Reflection 11 March 2019

In chapter 8, McGuire discusses the four narratives in the sociology of religion. The one narrative that stuck out to me was the secularization narrative. This particular narrative discusses the privatization of religion in such that religion should shape the individual and private life. This is not a new topic to me but it is still one that I cannot fully comprehend, in fact, much of the sectarian ideologies still confuse me to a slight degree. Perhaps it is just my misunderstanding but doesn’t sectarian religions promote community within the congregation and how does this apply to personal life? What I am trying to ask is if these sectarian congregations play a role in a member’s private life? For example, say Billy is a devoted Baptist and he is going through a divorce, would the congregation play any role in what Billy does or does that influence solely come from the minister?

Another narrative that stuck out to me was the religious individualization narrative specifically “religion a la carte” (McGuire 293). The concept behind a la carte is that there is less of an importance of institutionally validated beliefs to the individual (McGuire 293). Can this also transfer to the need to identify with an established church? From personal experience, the concept of religion a la carte describes how my religious/spiritual life is unfolding. I do not feel the need to identify with a certain religion or church mainly due to the different teachings from various religions that define me and it would feel strange to me to identify with just one religion.