The people of the Middle Ages did what the Church told them God required. The sovereign consumers of the modern world `pick and mix' their own religions, Starting with the Reformation and ending with New Age spirituality, this book offers a comprehensive sociological description and explanation of the changes in the religious life of Western society that have accompanied modernization. This major new book from a leading sociologist of religion tracks the Church's changing role from monolith to Sect, to Denomination, and at the end of the twentieth century, to the Cult. What were the forces that brought about this change? What is the real role for the Church in the modern world? Professor Steve Bruce answers these questions in a clearly argued and accessible way. Including substantial chapters on religion in the USA, religion and ethnicity, and the New Age, Religion in the Modern World is an invaluable resource for students of sociology, religion or history and anyone with a real interest in looking behind the headlines for the place of religion in today's society.