The Effect of Religiosity on Well-Being

Table 37 from Soul Searching

For M 5/14

Group Exercise: Smith 6, 7

Identify, with examples from one of the narratives in the book, of the ways that the following social actors or characteristics facilitates and inhibits adolescent religiosity.
A. parents
B. peers
C. religious leaders
D. religious organizations
E. social capital
F. religious pluralism

For W 5/9

Identify one sociological concept that we've discussed that explains a key aspect of this kind of American religiosity. Find an example from the narratives that demonstrates how this concept applies.

For M 5/7

Group Exercise: Smith, 2, 3

1. What does Table 4 reveal about the socialization of religion?

2. What does Table 7 reveal about the socialization of religion?

3. What does Table 14 reveal about the socialization of religion?

4. What does Table 17 reveal about the socialization of religion?

5. What does Table 24 reveal about “spiritual seeking” among teens? Is this evidence of the shift from obligation to consumption?

For W 5/2

Group Exercise:
Identify one key element of the sociology of religion among young people and find a part of the two interviews in chapter 1 that demonstrates that element and why it is significant.


I just realized that I forgot to publish the forum questions for the last half of Braunstein. I've posted those questions tonight, and the forums will remain open for a week.

For M 4/9

Questions for discussion: Braunstein Summary & Assessment
Braunstein uses comparative ethnography to draw our attention to the similarities and differences of these two groups. Both the similarities and differences contribute to our understanding of religion in public life.

A) What is the most important similarity between Interfaith and the Patriots?

B) What is the most important difference between the two groups?

C) What is the most surprising aspect of the comparative ethnography?

For W 3/28

Questions for discussion: Braunstein 5, 6
1. How did Interfaith develop an "accountability frame"?

2. How did the Patriots develop an accountability frame?

3. How do members of both groups become informed about various issues?

4. What is the basis for community in the two groups' democratic imaginaries?

5. How is the concept of "appropriate action" ideologically constructed?

6. How did each group bring religion into politics?

For M 3/26

Questions for discussion: Braunstein 3, 4
1. How does the Constitution function as a symbolic resource for the Patriots?

2. How does Interfaith understand the "prophetic voice" tradition?

3. What does Braunstein mean by "democratic imaginary"?

4. How do the democratic imaginaries of the two groups account for pluralism?

5. What role for public religion do the two groups imagine?

6. Both groups advocate for active citizenship, so how do they end up in such different places in terms of political action?

Winter Storm Alert

Since the college announced that classes are cancelled on Wednesday, 3/21, I'll post the questions for discussion on the site and you can earn participation credit by posting a response before we meet again on Monday, 3/26.

For M 3/19

Questions for discussion: Braunstein 1, 2
1. Who are the "prophets" and the "patriots"?

2. What is active citizenship?

3. What role does group culture play in connecting religion and active citizenship?

4. What is comparative ethnography?

5. Is the "aha! moment" a kind of conversion narrative?

6. How does religion inform the identity of the Tea Party group?

7. How does religion inform the identity of the Interfaith group?

8. What role does race play in the identity of each group?

For W 3/ 14

Synthesis & discussion: Latino Protestants in America

The authors have tried to demonstrate that “Latino Protestant” is doubly problematic, because “Latino” and “Protestant” are not unitary identity categories—they make sense demographically, but not culturally. What evidence from the book best reveals this complexity? Is there contrary evidence?

A. Latino

B. Protestant

For M 3/12

Questions for discussion: Mulder et al., 6 & 7

1. How does residential segregation shape Latino religious experience?

2. How do Latino Protestants compare to non-Latino Protestants and Latino Catholics on political affiliation?

3. How does political participation among Latino Protestants, Latino Catholics, and non-Latino Protestants compare?

4. How do Latino Protestants compare to non-Latino Protestants and Latino Catholics on questions of social morality (e.g., abortion, gay marriage, gender traditionalism?

For W 3/7

Questions for discussion, Mulder et al., 4 & 5
1. How did Iglesia Mundial construct Latino identity?
2. How did Word of Life construct Latino identity?
3. How did Poderoso Amor construct Latino identity?
4. How did Alabanza Hispanic Church construct Latino identity?
5. What can we learn from these four examples?
6. How does congregational organization vary among these Latino congregations?
7. How does worship style (liturgy) vary among these Latino congregations?

For M 3/5

Discussion of Mulder, et al., chapters 2 and 3.
1. Compare the experiences of indigenous and immigrant Latinos in the US. How does this difference manifest in religious experience?
2. What role did white Protestant missionaries play in early US Latino history?
3. How does alienation from the Catholic Church factor into conversion stories?
4. Compare the experiences of Mexican and Puerto Rican immigrants to the US. What role does religion play?

For W 2/28

A few questions from Sociology of Religion to sum up:
1. Why is age cohort more important for explaining trends in religion than age?
2. Why do most religious traditions tend to enforce traditional (conservative) gender norms?
3. What is "the cultural turn" in sociology? How does it inform sociology of religion?

For W 2/21

Questions for discussion from Davie, chapters 9 & 10:

1. What is fundamentalism? This is, how should we define it?
2. What does the historical/comparative method allow us to see regarding fundamentalism?
3. How does fundamentalism react to political and cultural liberalism?
4. How does fundamentalism react to religious pluralism?

5. How is power implicated in the globalization of religion?
6. Does mission need missionaries?
7. How is pentecostalism a form of globalized religion?
8. What is global ecumenism?

For W 2/14

We'll answer these questions from Davie chapters 7 & 8 together.

1. What do age cohorts reveal about post-war religiosity in Europe and the US?

2. How does religion remain in the public sphere if the population is becoming less religious?

3. What is the difference between "hard" and "soft" indicators of religious belief?

4. How do established churches in Nordic societies indicate "vicarious religion"?

5. How has disestablishment in the US made vicarious religion less likely?

For W 2/7

Davie, chapters 5-6
Each group will discuss one question.

1. How do modernity and post-modernity pose different problems for religion?

2. What does the decline in traditional secular organizations in modern Europe tell us about religion?

3. In what ways is “post-modern” religion public?

4. What does Davie mean by the shift from obligation to consumption?

5. How is fundamentalism a specifically post-modern form of religion?

For M 2/5

Davie, chapters 3-4

Each group will discuss one question.
1. How well does secularization theorizing fit modernity in Europe?

2. How does modernization in the US differ from Europe with regard to secularization?

3. What is the "sacred canopy"?

4. Does the rise of individualism and rationality in globalized societies necessarily produce secularization?

5. How does rational choice theory explain religiosity?

6. What are "general compensators based on supernatural assumptions"?


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