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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 April 2021

 A Place on the Map: Communicating Religious Presence in Civic Life

 A Place on the Map: Communicating Religious Presence in Civic Life

(p.137) 8 A Place on the Map: Communicating Religious Presence in Civic Life
Everyday Religion

Paul Lichterman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

How, if at all, is religion present in local American civic groups? This chapter compares uses of religious language in a variety of religious community service groups in a midwestern U.S. city, focusing on one alliance of mostly white and middle-class congregants of mainline Protestant churches that sponsored volunteering and community development projects in a low-income, minority neighborhood. At its meetings, the alliance almost never used specific, religious language to talk about its issues or goals, but did articulate a religious identity, and understood its civic relationships inside a simple story of responsibility for a fictive “parish”. The other groups also attempted to build relationships across social inequalities, but had a hard time articulating valued civic relationships in religious terms, and interestingly, were more frustrated by their relationship-building efforts.

Keywords:   religious language, religious identity, civic groups, social inequalities, Mainline Protestant

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