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Everyday ReligionObserving Modern Religious Lives$
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Nancy T. Ammerman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305418

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305418.001.0001

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 Studying Everyday Religion: Challenges for the Future

 Studying Everyday Religion: Challenges for the Future

(p.219) 13 Studying Everyday Religion: Challenges for the Future
Everyday Religion

Nancy T. Ammerman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Having explored the dispatches from the field in the chapters of this book, it is apparent that there is no one summary measure of secularization or of religious strength. Existing traditions are by no means the only elements in people’s religious repertoire, but they are still a powerful presence, with an impact beyond what can be counted by asking individuals about their beliefs. An adequate social theory of religion will require that we look for the everyday intersections among the social domains of modern life — including religious domains — and for the ways plural cultural patterns affect each other. Paying attention to how modern people identify the religious and spiritual dimensions of their lives will continue to stretch our definitions, but it will also continue to suggest new ways to think about where religion is found and why, how spiritual practices affect lives, and how the particular histories of the world’s diverse societies shape the story of religion’s presence and role. There are indeed many modernities — not just the Western Enlightenment story of religious decline. And there are many kinds of choices — not just the rational maximizing of rewards. Everyday religion takes place in the fascinating flow of choosing and creating that constitutes modern social life.

Keywords:   secularization, traditions, beliefs, social theory, modern life, spiritual practices, modernities, Western Enlightenment, choices

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