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SEPT 15– OBSERVATION, MEASUREMENT, CLASSIFICATION TOPICS Observation of Religion Accounting for Accounts Measurement of Religiosity Religiosity of the Seminar Participants Classification of Religions Church/Sect Typologies Other Typologies OBSERVATION

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SEPT 15– OBSERVATION, MEASUREMENT, CLASSIFICATION

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Sept 15 observation measurement classification l.jpg

SEPT 15– OBSERVATION, MEASUREMENT, CLASSIFICATION


Topics l.jpg

TOPICS

  • Observation of Religion

  • Accounting for Accounts

  • Measurement of Religiosity

  • Religiosity of the Seminar Participants

  • Classification of Religions

    • Church/Sect Typologies

    • Other Typologies


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OBSERVATION

  • Delineation of Boundaries: What is inside the frame of reference

  • Direct Observation

  • Participant-Observation

  • Interpretation of Accounts


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Maximum Feasible Immersion

The ethnographer as cultural bridge

Accounting for Accounts


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Defining Unit of Analysis

Sampling

Reliability

Validity

Dimensionality (Scaling)

MEASUREMENT


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PRAYER: AMERICAN DATA

  • EVER PRAY: Steady 90% (1948-2003)

  • PRAY AT LEAST 2X/DAY: Declined from 40% to 30% from 1950 to 2000. May have increased slightly since 2001

  • WHO PRAYS MOST: Baptists and small fundamentalist sects

  • WHO PRAYS LEAST: Jews (only ¼ daily)


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CHURCH ATTENDANCE

  • Approximately 40% attend weekly

  • Protestants have been steady 40% for the last 50 years. But Episcopalians lowest among Protestants (33%)

  • Catholics in steady decline from 75% in the 1950s to little more than 50% now

  • Jews least likely to attend weekly

  • Mormons most likely to attend weekly


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AFFILIATION

  • Percent affiliated has grown steadily in America for 250 years from about 10% or less to currently approximately 66%

  • How may this fact be reconciled with secularization theory?


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ASPECTS OF RELIGION CAN BE MEASURED AT THE DENOMINATIONAL LEVEL AS WELL AS AT THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL


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AS WEBER EMPHASIZED, RELIOUS AFFILIATION IS CORRELATED WITH SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS

But the differentials in the USA have become less over the past 50 years


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1. Stephen (most)

2. Laurie

3. Andrea

4. Shruti

5. John

6. Elizabeth

7. Sara

8. Ben

9. Michael

10. Katie

11. Greg (least)

HOW RELIGIOUS IS THE CLASS? Rank Order as an average of all ten scales:


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HOW THE SCALES CORRELATE


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CLASSIFICATION


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CHURCH SECT TYPOLOGIES

  • Church-Sect: A Counter-Reformational Perspective

  • Church-Denomination-Sect: [Riddle: How do you know when a sect has become a denomination? Answer: When it gets a Fax machine and a Xerox machine.]

  • Church-Denomination-Sect-Cult: The currently widely accepted fourfold distinction


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CHURCH

  • Inclusion of all members of a society and a belief in the right to a monopoly over the collective and personal religious life of that society.

  • A close alliance with the secular powers and a mutual buttressing of legitimacy.

  • Membership based on birth not conversion

  • Examples: Catholic, Russian Orthodox (pre-1917), Tibetan Buddhist (pre-1959).


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SECT

  • A sect is formed by breaking away from a church or denomination.

  • Exists in a state of tension with the secular world

  • Refusal to compromise on doctrine or practice.

  • A sense of elitism. The sect represents the true doctrine that the church has fallen away from.

  • Examples: Amish, Zen Buddhists, Sufis, maybe the Mormons


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DENOMINATION

  • A sect that has become more church-like.

  • Examples: Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Methodist, Baptist, Quaker


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CULT

  • A residual category

  • Definition a matter of controversy

  • New Religious Movements

  • Some define a cult as a bad religion

  • Most base definition on the presence of a living charismatic leader who holds the religious body together. The leader is more important than doctrine.


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TYPES OF PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS

  • Mainline

  • Charismatic

  • Pentecostal

  • Evangelical

  • Fundamentalist

  • Social Gospel


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TYPES OF SECTS-- YINGER

Acceptance Sects: help individuals with their problems (AA, Christian Science)

  • Aggressive Sects: try to change the world (Wahabi, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Salvation Army)

  • Avoidance Sects: get away from corrupting society (Amish)


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TYPE OF SECTS-- WILSON

  • Reforming (Salvation Army)

  • Withdrawing (Amish, Mennonites)

  • Managing (Christian Science)

  • Revolutionary (Adventists, Millenarians)


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The major religion of the world can be classified along these dimensions.

  • Theology

  • Eschatology

  • Practice

  • Leadership

  • Ethics

  • Membership Criteria


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