Professor James Beckford FBA

Sociology; Western Europe, Switzerland and France; Sociology of Religion; Cultural Sociology; Sociology of Ethnicity/Race; USA, Canada and/or Mexico

Elected 2004

Fellow type
UK Fellow
Year of birth
Year of death
Year elected

James A. Beckford was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Warwick since 2008. He had a PhD in Sociology and a DLitt from the University of Reading. He taught sociology at the University of Reading, the University of Durham, Loyola University of Chicago and the University of Warwick. He also held visiting positions at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, 2000 and at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, 2004. He was elected President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in 1988-89, Vice-President of the International Sociological Association from 1994 to 1998, President of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion from 1999 to 2003, and President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in 2010-11. Since 1991 he was also a Governor of Inform (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements). The University of Lausanne conferred on him the title of Docteur ès Sciences des Religions honoris causa in 2014.

Last post

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Warwick

Past appointments

University of Warwick Professor of Sociology

1989 -

University of Warwick Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick

1989 -

University of Warwick Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Warwick

1989 -

Loyola University, Chicago Professor of Sociology

1987 - 1989

University of Durham Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Sociology

1973 - 1987


Cult Controversies. The Societal Response to the New Religious Movements 1975

Religion in Prison. Equal Rites in a Multi-Faith Society, (with Sophie Gilliat) 1998

Muslims in Prison: Challenge and Change in Britain and France, (with Danièle Joly and Farhad Khosrokhavar) 2005

The Trumpet of Prophecy. A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses 1975

Religion and Advanced Industrial Society 1989

Social Theory and Religion 2003

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