`The Sociological Ambition is a superb book.. It is beautifully written, expertly edited and renders complex and original ideas entirely accessible.. This is a modern classic' - Journal of Contemporary Religion. `For all social scientists who are fed up with corporate-style textbooks, which appeal to the lowest common denominator The Sociological Ambition must come as a relief. Shilling and Mellor have written an account of their discipline but they have done so with a multi-purpose task in mind' - Irish Journal of Sociology. In a comprehensive reassessment of the field, Chris Shilling and Philip A Mellor examine the various attempts that have been made to reconstruct sociology over the last century, arguing that classical and contemporary social theories must be studied in relation to the ambition that first shaped and established the discipline. The authors begin by situating sociology in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts; examining how the founders of the discipline developed competing analyses of the processes elementary to social and moral life through their unique contributions. The result is a landmark work in recent sociological study. Accomplished and erudite, this book will be required reading for students of sociology, social theory, religious studies and cultural studies.