By Sean McCloud

Putting the ignored factor of sophistication again into the examine and figuring out of faith, Sean McCloud reconsiders the which means of sophistication in state-of-the-art global. greater than a standing grounded in fabric stipulations, says McCloud, category additionally involves relationships, identifications, obstacles, meanings, strength, and our so much ingrained conduct of brain and physique. He demonstrates that utilizing classification as an analytical instrument that cuts throughout variables similar to creed, race, ethnicity, and gender can light up American spiritual lifestyles in extraordinary methods.

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Additional info for Divine Hierarchies: Class in American Religion and Religious Studies

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From the start, the interracial, yet predominantly black, church focused on civil rights and social justice issues. ⁶⁶ Peoples Temple leaders and members explicitly connected and identified with blackness and poverty. ⁶⁷ It was at this utopia, planted in the jungles of Guyana and named “Jonestown,” where more than nine hundred members committed “revolutionary suicide” on 18 November 1978. While the Peoples Temple example entails the unambiguous identification of a religious group with a particular class and race, sometimes subcultural identification is less explicit, exhibiting more an “awareness” of desirable characteristics associated with a particular class rather than any blatant class consciousness.

Or is combinative spirituality common across all class locations, but more elaborated among higher classes and more restricted among lower ones? My initial guess on all of these questions is yes, and some research concurs. ¹⁰⁸ In other words, those of lower classes similarly picked, mixed, and combined, but they did it using a more restricted field of materials. A second way class makes one more or less available to pursue certain religious options involves Swidler’s discussion of settled and unsettled lives and Machalek and Snow’s concept of structural availability.

It is also not necessarily something permanent—one may move in and out of subcultural identifications. In addition, subcultural identity may be multiple. ⁵⁹ Subcultural identity may also be contested. The debate over who is and who is not a part of any sub- Class Matters 19 culture—who was “authentic” and who was a “poseur” in the 1980s American punk or gothic music scenes, for example—reveals the classificatory boundaries that members of the group strive to build and sustain. Whether contested or agreed upon, individualized or group sanctioned, a subcultural identity implies an act of distinction.

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