Bryan Ronald Wilson 1926–2004

Eileen Barker

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 161, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VIII

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780197264577
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734267 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Bryan Ronald Wilson 1926–2004

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Bryan Ronald Wilson (1926–2004), a Fellow of the British Academy, was a world-renowned sociologist of religion. He was awarded a D.Litt. by the University of Oxford in 1994, the same year that he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. Wilson was also awarded an Arnold Gerstenberg studentship, which allowed him to take up a place at the London School of Economics, where Maurice Ginsberg introduced him to the literature of the sociology of religion and where he developed a life-long interest in sectarian movements. He returned to Yorkshire to take up an Assistant Lectureship in Sociology in the Department of Social Studies at the University of Leeds in October 1955, being promoted to Lecturer in 1957. There Wilson taught courses on urban sociology, sociological theory, and the social institutions of modern Britain, as well as on the sociology of religion. He was a Fellow of All Souls College for thirty years. The themes of secularisation, rationalism, and sectarianism were of particular interest to Wilson throughout his academic life.

Keywords: Bryan Ronald Wilson; British Academy; sociology; religion; LSE; Maurice Ginsberg; secularisation; rationalism; sectarianism; University of Leeds

Chapter.  8956 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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