Chapter 23 Sociology of law and religion
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In the early years of the twenty-first century, Law and Religion came of age as an academic sub-discipline in Law Schools. However, as Law and Religion grew institutionally it became increasingly self-contained. This chapter, drawing upon my previous work, examines the value and potential of a sociological approach to Law and Religion. It contends that existing calls for interdisciplinary work has focused on collaboration between the Sociology of Religion and Law and Religion. Such calls have suffered from the same shortcoming which has detrimentally affected both of these sub-disciplines: the clinging to institutionalised labels and forms. The chapter concludes that there is a need to liberate the understanding of a ‘sociological’ approach from the discipline of Sociology and to regard it as a critical, subversive approach that questions the narratives, assumptions and values upon which academic fields are based.

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