2008, Issue 5467. My Unwritten Books, George Steiner. ‘Mapper of Minds’, May 2, 2008, Issue 5483. Resounding Truth, Jeremy Begbie. ‘Total Bach’, September 5, 2008, Issue 5501. The Fire Spreads, Randall Stephens. ‘In Tongues’, September 19, 2008, Issue 5503. Political Hypocrisy, David Runciman. ‘Let’s Be Honest’, January 2, 2009, Issue 5518. Evangelicals and Israel, Stephen Spector. ‘No End-Time in Sight’, July 17, 2009, Issue 5546. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gregory Wills. ‘Fundamentally’, March 21, 2010, Issue 5590. The Myth of Religious Violence, William T. Cavanaugh. ‘Fighting for Futures’, December 17, 2010, Issue 5620. The Good Book: A Secular Bible, A. C. Grayling. ‘Heapeth up Riches’, June 3, 2011, Issue 5644.


Complete bibliography

Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics, Richard Harries and Stephen Platten. ‘Limited Utilities’, July 29, 2011, Issue 5652. Zeal for Zion, Shalom Goldman. ‘A Striking Array’, August 19, 2011, Issue 5655/6. Religion in Human Evolution, Robert Bellah. ‘Core Process’, May 11, 2012, Issue 5693. Aimee Semple McPherson and the Making of Modern Pentecostalism 1890–1926, Chas Barfoot. ‘Miracle and Magic’, 25 May, 2012, Issue 5695. In Defence of War, Nigel Biggar. ‘Somersaults’, December 13, 2013, Issue 5776. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, Stephen Greenblatt. ‘Garden of Reading’, December 22 and 29, 2017, Issue 5986. This bibliography does not contain all book reviews published over more than fifty years in: The Times Literary Supplement, The Times Educational Supplement, The Times Higher Educational Supplement, Theology, Books and Culture, The Tablet, The Church Times, National Review, New Statesman, The Listener, The Spectator, British Journal of Sociology, The Journal of Contemporary Religion, Journal of Religion in Africa.

Name Index

Albrecht, Holger 129 Altınordu, Ates¸ 38 Apel, Karl-Otto 9 Appleby, R. Scott 137 Arendt, Hannah 52, 63 Asad, Talal 33 Asal, Victor 129 Assmann, Jan 125 Auden, W.H. 173, 176 Augustine of Hippo 29n8, 148–149, 156, 172 Aung San Suu Kyi 182 Bach, Johann Sebastian 118, 172, 175–176 Baker, Janet 186 Barber, Samuel 174 Barbirolli, John 186 Basedau, Matthias 129 Bax, Clifford 18, 29n2 Beck, Ulrich 125 Beckford, James A. 78–79 Beethoven, Ludwig van 172–173, 176 Bellah, Robert N. 9, 25, 28, 41, 132–133, 183 Benedict XVI (Pope) 169 Berdyaev, Nikolai A. 163 Berger, Peter L. 32, 62, 64n3, 91, 95, 103, 183 Berlioz, Hector 173, 175 Berry, Neil 181–182 Blaschke, Olaf 82n2 Blumenberg, Hans 55, 153 Böckenförde, Ernst-Wolfgang 152, 156 Bonhoeffer, Dietrich 22 Booth, Charles 68 Bormann, Nils-Christian 128–129, 131 Boulard, Fernand 80, 83n14 Brahms, Johannes 176 Braudel, Fernand 171 Brendel, Alfred 172

