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Religions, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2011), Pages 216-468

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Systematic Review of Studies Using the Brief COPE: Religious Coping in Factor Analyses
Religions 2011, 2(3), 216-246; doi:10.3390/rel2030216
Received: 23 May 2011 / Revised: 13 June 2011 / Accepted: 30 June 2011 / Published: 4 July 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Religion is generally recognized as a major resource for dealing with stressful events, but its relationship with secular coping strategies continues to be debated. The present article provides a systematic review of the way in which analyses of the sub-scale turning to religion
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Religion is generally recognized as a major resource for dealing with stressful events, but its relationship with secular coping strategies continues to be debated. The present article provides a systematic review of the way in which analyses of the sub-scale turning to religion of the widely used Brief COPE [1] instrument are presented in peer-reviewed research articles, in order to investigate how the wealth of data published using this instrument can inform how religious coping relates to other coping strategies. Of the 212 identified articles that included turning to religion in their analyses, 80 combined sub-scale scores to form higher-order coping factors, 38 of which based on exploratory factor analyses of their own datasets. When factor analyses had used individual items as indicators, religious coping was more likely to load together with maladaptive coping strategies, and more likely with adaptive coping strategies when analyses were conducted at sub-scale level. To a large extent, the variation in the results from exploratory factor analyses appears to be due to the diverse and often inappropriate factor analytic techniques used to determine the factor structure of the Brief COPE instrument. Reports from factor analyses of the Brief COPE therefore have very little value when trying to make general conclusions about the role of religious coping in relation to secular coping methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)
Open AccessArticle A Political End to a Pioneering Career: Marianne Beth and the Psychology of Religion
Religions 2011, 2(3), 247-263; doi:10.3390/rel2030247
Received: 3 June 2011 / Revised: 23 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 6 July 2011
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Abstract
Although forgotten in both Religionswissenschaft (the Science of Religion) and psychology, Marianne Beth (1880-1984), initially trained as a lawyer and already in 1928 called a “leading European woman”, must be considered as one of the female pioneers of these fields. She has been
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Although forgotten in both Religionswissenschaft (the Science of Religion) and psychology, Marianne Beth (1880-1984), initially trained as a lawyer and already in 1928 called a “leading European woman”, must be considered as one of the female pioneers of these fields. She has been active especially in the psychology of religion, a field in which she, together with her husband Karl Beth, founded a research institute, an international organization and a journal. In 1932, the Beths organized in Vienna (where Karl was a professor) the largest conference ever in the history of the psychology of religion. Because of her Jewish descent, Marianne Beth fled to the USA when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. This brought an abrupt end to her career as researcher and writer. The article reconstructs Marianne Beth’s path into psychology, analyzes some of her work and puts her achievements in an international perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Editors Issue)
Open AccessArticle Religion and Infant Mortality in the U.S.: A Preliminary Study of Denominational Variations
Religions 2011, 2(3), 264-276; doi:10.3390/rel2030264
Received: 12 June 2011 / Revised: 25 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 12 July 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prior research has identified a number of antecedents to infant mortality, but has been focused on either structural (demographic) forces or medical (public health) factors, both of which ignore potential cultural influences. Our study introduces a cultural model for explaining variations in infant
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Prior research has identified a number of antecedents to infant mortality, but has been focused on either structural (demographic) forces or medical (public health) factors, both of which ignore potential cultural influences. Our study introduces a cultural model for explaining variations in infant mortality, one focused on the role of community-level religious factors. A key impetus for our study is well-established religious variations in adult mortality at the community level. Seeking to extend the growing body of research on contextual-level effects of religion, this study examines the impact of religious ecology (i.e., the institutional market share of particular denominational traditions) on county-level infant mortality in the U.S. Analyses of congregational census and Kids Count data reveal that a high prevalence of Catholic and most types of conservative Protestant churches are associated with lower rates of infant mortality when compared with counties that feature fewer Catholic and conservative Protestant congregations. However, communities with a large proportion of Pentecostal churches exhibit significantly higher infant mortality rates. After discussing the implications of these findings, we specify various directions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Connection between Worship Attendance and Racial Segregation Attitudes among White and Black Americans
Religions 2011, 2(3), 277-296; doi:10.3390/rel2030277
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 1 July 2011 / Accepted: 6 July 2011 / Published: 12 July 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study finds that, for Whites, worship attendance is associated with heightened support for racial segregation. This has much to do with the fact that the individuals that attend worship service the least, secular and young adults, tend to be more racially
