Tamney, Joseph B.
Tamney, Joseph B.
Education: Fordham University, B.S., M.A.; Cornell University, Ph.D.
Previously served as a chair of the sociology department at Marquette University and as a member of the faculty at the University of Singapore; Sociology of Religion, editor, 1995-2000; Ball State University, Muncie, IN, professor emeritus of sociology.
(Editor, with others) Paul Pederson, Youth in Southeast Asia, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), 1971.
Solidarity in a Slum, Halsted Press (New York, NY), 1975.
(Editor, with Stephen D. Johnson) The Political Role of Religion in the United States, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1986.
(With Riaz Hassan) Religious Switching in Singapore: A Study of Religious Mobility, Select Books (Singapore), 1987.
American Society in the Buddhist Mirror, Garland (New York, NY), 1992.
The Resilience of Christianity in the Modern World, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1992.
The Struggle over Singapore's Soul: Western Modernization and Asian Culture, W. de Gruyter (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Linda Hsueh-Ling Chiang) Modernization, Globalization, and Confucianism in Chinese Societies, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2002.
The Resilience of Conservative Religion: The Case of Popular, Conservative Protestant Congregations, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
(Editor, with Fenggang Yang) State, Market, and Religion in Chinese Societies, Brill (Boston, MA), 2005.
Contributor of scholarly articles to numerous journals about the scientific study of religion.
Joseph B. Tamney is a writer and educator whose primary area of research interest includes the sociology of religion, particularly the sociology of Islam in Indonesia, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism in East Asia in general, and especially in Singapore. He has served on the faculties at Marquette University, the University of Singapore, and Ball State University. He is the author of several books and numerous articles. In The Struggle over Singapore's Soul: Western Modernization and Asian Culture, Tamney examines the way of life in Singapore, focusing on the national ideology and the various movements to change it. He looks at the role of the Chinese in Singapore, and how they have brought the nation to its more modern state through their contributions to the economy and the culture. John A. Lent, in a review for the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, observed: "Throughout, the author gives numerous examples of the confusion and uncertainty Singaporeans experience as they watch their leadership attempt to mesh traditional with modem values, while keeping the primary goal of economic development at the forefront." He went on to point out that "Tamney scrapes away the government glitz and materialistic veneer to show another side of the society where inconsistent and regularly-changing policies keep the public confused and leary," and called the book "critical but fair." Peter Beyer, writing in the Sociology of Religion, commented: "This book is an excellent contribution to various contemporary sociological discussions. Tamney shows how the somewhat tattered modernization model can still help us understand important aspects of current social developments."
American Society in the Buddhist Mirror examines how Americans look at Buddhism and its spread as part of the changing face of faith in the world. James V. Spickard, in a review in the Sociology of Religion, observed: "Tamney opens up resources and topics that others have not touched. But it all happens too fast — never shoddily, but by no means intensively enough to be satisfying. Tamney has rightly chosen to cover much ground; as a consequence, many depths remain unplumbed."
With The Resilience of Conservative Religion: The Case of Popular, Conservative Protestant Congregations, Tamney looks at conservative branches of individual Protestant congregations and examines the differences in their ideology and how they read the scriptures. Preston Jones, in a contribution for the Journal of Church and State, remarked: "Tamney has described what thoughtful people familiar with the ‘popular, conservative Protestant’ subculture have known for a long time, namely, that doctrinal distinctiveness has largely been displaced by theological pluralism (within general boundaries) and that the language of sin, justification, and sanctification has, to different degrees, been replaced with the Christianized language of therapeutic healing." Kenneth Westhues, in a review for the University of Alberta Arts Web site, stated: "Tamney can take pride in having touched intelligently on the main theoretical issues surrounding conservative Protestantism, and in having produced a thoughtful, readable, ethnographic update on religion in Middletown."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Journal of Church and State: The Case of Popular, Conservative Protestant Congregations, autumn, 2002, Preston Jones, review of The Resilience of Conservative Religion: The Case of Popular, Conservative Protestant Congregations, p. 840.
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, March, 2000, John A. Lent, review of The Struggle over Singapore's Soul: Western Modernization and Asian Culture, p. 223.
Reference & Research Book News, November, 2005, review of State, Market, and Religions in Chinese Societies.
Sociology of Religion, fall, 1994, James V. Spickard, review of American Society in the Buddhist Mirror, p. 368; fall, 1997, Peter Beyer, review of The Struggle over Singapore's Soul, p. 290.
Society of Religion Online,http://www.societyofreligion.com/ (May 9, 2006), faculty biography.