Brewitt-Taylor, Sam 75–76, 79, 81, 178 Britten, Benjamin 173, 175–176, 182 Brown, Callum 75, 80–81, 82n8 Bruce, Steve 107, 114, 116, 183 Bruckner, Anton 173 Bruneau, Thomas 169 Brunner, Emil 163 Büchner, Georg 57 Bunte, Jonas B. 129 Bunyan, John 175 Butterfield, Herbert 163 Cardoso, Fernando Henrique 103 Carroll, Anthony 7, 11, 184–185 Carter, Jimmy 182 Casanova, José 6–7, 12, 25, 33, 108, 111, 158, 162, 165, 167–171 Cassirer, Ernst 9 Cavalli, Francesco 172 Cavanaugh, William T. 152, 154 Cederman, Lars-Erik 128–129, 131 Celan, Paul 173 Chadwick, Owen 183 Chapman, John W. 179 Cherubini, Luigi 175 Chesterton, G.K. 163 Christiano, Kevin J. 4 Coleman, Simon 167 Collier, Paul 130 Collingwood, R.G. 65n8 Comte, Auguste 119 Copland, Aaron 174 Costa, Paolo 12, 182, 184, 186 Cox, Harvey 22, 53–55, 74 Cranston, Maurice 164 D’Arcy, Martin 163 Darwin, Charles 59, 126 Davie, Grace 12, 50, 109, 115, 117, 177, 183 Davies, Christie 80


Name Index

Dawkins, Richard 125–126 Dawson, Christopher 163 Dawson, Lorne L. 53 Debussy, Claude 175 De Juan, Alexander 128 Derrida, Jacques 183 Descartes, René 59 Donizetti, Gaetano 175 Donne, John 29n2 Douglas, Mary 158 Duffy, Eamon 179 Durkheim, Émile 11, 21–22, 36, 69, 83n14, 127, 183 Dvorˇák, Antonín 173 Eisenstadt, Shmuel N. 9–10, 25, 28, 35, 133, 165–166 Elgar, Edward 174 Eliot, T.S. 29n2, 149, 163, 173, 176, 187 Elkana, Yehuda 136 Ellingsen, Tanja 130 Endres, Jürgen 138 Fauré, Gabriel 186 Fenn, Richard K. 110 Feuerbach, Ludwig 69 Field, Clive D. 75, 80 Fokas, Effie 184 Ford, Richard 185 Førde, Einar 113 Foucault, Michel 183 Fox, Jonathan 130 Francis (Pope) 99–101, 182 Franco, Francisco 91 Frei Montalva, Eduardo 91 Freud, Sigmund 69 Froude, James Anthony 171 Gabrieli, Giovanni 172 Galileo Galilei 59–60 Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand 17–18 Gill, Anthony 43, 91, 170 Gilson, Étienne 163 Girard, René 14, 148–151, 157–158, 185–186 Glemp, Józef 104n3 Goguel, Maurice 163 Gore, Charles 163 Gorski, Philip S. 38 Gould, Julius 20, 29n5 Gounod, Charles 175 Gray, John N. 58 Green, Simon J.D. 80 Greenblatt, Stephen 183 Gregory, Brad S. 171–172

Habermas, Jürgen 30n12, 77–78 Habyarimana, Juvénal 139 Hafez, Mohammed M. 138 Hagopian, Frances 170 Halévy, Élie 9, 25, 100, 165, 174 Halikiopoulou, Daphne 184 Handel, George Frideric 115–116, 118, 172, 174, 176 Harris, Roy 174 Harris, Sam 125 Harvey, David 76 Hasenclever, Andreas 8, 13–14, 179, 184 Hastings, Adrian 70 Haydn, Joseph 173 Heer, Friedrich 163 Hefner, Robert 165 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 3, 12, 58, 60 Herbert, George 29n2, 186 Herder, Johann Gottfried 174 Hervieu-Léger, Danièle 183 Himmelfarb, Gertrude 82n1, 166 Hintze, Otto 4 Hoeffler, Anke 130 Holst, Gustav 174 Hopkins, Gerard Manley 163 Horowitz, Michael C. 125–126 Hügel, Friedrich von 163 Hume, David 57 Huntington, Samuel 125 Huxley, Aldous 182 Ignatieff, Michael 126 Inglehart, Ronald 108–111 Isaacs, Matthew 128 Ives, Charles 174 Jackson, Michael 83n14 James, P.D. 179 Jaspers, Karl 9, 20, 25, 35 Jenkins, Daniel 74 Joas, Hans 61, 78–79, 133–134, 140, 152, 158, 162, 183–184 John Paul II (Pope) 100, 104n3, 169–170 Jones, David 182 Juergensmeyer, Mark 126 Jung, Dietrich 138 Kaesler, Dirk 2 Kant, Immanuel 60, 175 Kantorowicz, Ernst 153–155 Karakaya, Süveyda 129 King, Winston L. 124, 133–134 Knöbl, Wolfgang 3 Knox, Ronald 187

