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Lived Religion: Signposts of Where We Have Been and Where We Can Go from Here

  • Mary Jo Neitz
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the concept of “lived religion” – a potential vehicle for transcending the division between the institutionalized facticity implied by grounding religious research too strongly in official definitions and codes, while ignoring participant actors as part of religions as living structures. Historically, for example, much social scientific study of religion took the norms articulated by religious bodies as “the” religion, rather than looking at how religious people actually lived their lives both in respect to specific religious duties and beliefs but also in respect to an articulation between these and other aspects of their lives. By looking at religion as a set of institutionalized norms and officially sanctioned practitioners and practices, sociology can actually serve the reverse purpose of its intent: that is, it can avoid actually describing what religious people do as religious people while instead investigating what religious people don’t do over against formal norms articulated (largely in print media) by religious bodies as corporate structures and not necessarily engaged in some details even by the corporate actors themselves, though these same corporate actors might affirm them as details that ought to be observed, both by themselves and others.

Keywords

Religious Practice Ordinary People Religious Institution Gang Member Spiritual Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Jo Neitz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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