Wright collaborates with international scholars on book about how religions die

LU Professor Dr. Stuart Wright is the coeditor of a book compiled by a team of international scholars.

Wright, chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice at LU also authored several
Stuart Wright
Dr. Stuart Wright
chapters of “The Demise of Religion: How Religions End, Die or Dissipate,” including chapter one, How Religions End: Terms and Types and chapter nine, State Actions in Western Democracies Leading to the Dissolution of Religious Communities.

“I am very proud of the final product and I think it will open the door to a whole new field of study that has been overlooked,” said Wright.

Wright worked with Carole Cusack, a professor at the University of Sydney, and Michael Stausberg, a professor at the University of Bergen, on this book that explores an important question that has received little scholarly attention to date. The book covers many different aspects of religious demise across multiple cultures by sociologists, anthropologists, historians of religion and religious studies scholars.

International contributors provide case studies from the U.S., England, Sweden, Japan, New Guinea and France, resulting in a work that explores the failure of religions. The case studies tell stories of religious dissolution due to failures of leadership, murders and suicides, lack of economic resources, schism, government raids, conversion to missionizing religions and the natural death of a church’s members, among other causes.

“We’ve really only scratched the surface,” said Wright.  “If we had the resources and funding, I am certain we could produce additional volumes on religious demise, but even if that doesn’t come to pass, I hope that future generations of scholars will benefit from the groundwork we have laid.”

The book is open access and can be viewed here.