Special Issue "The Complexity of Religious Inequality"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2020) | Viewed by 13039

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Melissa Wilde
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 1200 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 (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
The “Right” History: Religion, Race, and Nostalgic Stories of Christian America
Religions 2021, 12(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020095 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2251
Abstract
A wide range of right-wing movements are bound together by their adherence to a nostalgic vision of the United States as a “Christian nation,” yet there are meaningful differences in the specific narratives promoted by these groups that are not fully understood. This [...] Read more.
A wide range of right-wing movements are bound together by their adherence to a nostalgic vision of the United States as a “Christian nation,” yet there are meaningful differences in the specific narratives promoted by these groups that are not fully understood. This article identifies two ideal-typical versions of this narrative: the white Christian nation and the colorblind Judeo-Christian nation. The two narratives share a common declension structure, but differ in their framing of how religion and race intersect as markers of American belonging and power. Although participants in right-wing movements often slide back and forth between the two narratives in practice, distinguishing between them analytically enables us to better understand how the two renderings of American history carry different meanings and perform different kinds of political work for participants in these movements. Theoretically, the analysis extends the insights of a “complex religion” approach to sites beyond organized religion, while also demonstrating how scholarship on Christian nationalism and on right-wing movements’ use of national history could each be enhanced by greater attention to the other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
Article
How Religion, Social Class, and Race Intersect in the Shaping of Young Women’s Understandings of Sex, Reproduction, and Contraception
Religions 2021, 12(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010005 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1588
Abstract
Using a complex religion framework, this study examines how and why three dimensions of religiosity—biblical literalism, personal religiosity, and religious service attendance—are related to young women’s reproductive and contraceptive knowledge differently by social class and race. We triangulate the analysis of survey data [...] Read more.
Using a complex religion framework, this study examines how and why three dimensions of religiosity—biblical literalism, personal religiosity, and religious service attendance—are related to young women’s reproductive and contraceptive knowledge differently by social class and race. We triangulate the analysis of survey data from the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) study and semi-structured interview data from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) to identify and explain patterns. From the quantitative data, we find that all three dimensions of religiosity link to young women’s understandings of sex, reproduction, and contraception in unique ways according to parental education and racial identity. There is a lack of knowledge about female reproductive biology for young women of higher SES with conservative Christian beliefs (regardless of race), but personal religiosity and religious service attendance are related to more accurate contraceptive knowledge for young black women and less accurate knowledge for young White women. From the qualitative data, we find that class and race differences in the meaning of religion and how it informs sexual behavior help explain results from the quantitative data. Our results demonstrate the importance of taking a complex religion approach to studying religion and sex-related outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Perceived Group Deprivation and Intergroup Solidarity: Muslims’ Attitudes towards Other Minorities in the United States
Religions 2020, 11(11), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110604 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1217
Abstract
What is the relationship between the sense of perceived discrimination among members of a marginalized racial, ethnic, or religious group and their political attitudes towards other marginalized groups within their society? Research on minority groups in politics has established that the feeling that [...] Read more.
What is the relationship between the sense of perceived discrimination among members of a marginalized racial, ethnic, or religious group and their political attitudes towards other marginalized groups within their society? Research on minority groups in politics has established that the feeling that one’s own group is socially deprived and discriminated against is generally associated with an increase in within-group solidarity, observable in members’ stronger expressions of collective identity—also called “group consciousness” or “linked fate”—as well as their robust support for political parties and policies seen as directly benefitting members of their in group. Yet an underappreciated strand of this same research suggests that a strong sense of in-group deprivation may also lead to greater empathy and political support for other marginalized minorities, a phenomenon we refer to as intergroup solidarity. In this paper, we use the case of Muslim Americans to test the hypothesis that perceptions of group deprivation can lead to increased intergroup solidarity with other socially marginalized racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. We find that Muslims who feel that they have been discriminated against and/or who believe Muslims as a group are a target of discrimination are more likely to embrace the struggles of other groups and recognize the marginalization of other groups. Our findings suggest that in-group political consciousness raising may be a first step toward intergroup coalition building among those who suffer from discrimination and marginalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
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
Viewed by 853
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)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
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
Viewed by 1022
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)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
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
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1571
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)
Article
Equal Opportunity Beliefs beyond Black and White American Christianity
Religions 2020, 11(7), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070348 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1827
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)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
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 4 | Viewed by 2179
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)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop