Religious Dogmatics and the Evolution of Societies

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Renders Luhmann's Religiöse Dogmatik und gesellschaftliche Funktion (Chapter Two of his 1977 Funktion der Religion), which has been the subject of much discussion and controversy in Europe over the past fifteen years, accessible to the English-speaking world, where Luhmann's sociological theories have received comparatively little attention. Beyer also provides a 50-page introduction which treats of some of the main concepts in Luhmann's abstract and difficult thought and also illustrates the way these concepts fit into his overall theory of society and religion.


"The translator's introduction is a very valuable feature of the book." - Religious Studies Review "Luhmann's approach is important for the development of the sociology of religion which, in contemporary sociology, is theoretically underdeveloped. . . . The present volume is a welcome addition . . . . Given the complexity of his thought, the introduction by Peter Beyer is both valuable and necessary." - Sociology - The Journal of the British Sociological Association

". . . the exegesis of Luhmann's epistemology and theory provided by Beyer is very well done, a fine introduction and reference." - Sociological Analysis "Peter Beyer's introduction will be useful for persons unfamiliar with the style and special vocabulary of Luhmann's theory. The topic is worthy: how the development of societies from simple to complex forms is associated with the development of religion from ritual-dominant to belief-dominant forms, with resultant changes in the social functions of religion." - Choice

"Luhmann is one of the foremost religious sociologists in Europe, but his work has only recently begun to receive the attention it deserves in the U.S.A. Luhmann's writing is difficult; it is for this reason that Beyer has prefixed his translation with a lengthy introduction that elucidates the basic notions of Luhmann's thought . . . ." - ADRIS

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