Name Index Knudsen, Tim 112 Koenig, Matthias 7, 9, 11, 184 Köhler, Kevin 129 Korteweg, Rem 137–138 Koselleck, Reinhart 152–153 Kuhn, Thomas S. 55 Lacina, Bethany 130 Laing, R.D. 164, 178 Lancaster, Roger N. 171 Larkin, Philip 72 Lasky, Melvin J. 179 Law, William 29n2 Le Bras, Gabriel 80, 82n13 Le Bras, Hervé 82n13 Lehmann, David 169 Levine, Daniel H. 88, 90, 92–93, 168, 170 Lipset, Seymour Martin 38–39, 179 Liszt, Franz 173 Lobkowicz, Nicholas 179 Loisy, Alfred 163 Louis XVI (King of France) 175 Løvland, Anne 116, 118 Löwenthal, Richard 179 Löwith, Karl 58 Luckmann, Thomas 33, 183 Luczewski, Michal 14, 165, 184–186 Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio 103 Lunn, Arnold 163 Luther, Martin 112, 167, 187 Machiavelli, Niccolò 127 MacLeod, George 18 MacLeod, Hugh 178 MacMillan, James 173 MacRae, Donald G. 18 Mahler, Gustav 173, 176, 186 Mannheim, Karl 164 Maritain, Jacques 91 Marshall, Peter 172 Martin, Bernice 51 Marx, Karl 2, 38, 58, 60, 69, 150, 183 Mascall, Eric L. 163 Mayr, Ernst 59 Mayrl, Damon 44, 184 McLeod, Hugh 75 McNeill, William H. 55 Mearsheimer, John J. 127 Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix 173, 175 Messiaen, Olivier 173, 175–176 Meyer, Birgit 167 Milbank, John 23, 36, 155 Milton, John 185 Mishra, Pankaj 164 Monteverdi, Claudio 172


Morello, Gustavo 104n2 Morgenthau, Hans 52 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus 172, 186 Murry, John Middleton 182 Niebuhr, H. Richard 8, 10, 34–35 Niebuhr, Reinhold 8, 18, 20, 23–24, 149, 162–165, 182 Nielsen, Carl 173 Nietzsche, Friedrich 69 Nordås, Ragnhild 130 Norris, Pippa 108–111 Nsengiyumva, Vincent 139 Obama, Barack 182 Pannenberg, Wolfhart 134–135, 140 Parsons, Talcott 40–41 Parton, Dolly 118 Pascal, Blaise 29n2, 148–149, 163 Passmore, John 179 Pate, Amy 129 Pearce, Susanna 130 Pfeiffer, Birte 129 Pickering, W.S.F. 83n14 Pinochet, Augusto 169–170 Popper, Karl 12, 24, 29n9, 57–58, 64n8, 150, 184 Poulat, Émile 40 Poulenc, Francis 175–176 Presley, Elvis 118 Proust, Marcel 150 Puccini, Giacomo 175 Quick, Oliver Chase 163 Rawls, John 77–78 Reed, John Shelton 50 Repstad, Pål 13, 162, 172, 176 Ricœur, Paul 12 Riesebrodt, Martin 124, 133–134, 183 Rilke, Rainer Maria 173, 176 Robinson, John A.T. 22 Robinson, Marilynne 183, 185 Rokkan, Stein 38–39 Rossini, Gioachino 175 al-Sadr, Muqtada 138 Sassoon, Siegfried 182 Schleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst 173, 175 Schluchter, Wolfgang 2 Schmidt-Leukel, Perry 126 Schmitt, Carl 14, 148, 152–153, 156–157, 159n2, 185–186


