EXC 2060 A3-19 - Religious Social Forms in American Christianity Yesterday and Today
- In Progress
- Funding Source
- DFG - Cluster of Excellence
- Project Number
- EXC 2060/1
Workshop to be hosted on March 23/24, 2023 at the University of Bochum, Germany
Hosts: Associate Professor Dr. Maren Freudenberg (University of Bochum), Professor Dr. Astrid Reuter (University of Münster)
Christianity has long been the dominant religious tradition both in North and in Latin America. Internally highly diverse, it includes Catholicism as well as various Protestant traditions, such as Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, the Mainline and, between these, many intersecting and overlapping currents. Despite this breadth, Christianity evinces structural similarities in how adherents organize to practice their faith: whether within large, bureaucratic denominations and their individual congregations (organizations); in smaller communities within or outside of religious organizations (groups); in flexible online and offline formations with various nodes and porous boundaries that integrate diverse actors, roles and identities (networks); in highly dynamic, not yet institutionalized communities pursuing specific religious goals (movements); in the context of larger gatherings, such as religious conventions (events); in the context of religious fairs and exhibitions (markets); in one-on-one religious interaction, such as praying together (dyads); or, more generally, in broadly shared religious understandings and expectations (institutions). This spectrum of social forms in the newer sociology of religion may be complimented by Max Weber’s and Ernst Troeltsch’s classical distinction between “church,” “sect,” and “mysticism,” as well as more recent discussions in the sociology of organizations about where to draw the line between religious movement and formal organization.
The aim of the workshop is to (1) bring together a range of empirical examples that demonstrate the plurality of Christianity in the Americas in terms of its social forms in past and present; (2) generate a theoretical discussion on defining the concept of “social form” on the meso-level that brings together discourses from the sociology of religion, religious studies, and organizational sociology; and (3) generate a discussion on how the sustainable integration of certain Christian communities into the religious landscape – and the failure of others to integrate long-term – might be explained by their dominant social form(s).
Dr. Maren Freudenberg
CERES - Centrum für Religionswissenschaftliche Studien
Tel: +49 234 32-22092