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The second edition of this major book on the social analysis of religion incorporates a substantial new introduction by Bryan S Turner. Religion and Social Theory assesses the different theoretical approaches to the social function of religion. Turner discusses at length the ideas of key contributors to these approaches (including Engels, Durkheim, Weber, Nietzsche, Freud, Parsons, Marcuse, Habermas and Foucault). In so doing, he develops a distinctive perspective on the role of religion as an institutional link between economic and human reproduction. Social theories of religion are explored through a resolutely comparative and historical analysis of the Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Relating comparative religion to the social context of individualism, civil religions and political legitimacy, the book makes a major contribution to the analysis of conflict and consensus in social systems.