Name Index

Schoenberg, Arnold 173 Schubert, Franz 149 Schulzke, Marcus 129 Schumann, Robert 173 Schweitzer, Albert 29n2, 163 Seabury, Paul 179 Shaw, George Bernard 151 Sheppard, Dick 181 Shils, Edward 6, 23, 179 Sibelius, Jean 173 Simmel, Georg 39 al-Sistani, Ali 138–139 Smith, Christian 43, 184 Söderbom, Måns 130 Soper, Donald 18 Spencer, Anthony 178 Spengler, Oswald 65n15, 163 Stark, Rodney 53, 55, 183 Steiner, George 180 Stewart, Frances 130 Stravinsky, Igor 173 Streeter, Burnett Hillman 163 Svensson, Isak 130–131 Swift, Jonathan 123 Symonds, John Addington 18, 29n2 Taylor, Charles 3, 10, 12, 28, 32, 36–37, 53, 55–58, 61–62, 65n10, 158, 182–184 Taylor, Jeremy 29n2 Temple, William 163 Thaut Vinson, Laura 129 Thumala Olave, María Angélica 169 Tillich, Paul 22 Tito (Josip Broz) 137

Tocqueville, Alexis de 100 Todd, Emmanuel 82n13 Toft, Monica Duffy 125, 130 Tolstoy, Leo 17–18 Torres Restrepo, Camilo 101 Troeltsch, Ernst 4, 10, 20, 34–35, 165 Trump, Donald J. 185 Tschannen, Olivier 50 Turner, Victor W. 158 Tusicisny, Andrej 130 Underhill, Evelyn 163 Vaughan, Henry 29n2 Vaughan Williams, Ralph 175 Véliz, Claudio 171 Verdi, Giuseppe 175 Voegelin, Eric 1 Vogt, Manuel 128–129, 131 Vüllers, Johannes 129 Wacker, Grant 166 Wagner, Richard 173–176 Weber, Marianne 2 Weber, Max 1–4, 9–11, 13, 18, 20–22, 28, 29n6, 34–36, 38, 69, 87, 103, 159n2, 162–163, 165, 174, 176, 180, 183 Wesley, Charles 29n2, 167 Wiktorowicz, Quintan 129 Wilson, Bryan R. 18, 54 Wittgenstein, Ludwig 54 Wittrock, Björn 9, 46 Zanatta, Loris 171 Zuckerman, Phil 110–111, 120n3

Subject Index

architecture 13, 23, 114, 148, 162, 174, 176–177 Axial Age 3, 9–10, 14, 25, 28, 35, 46, 124, 132–136, 140, 180 Buddhism 16, 18–19, 28, 35, 92, 99, 104, 134, 165, 168, 180, 182 Catholicism 2, 7–8, 12–14, 16, 19, 21–22, 24–27, 37, 39–41, 43–44, 69–70, 80, 85–102, 104, 109, 139, 154, 158, 163, 165, 167–171, 173–175, 177–179, 182, 187 Christianity 6–8, 10–13, 16–19, 22–26, 28, 34–38, 41, 45–46, 51, 63, 69, 71–77, 85–89, 91, 94, 96–97, 103, 107, 109–115, 117–119, 123–124, 127, 129, 134, 140, 147, 149–150, 152–154, 156, 158, 163, 165, 168, 170, 172–173, 175–182, 185, 187 Christianization 10, 13, 16, 19–20, 36 church–state relation 13, 25–26, 33–34, 36, 40–43, 45, 87–91, 95, 100–101, 108–113, 139, 152, 166, 171, 177 contingency 11–12, 17, 20, 28, 38, 41–42, 54, 60–61, 77, 87, 107, 124, 131, 134–136, 139, 184 conversion 1, 7–8, 14, 19, 24, 36, 90, 95, 100, 148–152, 157–159, 167 democratization 12, 19, 87, 90, 93, 96 differentiation, functional 5, 11, 32–34, 38, 40–46, 94, 107, 127–128, 148, 157, 177 Enlightenment 24–25, 46, 51, 58, 95–96, 108–109, 154, 168, 175, 177 eschatology 9, 17, 21, 23, 27–28, 35, 166, 185