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The present study finds that, for Whites, worship attendance is associated with heightened support for racial segregation. This has much to do with the fact that the individuals that attend worship service the least, secular and young adults, tend to be more racially progressive. That is, the extent to which secular and Generation X and Y individuals attend worship services as often as others, worship attendance is associated with weakened opposition to racial segregation. Conversely, worship attendance, religious affiliation, and age cohort are largely unrelated to Black racial segregation attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Park 51/Ground Zero Controversy and Sacred Sites as Contested Space
Religions 2011, 2(3), 297-311; doi:10.3390/rel2030297
Received: 9 June 2011 / Revised: 14 July 2011 / Accepted: 19 July 2011 / Published: 25 July 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (300 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Park 51 controversy swept like wildfire through the media in late August of 2010, fueled by Islamophobes who oppose all advance of Islam in America. Yet the controversy also resonated with many who were clearly not caught up in the fear of
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The Park 51 controversy swept like wildfire through the media in late August of 2010, fueled by Islamophobes who oppose all advance of Islam in America. Yet the controversy also resonated with many who were clearly not caught up in the fear of Islam. This article attempts to understand the broader concern that the Park 51 project would somehow violate the Ground Zero site, and, thus, as a sign of "respect" should be moved to a different location, an argument that was invariably articulated in “spatial language” as groups debated the physical and spatial presence of the buildings in question, their relative proximity, and even the shadows they cast. This article focuses on three sets of spatial meanings that undergirded these arguments: the site as sacred ground created through trauma, rebuilding as retaliation for the attack, and the assertion of American civil religion. The article locates these meanings within a broader civic discussion of liberty and concludes that the spatialization of the controversy opened up discursive space for repressive, anti-democratic views to sway even those who believe in religious liberty, thus evidencing a deep ambivalence regarding the legitimate civic membership of Muslim Americans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in America: Zeroing in on the Park51 Controversy)
Open AccessArticle The Spiritual Approach to Group Psychotherapy Treatment of Psychotraumatized Persons in Post-War Bosnia and Herzegovina
Religions 2011, 2(3), 330-344; doi:10.3390/rel2030330
Received: 1 April 2011 / Revised: 4 July 2011 / Accepted: 20 July 2011 / Published: 28 July 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have an intensive negative impact on a patient’s spiritual beliefs or his/her belief in God; this effect may diminish the social and professional skills of many survivors. In the same time researches showed that religion
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Psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have an intensive negative impact on a patient’s spiritual beliefs or his/her belief in God; this effect may diminish the social and professional skills of many survivors. In the same time researches showed that religion plays a coping role among patients with medical and mental health illnesses. During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-1995) the whole population, regardless of age, gender, nationality or profession, suffered severely. During the pre-war period in communistic Yugoslavia religious believes altered with atheistic public life styles. Additionally, war traumatization had a negative impact on spirituality and religious beliefs. In the series of case reports we intended to describe and assess the impact of a session of group psychotherapy, with spiritual topics and content, which was offered to patients who needed to reestablish religious beliefs. The patients who come to the Psychiatry Clinic because of trauma-induced mental health problems and who we are interested in strengthening their spirituality met each other in the group regardless of their religious or spiritual conviction. We described the conceptualization and development of such a group and present some self-reported views of clients who took part in these groups. The supportive and empathetic presence of such group in the community helps to prevent withdrawal and isolation, alienation and deviation of traumatized persons. The presence of such group facilitates the rehabilitation process of the victims, allowing them to understand that people are available to them in certain critical moments, to help, to offer protection or to console. Groups like this one, offer long term social and spiritual support to extremely severely traumatized victims. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Measuring Religiosity/Spirituality: Theoretical Differentiations and Categorization of Instruments
Religions 2011, 2(3), 345-357; doi:10.3390/rel2030345
Received: 29 June 2011 / Revised: 17 July 2011 / Accepted: 9 August 2011 / Published: 11 August 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (300 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a multitude of instruments for measuring religiosity/spirituality. Many of these questionnaires are used or even were developed in the context of studies about the connection between religiosity/spirituality and health. Thus, it seems crucial to note that measures can focus on quite
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There is a multitude of instruments for measuring religiosity/spirituality. Many of these questionnaires are used or even were developed in the context of studies about the connection between religiosity/spirituality and health. Thus, it seems crucial to note that measures can focus on quite different components along a hypothetical path between stressors and health. We present an instructive model which helps to identify these different components and allows the categorization of instruments of religiosity/spirituality according to their primary measurement intention: intensity/centrality, resources, needs, coping, and quality of life/well-being. Furthermore, we point out possibilities as to how religiosity and spirituality can be differentiated. We argue that the distinction between religiosity and spirituality is important in countries with a more secular background where a growing number of people identify themselves as “spiritual, but not religious”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)
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Open AccessArticle Female Clergy as Agents of Religious Change?
