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We should begin with making clear our limitations in responding to Gorski's article. We are not experts in the debates about American civil religion. Like most…
We should begin with making clear our limitations in responding to Gorski's article. We are not experts in the debates about American civil religion. Like most sociologists of religion we are familiar with Bellah's (1967) Daedalus article and its great influence. We have not followed closely the empirical work that sought to test whether a civil religion actually exists in America or elsewhere, and only casually followed the more theoretical debates surrounding the concept itself. We are actually better versed in Gorski's work and from that perspective we think his article on Obama and civil religion can be usefully read as a continuation of a line of reasoning he launched more than 10 years ago with his American Sociological Review article on historicizing secularization. In that article he claimed that it was probable that “Western society has become more secular without becoming less religious” and explained why (Gorski, 2000, p. 138). Barack Obama's invocation of an American civil religion and its popular reception by liberal Americans fits well with this line of reasoning. In the heady days of 2008, many liberal Americans seemed to have found (civil) religion with Obama – a surprising turn of events in need of explanation.
Uses qualitative data to explore how contemporary religious beliefs mark conceptions of work, particularly with regards to the beliefs of conservative protestant women…
Uses qualitative data to explore how contemporary religious beliefs mark conceptions of work, particularly with regards to the beliefs of conservative protestant women. Compares liberal protestant women and men as well as conservative men against this group. States that conservative women consider motherhood as their most important work yet they are also most likely to feel “called” to their paid work. Cites that this has important implications for the sociological literature on gender and work. Builds on the original work of Max Weber.
In the Western world the voices calling for a secular society have grown ever louder over the last three centuries. This paper seeks to return to one of the founders of…
In the Western world the voices calling for a secular society have grown ever louder over the last three centuries. This paper seeks to return to one of the founders of modernity for guidance. Adam Smith advocated globalization on economic and moral grounds.Design/methodology/approach – A discussion focusing on those calling for a secular society and, in addition to these normative advocates, various social scientists have propounded the “secularization thesis”; after analysing history from a purportedly positive view, they have argued that “modernization” leads to a secular society. Recently globalization has been seen as another cause of secularization. At the same time, the revival of various religions has cast doubt on these claims.Findings – Smith did not see secularization as an inevitable consequence of globalization. Further, despite his awareness of the arguments of the advocates of secular society (and contrary to some commentators like Minowitz), he rejected their advice. For him, a secular community was neither a necessary nor a desirable consequence of globalization.Originality/value – Provides a viewpoint on some of Adam Smith's thoughts and ideas.
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to better understand the connection between religious affiliation and educational attainment and how this connection has changed…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to better understand the connection between religious affiliation and educational attainment and how this connection has changed over time.
Methodology/Approach – We utilize the cumulative 1972–2008 General Social Surveys to examine the relationships between childhood religious affiliation, college degree attainment, and religious switching across three birth cohorts.
Findings – We find in early cohorts that traditions such as Conservative Protestantism and Catholicism are negatively associated with college degree attainment. However, switching out of those traditions is positively associated with obtaining a college degree. In later cohorts, these effects disappear.
Social implications – The finding that the relationships between religious affiliation and educational attainment are dramatically changing over time means that scholars, educators, and religious groups might need to revise their current thinking concerning the topic of religion and education.
Originality/Value of chapter – This research helps us better understand the complexities involved when thinking about the role of religion in education and vice versa. By explicitly considering the different causal and temporal factors involved, this analysis provides a more nuanced understanding of the connection between religious affiliation and educational attainment.
Purpose – In order to study how religious behaviour is evolving in contemporary societies, the chapter looks at the relation between the individuals' position in social…
Purpose – In order to study how religious behaviour is evolving in contemporary societies, the chapter looks at the relation between the individuals' position in social stratification and their participation to the weekly mass, and at its evolution in contemporary Italy.
Design/Methodology/Approach – The data come from the Italian National Election Study (ITANES) database, including national representative surveys from 1968 to 2006, and are analyzed with logit models.
Findings – Weekly mass participation has decreased from 1968 to 2006. The trend was rapid in the 1960s and 1970s, has slowed in the 1980s, but it has started again in the 1990s. Ceteris paribus, the upper class, shows a consistently more religious behaviour than the intermediate and the lower ones, and that the least educated are more religious. There is also evidence of a strong and consistent cohort effect, persisting across the considered period. Each cohort does not change much its participation to the weekly mass over time, but each new cohort shows a lower level of participation.
Research limitations/Implications – The findings give support to the classical secularization thesis, despite the many critiques addressed to it since the 1990s. Given that Italy is one of the most religious Western countries, this is a quite important finding. Some support is also given to the hypothesis of religion as an ‘instrumentum regni’, according to which it is in the interest of the higher social strata to be more religious, as religion supports and legitimates existing patterns of social inequality. Findings concerning cohorts point to socialization as the actual mechanism changing behaviours and attitudes.
Despite its central importance in nearly all societies, religion has been largely neglected in the study of organizations and management. In this introduction to the…
Despite its central importance in nearly all societies, religion has been largely neglected in the study of organizations and management. In this introduction to the volume on religion and organization theory, we argue that such neglect limits unnecessarily the relevance and scope of organization and management theory (OMT) and that there is therefore great value in connecting organizational research with a deeper appreciation and concern for religion. We begin by speculating about some of the reasons why organization and management theorists are hesitant to study religion, and go on to discuss some nascent points of contact between religion and OMT. We conclude with a discussion of the articles in this volume, which represent an attempt to remedy this unfortunate blind spot within OMT scholarship.
