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Religion in America: Putnam & Campbell You cant just translate the Mass from one language to anotheryou have to add a cultural component. (Sociology 156)

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Presentation on theme: "Religion in America: Putnam & Campbell You cant just translate the Mass from one language to anotheryou have to add a cultural component. (Sociology 156)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion in America: Putnam & Campbell You cant just translate the Mass from one language to anotheryou have to add a cultural component. (Sociology 156)

2 3 Social Cleavages Gender – How have religious groups reacted to changing gender norms? – Religious people have made little resistance to rapidly changing social roles for women Social class – What has been the reaction to rapidly widening gaps between social classes? – Religious people have made little resistance here Race & Ethnicity (Friday) – What is the role of religion in shaping, maintaining, and/or transforming racial & ethnic identity? Focus on behavior of religious individuals, not religious organizations (233) Religion has followed broader social trends on gender & class, but seems fundamentally involved in the construction of ethnic identity 2

3 Our Savior Lutheran Church (Houston) Emphasis on German heritage (181) Strong denominational identity (182) – Closed communion Ornate, formal worship space (184) Biblically literalist (182) Theologically-focused, conservative approach (184) Strongly pro-life (186) Strongly conservative gender roles Female Bible study leader forbidden from college by father (189) – Women prohibited from voting in assemblies (191) – Pastor White: When God created mankind, at the core of that creation was gender. (190) Strong sense of persecution, views modern culture as hostile, corrupting (186) – Pastor White describes the modern era as the eleventh hour for America, and believes the nation may soon face the judgment of God if Christians fail to influence its current cultural trajectory. (194) 3

4 Bethel African Methodist Episcopalian Church (Baltimore) In the ghetto of downtown Baltimore (195) Entirely black membership, drawn mostly from wealthier parts of town & suburbs in the County (196) Long involvement in anti-slavery, civil rights (196) A community hub for Baltimores black elite (198) Emotive, expressive worship style – Aesthetics as an element of religious experience Church centered on charismatic leader, Dr. Reid (201) – Described as educated, well-read, inspiring, visionary, legit (202) Wife, Marlaa Reid, has own leadership role, but publically stands behind Dr. Reid, in supportive role (203) Reid an influential player in Baltimore politics (208) Intensely involved in causes of social justice, but indirectly – Rehab programs (206) – Congregants donate significant amounts of money, but agencies composed almost wholly of non-members (207) 4

5 St. Pius V Catholic Church (Chicago) Neighborhood populated by Mexican immigrants, but immigrants come from across the city (213) Bilingual priest, Father Charles Dahm (Padre Carlos) helps parishioners access social welfare institutions, interfaces w/ bureaucracies & authorities (213) Dahm considers himself a social activist who works to empower the immigrant community Here the music and preaching always refer to Latin culture and things that are familiar. You cant just translate the Mass from one language to anotheryou have to add a cultural component. (216) A point of access to American culture & where Chicagos Mexican immigrant community is centered (219) 5

6 St. Frances of Rome (Chicago suburb) Divided between older, declining white Catholic population & growing, vital immigrants (220) Tension & white flight (226) Demographic shift & resentment (228) 6

7 Religion & Gender At all levels of society, women tend strongly to be more religious than men (233) Religious women enter the workforce at about the same rate as non-religious – True across religious traditions Religious beliefs & institutions have little to no negative impact on the rate at which women enter the workforce ( ) 7

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10 Religion & Gender The persistent 5-10% difference in attitudes reflects the persistence of traditional gender norms among a minority of religious conservatives, and may well be enduring. – But to over emphasize this gap between religious and nonreligious American women in their attitudes toward gender would be to overlook the sweeping transformations in gender norms shared by religious and nonreligious Americans [...] over the last generation. (239) Contemporary religious Americans less traditional than secular counterparts a generation before Compare to widening differences in attitude toward sexual morality between religious and nonreligious Americans 10

11 Religion & Gender Though religion has not appeared to significantly restrict womens participation in the workforce, women account for far less than 50% of clergy – All churches: 6% is , up from 8% in 1999 Self-described liberal congregations 37% (up from 23%) Self-described moderate: 8% Self-described conservative: 5% (243) Between 1986 General Social Survey & 2006 Faith Matters survey, evidence suggests roughly 15-20% increase in support of female clergy in every religious tradition – Biggest gains in conservative traditions (evangelicals, Catholics, Black Protestants) Generational shift: opposition concentrated among older people, younger generation overwhelmingly favor female clergy ( ) 11

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13 Religion & Gender By 2006, majorities of every Christian religious tradition except for Mormons favor female clergy – 91% male Black Protestants support female clergy vs. 82% female – 52% male Mormons support female lay priests vs. 10% female Evangelicals are slightly more skeptical than others of women in religious leadership, the difference is almost entirely concentrated among a minority of extremely fundamentalist minority of evangelicals. ( ) 13

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15 Economic Inequality Fig

16 Economic Inequality While barriers of race & gender have been lowered, class inequality has risen to historic heights across the last 30 years Class segregation has increased: – Classes more segregated spatially than before – Between 1940 & 1960, people married increasingly across class lines (proxied by education levels) but the trend has since reversed – Fraternal and civic organizations no longer bring different classes into conflict ( ) 16

17 Economic Inequality While religious people & institutions have been on all sides of American social and political movements, historically, progressive social & political movements in America have had religious roots – First & Second Great Awakenings, Abolitionism, Populist movement & William Jennings Bryan, Social Gospel Post-1920s, religion becomes associated with conservatism, which rises with anticommunism and climaxes after the seismic shock of the Sixties with the birth of the Religious Right ( ) 17

18 What role does religion now play in terms of class? Since the late 1970s, among college educated whites 45 & younger (controlling for race & generation), church attendance has fallen from 30% to 27% – By contrast, among those without college, it has fallen from 30-32% to about 20-22% However, religiosity, measured by church attendance, is correlated with more downward-bridging class relationships than is found among secular Americans ( ) – esp. among evangelicals – Civil society Religiosity for white Americans correlated w/conservative views on govt aid to poor, though this correlation is far weaker than with views on sexual morality (256) 18

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