Lived Religion and the Religious Field

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Kupari , H 2020 , ' Lived Religion and the Religious Field ' , Journal of Contemporary Religion , vol. 35 , no. 2 , pp. 213-230 .

Title: Lived Religion and the Religious Field
Author: Kupari, Helena
Contributor organization: Department of Cultures
Date: 2020-07-13
Language: eng
Number of pages: 18
Belongs to series: Journal of Contemporary Religion
ISSN: 1353-7903
Abstract: In the study of lived religion, the focus on laypeople as religious agents can result in the simplistic juxtaposition of religion-as-practised by individuals and religion-as-prescribed by institutions. This perspective leads to analyses that over-emphasize agency and overlook the embeddedness of religious persons in intricate power relations that expand beyond the institution(s) closest to them. I propose that Pierre Bourdieu's social theory, particularly as related to the religious field, offers tools for tackling this issue. While Bourdieu's work has been criticized for relegating the laity to the status of passive consumers of religious goods, his theorizations can also be employed to produce nuanced micro-level accounts that prioritize laypeople's practical knowledge of the field and the positions they take within it. Based on my case study of older Finnish women's normative assessments related to religion, I demonstrate how scholars can investigate the role which their informants' histories and investments within the religious field play in their religion-as-lived. The women in my study, lifelong members of Orthodox or Lutheran churches, defended their positions in the increasingly individualistic Finnish religious field through an emphasis on childhood socialization as the foundation of 'proper' religion.
614 Theology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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