Religious pursuits may promote explicitly “spiritual” goods (theo-relational connectedness, character formation, etc.) and “secular” utilities including health. The…
Religious pursuits may promote explicitly “spiritual” goods (theo-relational connectedness, character formation, etc.) and “secular” utilities including health. The purpose of this paper is to initiate investigation of this intersection for paternal religious practices in Lithuania’s dynamic post-Soviet social context. Reflecting on religio-political history, the nature of the religious field, spiritual capital, and externalities related to confessional identity, what relationships exist between institutional engagement, devotional practice, education and other predictors in the post-Soviet Lithuanian religious context?
Original data were collected in 2011 (returning 73 of 100 surveys) in Klaipėda, Lithuania. Correlation and χ2 identified variables for regression analysis. Given Ordinary Least Squares heteroscedasticity (Breusch-Pagan test), weighted least squares modeling estimated coefficients for extra mural and institutional religious practice generically and differentiated by confessional identity.
Generically and by confessional identity, utility differences in institutional context appear paradoxical to secularization hypotheses. While correlated, institutional engagement and non-institutional devotional practice evidenced non-complementarity regarding educational attainment: greater education predicted higher institutional engagement but sparer devotional life. The authors suggest in explanation higher opportunity costs in individual devotional practice opposite positive offsets from secondary institutional utilities (e.g. social networking). Both were predicted by education, work hours, the non-dependent religious practice variable, self-reported health status, patterned by confessional identity, specifically Protestant opposite majority Catholic. Intergenerationally, a gender gradient was identified.
This analysis illuminates with original data divergent public institutional and private devotional religious practice utility structures in a dynamic transitional post-Soviet context.
While the relevance and rationale of strategic communication in organized religion are prevalent in academic and professional literature, there exists a dearth of both…
While the relevance and rationale of strategic communication in organized religion are prevalent in academic and professional literature, there exists a dearth of both theoretical concepts and empirical knowledge, especially from a European perspective. Therefore, this chapter examines how strategic communication can be modelled in organized religion with its specific characteristics and logics by building a framework for strategic communication in this field of research. The framework questions perspectives of strategic communication and communication management that only concentrate on entities like famous persons, groups, movements or organizations and less on belief systems, organized and less organized entities interacting with each other. Religious organizations follow other rationalities like companies or non-profit organizations. Therefore, theories of corporate communication or public relations do not fit within the realm of organized religion, whose mission goes far beyond the organization. Taking into account religious institutions in strategic communication, this chapter delivers new theoretical insights by demonstrating how strategic communication can contribute to the specific purposes of organized religion. Furthermore, the study indicates the specific challenges communication professionals working in the area of religion are confronted with. Finally, it offers practical solutions for the specific field of organized religion by evolving specific target horizons of organized religion. Activating and developing the communication function of more or less independent bodies are main tasks for communication professionals working in organized religion and other meta-organizations.
– The purpose of this paper is to expand the burgeoning research, which provides evidence relating to the influence of religion upon work-related values.
The purpose of this paper is to expand the burgeoning research, which provides evidence relating to the influence of religion upon work-related values.
The authors employed a survey methodology to collect data across seven countries and six religions.
The study provides evidence of differences as well as similarities in the way people belonging to different religions rank personal values. Thus, on the one hand, the authors can argue that religion helps shape our behavior and attitudes in the workplace, whilst at the same time, however, accepting the converging influence of globalization and/or the universality of some values that they include in their analysis. This finding leads the authors to focus upon a complex pattern of value variations and similarities across religions.
Overall, the findings provide a glimpse into what the paper interprets as (just one dimension of) plurality within contemporary organizations to support the paradox perspective, popularized by Lewis and Smith and Lewis, who contend that organizations embed multiple tensions and dilemmas in an ongoing cyclical process. Hence the paper argues that the similarities and differences across religious affiliations are not “either/or” choices but dualities that must be dynamically balanced in order to simultaneously meet multiple employee needs. The paper concludes that managers and employees need to articulate and embrace paradoxes related to religion, in order to create an awareness of the influence of religion that leads to being inclusive.
Western liberal states are considered to be secular in nature, with a presumed neutrality of state laws from religious values and norms. However, this claim overlooks the…
Western liberal states are considered to be secular in nature, with a presumed neutrality of state laws from religious values and norms. However, this claim overlooks the inherent influence that religious groups (namely, dominant Christian churches and groups) have as informal institutions. According to neo-institutionalists, informal institutions, like these religious norms and values, interact with and influence formal state institutions. As such, it could be argued that the norms and values of dominant religious groups within the state have a role in shaping governmental policies and the law. This is evident when examining the debates around multiculturalism and religious freedom that arise in liberal democratic states such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom (UK). In particular, the recent Sharia debates that have arisen in each of these jurisdictions illustrate that the secular state legal system is often positioned as “neutral” and free from religious influence – and thus incompatible with, and unable to, accommodate the religious orders of minority groups. However, this idea that the state is entirely free from religious values is a fallacy that ignores the historical role and influence of Christian churches in each state. In opposing the accommodation of Sharia in private dispute resolution, common arguments include the inherent patriarchal nature of the religion leading to further oppression and disadvantage of Muslim women when seeking resolution of personal law matters (i.e. divorce and property settlements). The secular state law is positioned against this (and religion more broadly) as the “fair” and “just” alternative for minority women – protector of individual rights. Though this ignores the inherent gender hierarchies embedded within formal state institutions, including the legal system that has been implicitly shaped by religious moral values to varying degrees – where minority women are also faced with a set of gender biases. When combined with the internal pressures from their communities and families this can often place them in a double-bind of disadvantage. In this paper, I draw on feminist institutionalism to examine the informal institutional norms that arise from dominant Christian churches in Australia, Canada, and the UK. In particular, the ways in which these informal norms have influenced the development of state laws, and continue to operate alongside the legal system to shape and influence governmental policies, laws, and ultimately the outcomes for Muslim women.