Religions 2011, 2(3), 358-371; doi:10.3390/rel2030358
Received: 27 April 2011 / Revised: 4 August 2011 / Accepted: 12 August 2011 / Published: 17 August 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (669 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article focuses on female clergy as potential agents of change in the Church. I argue that the adoption of female clergy is one of the main factors that cause the Church to change its practices, policies and theological orientation. The first female
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This article focuses on female clergy as potential agents of change in the Church. I argue that the adoption of female clergy is one of the main factors that cause the Church to change its practices, policies and theological orientation. The first female ministers were ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in 1988. This is fairly late compared to other Nordic countries. However, the number of female ministers and female students has been growing fast and nowadays about 70 percent of theology students are female.The paper is based on quantitative surveys conducted among the members of the Clergy Union in 2002, 2006 and 2010 (N = about 1,000 each) and among the applicants for university studies in theology in 2010. The research shows that clergywomen are changing the Church in a clearly more liberal direction. They do it in various areas of church life: they change the perception of faith and dogma, the policies of the Church as well as daily practices in parishes. Clergymen are notably more traditional in their orientation, even young clergymen. Therefore it is especially the female clergy who serve as agents of religious change in the Church. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Religious Authority)
Open AccessArticle Schools and Communities of Norm-awareness
Religions 2011, 2(3), 372-388; doi:10.3390/rel2030372
Received: 10 June 2011 / Revised: 28 July 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 22 August 2011
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Abstract
The relationship between religiosity and educational attainment is an important question in the sociology of religion literature. It is widely contested whether the natural outgrowth of the spreading rational worldview and the increase of educated people can account for the decline of religious
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The relationship between religiosity and educational attainment is an important question in the sociology of religion literature. It is widely contested whether the natural outgrowth of the spreading rational worldview and the increase of educated people can account for the decline of religious adherence. Is there any other explanation for the different opportunities of religious and non-religious societal groups to obtaining the highest educational level? After the political transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, one of the most important challenges of restructuring the educational system was how different cultural groups would be able to infuse their own spirituality into their children's education after the domination of the totalitarian ideology. The Hungarian case is unique because of the mixed confessional landscape, the populous Hungarian minority outside the border, the alternating hard and soft periods of religious harassment. Recently, more than half of the Hungarian population can be described as religious in their own way, one sixth strongly affiliated with churches, and another sixth are atheists. However, several studies showed that basic indicators of social status were very strongly and negatively interrelated with religiosity. It turned out that preferred educational views, values, approaches and priorities regarding the norms at schools differ very sharply according to the religious views, and belonging to a religious network significantly supports educational careers. This paper is a comprehensive review of research on the educational functions of denominational schools and religious communities in contemporary Hungary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Women Priests in the Church of England: Psychological Type Profile
Religions 2011, 2(3), 389-397; doi:10.3390/rel2030389
Received: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 25 August 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study employed psychological type theory and measurement to explore the psychological profile of women priests ordained in the Church of England. A sample of 83 Anglican clergywomen in England completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The data demonstrated clear preferences for introversion
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This study employed psychological type theory and measurement to explore the psychological profile of women priests ordained in the Church of England. A sample of 83 Anglican clergywomen in England completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The data demonstrated clear preferences for introversion (63%) over extraversion (37%), for intuition (60%) over sensing (40%), for feeling (76%) over thinking (24%), and for judging (55%) over perceiving (45%). In terms of dominant types, 37% were dominant feelers, 31% dominant intuitives, 23% dominant sensers, and 8% dominant thinkers. These findings are discussed to illuminate the preferred ministry styles of Anglican clergywomen in England and to highlight the significant differences between the psychological type profile of clergywomen and the UK female population norms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Religious Authority)
