Religion, Law and Society

Published in 2014 by Cambridge University Press, Religion, Law and Society  is derived from my PhD thesis. It explores why sociologists and lawyers interested in religion can learn from each other and applies a socio-legal approach to understanding the secularisation thesis.

Table of Contents

1. The new world
2. The secularisation thesis
3. Secularisation within religious groups
4. Questioning the secularisation thesis
5. Beyond secularisation
6. A new dawn


‘A work of refreshing clarity and vision … Avowedly academic, it will be challenging to those new to the topics under construction, but will more than reward the reader who embraces the journey on which Sandberg seeks to take them.’ Stephen Farrell, Search: A Church of Ireland Journal

‘Dr Russell Sandberg’s new book is both unique in its subject matter and outstanding in its delivery.’ Mark Hill, Church Times

‘In laying out the history of the debate over the secularization thesis, Sandberg makes a strong case for why sociologists studying religion should pay close attention to law.’ Joseph P. Laycock, Journal of Church and State

‘Sandberg’s own arguments are clearly presented and, equally importantly, he provides the reader with a rich vein of material that they can draw on in pursuing the issues that he raises. The book is to be commended for both these things, and it will be required reading for anyone interested in the relationship between religion and law in contemporary Britain.’ Anthony Bradney, Journal of Law and Society

‘The book extends Sandberg’s previous scholarship on law and religion, which examines the way law and religion have developed as a subdiscipline in England and Wales. Against a backdrop of religious resurgence and legal change to the status of religion, Sandberg powerfully demonstrates how both legal and sociological approaches are needed to unlock a fuller understanding of religion in society.’ Charlotte Baines, Sociology of Religion