Special Issue "The Complexity of Religious Inequality"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Melissa Wilde
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 292 McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA
Interests: Religion; intersectionality; race; class; gender; politics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although scholars of religion acknowledge religion’s deep interconnectedness with race and ethnicity in (and occassionally class), we nonetheless typically study religion as a factor that is independent from other social structures. Likewise, we rarely systematically examine class, race or gender differences between or within religious groups. This journal issue will highlight research that moves beyond these weaknesses by publishing papers that intentionally examine aspects of inequality as they relate to religion.  Papers that explore these connections historically or in contemporary times and internationally or locally are all encouraged.

For more information, or to submit an abstract, please email [email protected]. Abstracts are due by January 1, 2020 and will be accepted on a rolling basis. Papers are to be submitted for peer review by June 1, 2020.

Dr. Melissa Wilde
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • religion
  • race
  • class
  • gender
  • inequality
  • ethnicity
  • immigration
  • sexuality

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Race, Ethnicity, and the Functional Use of Religion When Faced with Imminent Death
Religions 2020, 11(10), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11100500 - 29 Sep 2020
Abstract
This article uses religious coping theory to theorize about how and why race and ethnic groups on death row frame religious last statements at the moment of imminent death. Unique data (N = 269) drawn from death row inmates in Texas between December [...] Read more.
This article uses religious coping theory to theorize about how and why race and ethnic groups on death row frame religious last statements at the moment of imminent death. Unique data (N = 269) drawn from death row inmates in Texas between December 1982 and April 2016 reveal uniformity in the dominance that black, white, and Hispanic inmates assign to relational forms of expressions that draw them closer to God and expressions that facilitate spiritual intimacy with others, over self-focused expressions that represent efforts to gain control over the imminent death experience or signal a transformed life. There is a hierarchy of preferred religious coping methods that changes for each group following the implementation of a new policy allowing the family and friends of murder victims (co-victims) to witness the execution of inmates. It is concluded that race and ethnic groups differ in the premium they place on preferred religious coping strategies when faced with imminent death, and a change in social context, such as the sudden presence of co-victims at executions, increases the religious content of last statements for all groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
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Open AccessArticle
A Complex Religion Approach to the Differing Impact of Education on Black and White Religious Group Members’ Political Views
Religions 2020, 11(9), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090477 - 19 Sep 2020
Abstract
This paper examines the interaction of education for both Blacks and Whites in all major religious groups on four key political issues: Abortion, gay marriage, feelings toward redistribution, and political party identification. We find that for most Blacks, race is the most salient [...] Read more.
This paper examines the interaction of education for both Blacks and Whites in all major religious groups on four key political issues: Abortion, gay marriage, feelings toward redistribution, and political party identification. We find that for most Blacks, race is the most salient factor across all four political dimensions; whereas there is significant variation by religion and education for Whites, there is very little difference for Blacks. As previous research has noted, Blacks are generally more conservative on gay marriage and Blacks are generally positive about redistribution, much more so than most Whites regardless of education and religion. We find education is more liberating to Whites than Blacks. The only issue for which education has significant effects for Blacks is abortion, but even in this case, unlike for Whites, there are not large religious differences among Blacks. This study corroborates previous research that abortion and gay marriage are less politically central to Blacks, who at all education levels are more likely to be Democrat than the most Democrat identified Whites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy, Distancing, and Reconciling: Religion and Race in Americans’ Abortion Attitudes
Religions 2020, 11(9), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090475 - 18 Sep 2020
Abstract
Religion and race together inform Americans’ abortion attitudes, but precisely how remains contradictory and unclear. Presumptions of shared religious or secular “worldviews” dividing abortion opinion mask variation among racially diverse adherents within the same tradition. Theoretical gaps compel a deeper, qualitative exploration of [...] Read more.