Evangelicalism 10, 19, 25–26, 37, 52, 69, 74, 85–88, 93–94, 99–100, 102, 109, 116, 165, 169, 174–175, 181 Hinduism 35, 70, 99, 134, 165–166 historicism 4–5, 12, 24, 57–58, 150, 184 Islam 19, 35, 70, 73, 92, 95, 99, 104, 129, 134, 136–140, 165–166, 168, 180 Judaism 18, 35, 70, 92, 95, 99, 134, 167, 179, 181 liturgy/religious rituals 18, 23, 28, 34, 81–82, 109–110, 115–118, 148, 173–176, 178–180, 182, 186–187 Lutheranism 19, 26, 109–112, 114, 118, 163, 166, 174 marxism 2, 18, 22, 24, 90, 92, 179, 184 Methodism 9, 25–26, 86, 88–89, 116, 163, 166–167, 174 modernity/multiple modernities/postmodernity 3–4, 10–11, 13, 17, 22–25, 27–28, 32–33, 36–42, 44–46, 51, 54, 58–59, 63, 73–74, 76–79, 87, 89, 93, 95–96, 100, 102–104, 108, 110, 115–116, 124, 127, 147, 155–156, 158, 165–166, 174, 176–177, 183 modernization, (theory of) 3, 5, 10–11, 19, 27, 33, 38, 41, 77–78, 86, 94–96, 100, 102–103, 108 music, (sociology of) 13, 23, 34, 37, 54, 69, 107, 114–119, 148–150, 158, 162, 172–176, 184, 186–187 narration/grand narrative/metanarrative 12, 19, 22, 55–57, 59–63, 76, 120, 184


Subject Index

nationalism 1, 40–45, 91, 108–109, 114–117, 123, 127–128, 156, 173, 175–177, 184 Orthodoxy 40, 44, 70, 92, 99, 117–118, 166, 168, 173–174, 180 peace/pacifism 7–10, 13–14, 17–18, 20, 24–25, 28, 34–35, 74, 100–102, 116, 123–127, 131–132, 136, 140–141, 148–149, 153, 155, 162–165, 175, 178–182, 187 Pentecostalism 7, 10, 12–13, 17, 19, 26–27, 37, 45, 62, 85–95, 97–104, 112, 118, 162, 165–172, 174, 184 philosophy of history 22, 28, 38, 57, 60–61 Pietism 10, 19, 109, 118, 127, 172 pluralization/pluralism 1, 12, 32, 39, 43, 85, 88–89, 91–99, 102, 109, 114, 137, 166, 168–169 poetry/literature 13, 18, 23, 54, 63, 72, 136, 150–151, 157–158, 162–163, 175–176, 182, 185–187 power/authority 1–2, 5, 9, 11, 17–19, 23, 35, 37–38, 40–41, 43–44, 46, 51, 99, 108, 115–116, 123–124, 126–129, 131–132, 153, 155, 163–165, 168–169, 177, 180–181 privatization 25, 33, 78–79, 108, 111 progress 21, 32, 57–58 Protestantism 8, 11, 16–17, 19, 21–27, 35, 37, 39–41, 43, 67, 69, 85–86, 88, 90–99, 103, 108–109, 113, 154, 165, 168–169, 175–176 providence 18, 22, 60, 156, 174, 185 Puritanism 10, 19, 26, 175 Quakerism 35, 180–181 realism, (power-political) 8–9, 13, 24, 28, 132, 162, 164–165, 168, 180, 182 reform/evolution 9, 12, 25, 27–28, 85, 88, 100, 102, 116, 165, 171–173, 184 Reformation 13, 37, 39, 109, 112, 172, 174 religion in Africa 7, 27, 86, 89, 102, 139, 166–167, 170 religion in America: Latin America 7, 12, 26–27, 37, 43, 85–104, 148, 165–172; USA/North America 5–6, 19, 25, 38–41, 43–44, 67, 73, 80, 88–89, 92–96, 108, 114, 154, 165–166, 174–175, 177, 181–182, 184