Open AccessArticle Being Diagnosed with HIV as a Trigger for Spiritual Transformation
Religions 2011, 2(3), 398-409; doi:10.3390/rel2030398
Received: 12 July 2011 / Revised: 4 August 2011 / Accepted: 19 August 2011 / Published: 25 August 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How can the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS result in a positive spiritual transformation (ST)? The purpose of this sub-study is to identify special features of the experiences of individuals in whom HIV/AIDS diagnosis triggered a positive ST. We found ST triggered by HIV/AIDS to
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How can the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS result in a positive spiritual transformation (ST)? The purpose of this sub-study is to identify special features of the experiences of individuals in whom HIV/AIDS diagnosis triggered a positive ST. We found ST triggered by HIV/AIDS to develop gradually, with a key adaptation phase after diagnosis in which the patient develops an individualized spirituality. Most participants (92%) expressed having an individual connection to a higher presence/entity. Most (92%) also described themselves as feeling more spiritual than religious (p < 0.001). Religious professionals did not play a key role in fostering ST. Despite experiencing stigma by virtue of certain religious views, participants accepted themselves, which supported the process that we called “the triad of care taking”. This triad started with self-destructive behavior (92%), such as substance use and risky sex, then transformed to developing self-care after diagnosis (adaptation) and gradually expanded in some (62%) to compassionate care for others during ST. Spirituality did not trigger the adaption phase immediately after diagnosis, but contributed to long-lasting lifestyle changes. Overcoming self-reported depression, (92% before diagnosis and in 8% after ST) was a common feature. After the adaption phase, none of the participants blamed themselves, others or God for their HIV+ status. The prevailing view, rather, was that “God made them aware”. Our results suggest that it may be important to find ways to support people with HIV in feeling connected to a higher presence/entity, since this leads not only to a deeper connection with a higher presence/entity, but also to a deeper connection with oneself and to more responsible and caring behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Health)
Open AccessArticle Prophesying Women and Ruling Men: Women’s Religious Authority in North American Pentecostalism
Religions 2011, 2(3), 410-426; doi:10.3390/rel2030410
Received: 12 June 2011 / Revised: 15 August 2011 / Accepted: 19 August 2011 / Published: 29 August 2011
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Abstract
The issue of religious authority is one of the main reasons why women have been allowed to participate in Pentecostal churches, and why they have been limited. Women are granted access to ministering authority, but not governing authority. Charles Barfoot and Gerald Sheppard
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The issue of religious authority is one of the main reasons why women have been allowed to participate in Pentecostal churches, and why they have been limited. Women are granted access to ministering authority, but not governing authority. Charles Barfoot and Gerald Sheppard have noted the presence of these two types of authority to be operative within Pentecostalism and have associated them with Max Weber’s typology of prophet and priest. However, in their attempt to describe the history of Pentecostal women in ministry with these categories, Barfoot and Sheppard present the paradigm as one of displacement rather than coexistence. The result is a problematic and misleading account of Pentecostal women in ministry. However, the issue is not Weber’s categories, but how they employ them. The purpose of this article is to utilize the distinction between prophet and priest to differentiate between two types of ecclesial functions and their concomitant religious authority, rather than to differentiate between two periods of Pentecostalism. A brief history of Pentecostal women in ministry is presented, wherein examples are offered of how women in the Church of God, the Church of God in Christ, the Assemblies of God, and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel operated in the prophetic realms with a ministering authority, but were largely prohibited from the priestly realms and its ruling authority. As these examples demonstrate, the history of Pentecostal women in ministry is told best when the simultaneous existence of the prophetic and priestly functions are recognized, and ministering authority and ruling authority are connected to these two functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Religious Authority)
Open AccessArticle Hamlet’s Religions
Religions 2011, 2(3), 427-448; doi:10.3390/rel2030427
Received: 6 June 2011 / Revised: 8 August 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 6 September 2011
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Abstract
