Religion in the 21st Century–6 stories

In addition to continuing our jigsaw readings, on Thursday we read half of a chapter that Professor Spickard wrote himself.  Although group pairing is fun; getting to discuss one reading as a class is enjoyable too.  Finding the six stories that support how religion is viewed and practiced in the 21st century continues to be ever-changing.  It was helpful how the Professor individually took each story and applied separate stories and sources for them all.  First was the obvious tale of disappearing religion, which is the common discussion in today’s age due to pluralism, privatization, etc.  Next was the notion that religion is anti-modern, which sounds like another off-shoot of disappearing religion; but, has different cultural trends that set it apart.

Third, is the argument that religion is individualized.  The discussion of personal religious bricolage—meaning forming your own religious experience out of many different things.  Fourth, the idea that religious places are a place of community.  This highlights the cultural desires that we as people crave community and together-ness; and it’s the reason why an institutionalized church setting still exists.  Fifth, the notion that religion responds to its market.  This one stood out, to me, because of the differing markets around the world, not just America.  Every country has their “religious market” structured differently, so it can take a lifetime of studying to come up with a figure of how “consumers” would “buy” various beliefs.  Lastly is the idea that religion is going global, a worldwide movement of people stating their religion is not only a faith—but also their identity.