The authors of the volume set themselves an almost impossible task. They have put together, with very well done short annotations, an impressive array of bibliographical information on the contibution of religion to social change. Choice
This bibliographic survey focuses on one aspect of religion: situations in which organized religious groups have served as active agents in social change. These situations have been studied by sociologists, historians, anthropologists, and political scientists, and in this work Wolcott and Bolger discuss the literature and provide a guide to the main sources in English. The concentration is on religious-based social movements in modern societies since the industrial revolution, and in Third World countries from the beginning of their independence movements. In addition, there are sections on such topics as messianic movements, the religious radical-right, and sacral kingship.
The volume is organized into two major sections, an introductory survey and an annotated bibliography. The introductory survey includes discussions of the comparative study of religious social action, the role that religious organizations play in modern societies, contemporary studies of other societies, and churches and social action throughout history. The annotated bibliography contains over 600 items covering all the major religions and is arranged in the same organizational scheme as the survey. Each entry is numbered consecutively, and references throughout the text refer to the item numbers. The book concludes with author, title, and subject indexes. This reference work will be an important source for courses in religious studies, history, and the social sciences, as well as a valuable addition to both academic and public libraries.