Religion and race together inform Americans’ abortion attitudes, but precisely how remains contradictory and unclear. Presumptions of shared religious or secular “worldviews” dividing abortion opinion mask variation among racially diverse adherents within the same tradition. Theoretical gaps compel a deeper, qualitative exploration of underlying processes. This article uses close analysis of a religiously and racially diverse, ideal–typical subset of in-depth interviews from the National Abortion Attitudes Study to identify three processes operating at the intersection of religion and race in abortion attitudes: efficacy, distancing, and reconciling. While religion’s effect on abortion opinion remains paramount, accounting for social location illuminates meaningful variation. Findings offer an important corrective to overly-simplified narratives summarizing how religion matters to abortion opinion, accounting more fully for complex religion and religion as raced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
Open AccessArticle
Equal Opportunity Beliefs beyond Black and White American Christianity
Religions 2020, 11(7), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070348 - 10 Jul 2020
Abstract
Scholars in critical race and the sociology of religion have independently drawn attention to the ways in which cultural ideologies drive beliefs about inequalities between groups. Critical race work on “abstract liberalism” highlights non-racially inflected language that tacitly reinforces White socioeconomic outcomes resulting [...] Read more.
Scholars in critical race and the sociology of religion have independently drawn attention to the ways in which cultural ideologies drive beliefs about inequalities between groups. Critical race work on “abstract liberalism” highlights non-racially inflected language that tacitly reinforces White socioeconomic outcomes resulting from an allegedly fair social system. Sociologists of religion have noted that White Evangelical Christian theology promotes an individualist mindset that places blame for racial inequalities on the perceived failings of Blacks. Using data from the National Asian American Survey 2016, we return to this question and ask whether beliefs about the importance of equal opportunity reveal similarities or differences between religious Asian American and Latino Christians and Black and White Christians. The results confirm that White Christians are generally the least supportive of American society providing equal opportunity for all. At the other end, Black Christians were the most supportive. However, with the inclusion of Asian American Christian groups, we note that second generation Asian American and Latino Evangelicals hew closer to the White Christian mean, while most other Asian and Latino Christian groups adhere more closely to the Black Christian mean. This study provides further support for the recent claims of religion’s complex relationship with other stratifying identities. It suggests that cultural assimilation among second generation non-Black Evangelical Christians heads more toward the colorblind racist attitudes of many White Christians, whereas potential for new coalitions of Latino and Black Christians could emerge, given their shared perceptions of the persistent inequality in their communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
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Open AccessArticle
Religion across Axes of Inequality in the United States: Belonging, Behaving, and Believing at the Intersections of Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality
Religions 2020, 11(6), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11060296 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Much research considers group differences in religious belonging, behaving, and/or believing by gender, race, ethnicity, class, or sexuality. This study, however, considers all these factors at once, providing the first comprehensive snapshot of religious belonging, behaving, and believing across and within these axes [...] Read more.
Much research considers group differences in religious belonging, behaving, and/or believing by gender, race, ethnicity, class, or sexuality. This study, however, considers all these factors at once, providing the first comprehensive snapshot of religious belonging, behaving, and believing across and within these axes of inequality in the United States. Leveraging unique data with an exceptionally large sample, I explore religion across 40 unique configurations of intersecting identities (e.g., one is non-Latina Black heterosexual college-educated women). Across all measures considered, Black women are at the top—however, depending on the measure, there are different subsets of Black women at the top. And whereas most sexual minorities are among the least religious Americans, Black sexual minorities—and especially those with a college degree—exhibit high levels of religious belonging, behaving, and believing. In fact, Black sexual minority women with a college degree meditate more frequently than any other group considered. Overall, whereas we see clear divides in how religious people are by factors like gender, education, and sexual orientation among most racial groups, race appears to overpower other factors for Black Americans who are consistently religious regardless of their other characteristics. By presenting levels of religious belonging, behaving, and believing across configurations of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality in the contemporary United States, this study provides a more complex and complete picture of American religion and spirituality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
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