religion in Asia 7, 27, 86–87, 89–90, 102, 166–167 religion in Europe: bi-confessional countries 17, 26, 40–41, 95, 174–177; Britain 5, 7, 12, 24–27, 39–41, 67–76, 78–82, 88, 96, 112, 114, 116, 148, 154, 157, 165, 174–181, 184; Eastern Europe/Russia/under communism 5, 7, 26, 43–44, 87, 90, 94–95, 108, 148, 166, 171, 176–177; France 5, 17, 24–27, 40, 67, 72–74, 80, 108–109, 116, 165, 174–177; Scandinavia 12–13, 16, 25–27, 40–41, 107–119, 162, 167, 172; Southern (Latin) Europe 5, 17, 26–27, 40, 87, 90–96, 98, 108, 112; (Western) Europe 6, 11, 16, 19, 27, 38, 72–73, 78–79, 91, 94–96, 102, 107–108, 117 religion–world relation 1, 10–11, 13, 16–25, 27–28, 33–37, 39–42, 45–46, 51, 55, 70, 72–73, 76–80, 87–93, 108, 110–112, 119–120, 123–128, 133–141, 148–149, 152, 154, 156, 167–170, 172, 176–177, 179–182 revolution 9, 25–27, 35–36, 39–40, 94–96, 100–101, 116, 154, 165, 171, 175–176, 181 sacrality/sacralization 1–3, 5–6, 21–23, 88–89, 91, 110, 116, 118–119, 125–127, 131, 133–136, 141, 148, 152, 167–168, 172, 175, 177, 180 secularity/secularism 1, 3, 5, 8, 10–11, 13, 16–25, 27–28, 32–33, 36–37, 40, 43–44, 54–56, 59, 69, 71, 73–79, 81, 88–91, 95, 97–98, 102, 108–112, 114, 116, 119, 125, 127–128, 130–132, 134–135, 139–140, 148, 150, 152–155, 169, 172–173, 176–177, 181, 184–185 secularization, (theory of) 1–7, 10–13, 16–28, 32–34, 36–46, 50, 53–56, 58, 61–64, 67, 69, 72–75, 77–78, 80–81, 85–86, 89–90, 92, 94–96, 107–108, 110–112, 114, 116, 119, 151–155, 157, 162, 168, 171–172, 174, 176–179, 182–185 (social) change, (theory of) 2, 9, 11, 18, 24–25, 27, 34–35, 38, 40, 45, 61–62, 68–69, 88–90, 99–100, 102, 112, 124 social organization (of religion) 1, 4–5, 7, 10, 21–23, 33–35, 38–40, 44, 68–69, 71, 73, 76, 81, 87–88, 90–93, 95–96, 99, 103, 134–138, 140, 165–168

Subject Index sociology/historical sociology 2–4, 6–7, 9–11, 14, 16–17, 20, 22, 27–28, 34, 36–39, 42, 44–46, 50–51, 54, 59, 63–64, 67, 69, 75, 107, 110, 116, 119–120, 123, 126, 147–148, 150–152, 154–159, 162–164, 171, 181–187 sociology of politics/political sociology 1–3, 5, 7, 11, 16, 119–120, 157, 163, 168, 180 sociology of religion 1–3, 5, 7, 9, 11–14, 16, 21–22, 24, 28, 32–37, 41, 45, 69, 79–80, 85–86, 115, 120, 147, 150, 163 socio-theology 11, 14, 16–18, 20, 22, 27–28, 50–51, 54, 147–148, 152, 157–158, 186–187


teleology 10–11, 16–19, 21–24, 27–28, 36, 41, 59–61, 107, 164, 185 theology 1, 3, 8, 11, 14, 16, 20, 22–24, 27–28, 36, 50, 52, 62, 67, 69, 71, 81, 92, 99, 101, 118, 139, 147–149, 152, 154–159, 162–164, 166, 169, 179, 182, 185–187 transcendence 3, 9, 22, 28, 33, 35–36, 108, 115, 125, 127, 133–136, 140, 149–150, 156, 172–173, 176, 180, 187 war/violence/conflict 7–11, 13–14, 16–18, 23–24, 28, 34–35, 37, 39–41, 51, 64, 77, 89, 101, 103, 123–133, 135–141, 148, 153, 155, 162–164, 169, 171, 175–182