Pastoral challenges prompted pietists among Elizabethan Catholics and Calvinists to commend what historians now call an inward turn whereby the faithful, in a sense, become their own confessors. This article suggests that spiritual exercises or soliloquies Shakespeare scripted for his Hamlet (and, less
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Pastoral challenges prompted pietists among Elizabethan Catholics and Calvinists to commend what historians now call an inward turn whereby the faithful, in a sense, become their own confessors. This article suggests that spiritual exercises or soliloquies Shakespeare scripted for his Hamlet (and, less so, for Angelo in Measure for Measure) compare favorably with the devotional literature that underscored the importance of self-analysis, intra-psychic conflict, and contrition. The argument here is not that the playwright’s piety resembled his Hamlet’s but that the latter reflected efforts to structure desire in the religions of the time struggling for survival and recognition. References to passages in Shakespeare plays (act, scene) appear parenthetically in the text. Unless otherwise indicated in the bibliography appended to this article, all early printed material is accessible at the Early English Books database, http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home, verified June 1, 2011. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Editors Issue)
Open AccessArticle Notions of Female Authority in Modern Shi’i Thought
Religions 2011, 2(3), 449-468; doi:10.3390/rel2030449
Received: 22 August 2011 / Revised: 8 September 2011 / Accepted: 20 September 2011 / Published: 22 September 2011
PDF Full-text (364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The dominant Shi’i gender discourse has undergone major shifts in recent years, resulting in revisions of various jurisprudential rulings on women’s rights and status. Among such shifts, there have been rulings on female authority, particularly women’s right to access political decision-making positions. Despite
[...] Read more.
The dominant Shi’i gender discourse has undergone major shifts in recent years, resulting in revisions of various jurisprudential rulings on women’s rights and status. Among such shifts, there have been rulings on female authority, particularly women’s right to access political decision-making positions. Despite being a controversial topic that has historically faced much clerical debate and disagreement, in recent years a number of reformist clerics have argued in favor of women’s leadership, which is considered a radical departure from the conventional stance. While there are a number of reasons that have contributed to these modernist clerical views in recent years, I argue that the most significant is women’s demands and mobilization for reform of misogynist Shari‘a-based laws. Through reference to clerical gender discourses unfolding in Iran, a Shi’i state, this work will shed light onto the modernist clerical discourses that resulted from women’s strategic and organized pressuring for enhanced women’s political representation. In this regard, this work will examine the interactions between women’s groups and religious elites, in particular pious women’s efforts to publicize and politicize the issue of female authority and women’s access to leadership positions within the Iranian society, as well as the various types of justifications offered by Shi’i clerics for enhancing women’s political rights. By analyzing the recent clerical reformist discourses, this article identifies two dominant types of justifications used by such clerics in explaining the shift from the conventional stand on the subject of female authority, which are categorized as a contextual rereading and a feminist rereading. This analysis will conclude by evaluating the impact of these different types of clerical responses on the future prospects of reform in the society, especially democratization of religious interpretation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Religious Authority)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Religion and Ethnicity: Theoretical Connections
Religions 2011, 2(3), 312-329; doi:10.3390/rel2030312
Received: 12 May 2011 / Revised: 30 June 2011 / Accepted: 22 July 2011 / Published: 26 July 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The religion literature in Sociology remains largely disconnected from the ethnicity and immigration literature despite enduring connections between religion and ethnicity. This review helps to close this gap. It shows how the dominant theories in each discipline follow a similar trajectory and examines
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The religion literature in Sociology remains largely disconnected from the ethnicity and immigration literature despite enduring connections between religion and ethnicity. This review helps to close this gap. It shows how the dominant theories in each discipline follow a similar trajectory and examines how exploring the theoretical connections between religion and ethnicity can advance our understanding of each social phenomenon. In particular, it can illuminate why America remains so religious as well as why America’s religious congregations continue to be so divided along ethnic and racial lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Editors Issue)

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