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Functionalism or fallacy : re-locating Hans Mol’s identity theory.

Powell, Adam J. (2017) 'Functionalism or fallacy : re-locating Hans Mol’s identity theory.', Italian sociological review., 7 (1). pp. 63-85.


In this paper, the identity theory of religion outline by sociologist Hans Mol in the 1970s is introduced and located among the various competing theories of the mid-20th century. Using such comparisons, particularly with enigmatic sociological figures, it is argued that the original consensus that Mol represented yet another neo-functionalist theory of religion is fallacious. Instead, it is suggested that his theoretical framework, whilst ambitious and broad, is something other than functionalism and avoids easy categorisation when viewed from a 21st-century perspective on the history of ideas.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:Copyright Licenza Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY)
Date accepted:01 November 2016
Date deposited:03 May 2017
Date of first online publication:2017
Date first made open access:03 May 2017

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