Contemporary articles citing Berger P (1967) Sacred Canopy Elemen

religious, religion, cultural, public, historical, contemporary, provides, power, accounts, religion's

Lichterman, Paul. 2012. "Religion in Public Action: From Actors to Settings." Sociological Theory. 30:1 15-36. Link
Contemporary social research often has located religion's public influence by focusing on individual or collective religious actors. In this unitary actor model, religion is a stable, uniform feature of an individual or collectivity. However, recent research shows that people's religious expression outside religious congregations varies by context. Building on this new work, along with insights from Erving Goffman and cultural sociology, an alternative, ``cultural-interactionist model'' of religious expression focuses on how group styles enable and constrain religious expression in public settings. Illustrating the model are two ethnographic cases, a religiously sponsored homeless advocacy organization and a secondary comparison setting from an activist campaign for housing, both from a U.S. metropolitan area. Shifting from actors to settings and group styles clarifies the interplay between religious and nonreligious culture over time. The shift refines our understanding of how religion's civic or political effects work, as in the case of building social capital for collective action. The cultural-interactionist model enables us to track historical change in everyday group settings. It promotes further research on historically changing ways of managing religious diversity, and diverse ways of constructing a religious self.

Tavory, Iddo. 2011. "The Question of Moral Action: a Formalist Position*." Sociological Theory. 29:4 272-293. Link
This article develops a research position that allows cultural sociologists to compare morality across sociohistorical cases. In order to do so, the article suggests focusing analytic attention on actions that fulfill the following criteria: (a) actions that define the actor as a certain kind of socially recognized person, both within and across fields; (b) actions that actors experienceor that they expect others to perceiveas defining the actor both intersituationally and to a greater extent than other available definitions of self; and (c) actions to which actors either have themselves, or expect others to have, a predictable emotional reaction. Such a position avoids both a realist moral sociology and descriptive-relativism, and provides sociologists with criteria for comparing moral action in different cases while staying attuned to social and historical specificity.

Bush, Evelyn. 2010. "Explaining Religious Market Failure: a Gendered Critique of the Religious Economies Model." Sociological Theory. 28:3 304-325.
According to the religious economies model, religious supply in open religious economies should adapt to the demands of diverse market niches. This proposition is inconsistent with the finding that, although women constitute the majority of religious consumers, the majority of the religions produced in the American religious marketplace favor men's interests relative to women's. Three modifications to the religious economies model are suggested to account for this contradiction. The first modification is a respecification of ``religious capital'' that takes into account unequal distributions of power among producers of religious value and their differential effects on the beneficiaries and targets of religious norms. The second modification theorizes religion's linkages to other social institutions as sources of cost and benefit that are taken into account by religious entrepreneurs. The third modification accounts for status-based discrimination and unequal distributions of capital as sources of constraint that influence the production of religious supply. Several directions for future research are proposed.

Besecke, K. 2005. "Seeing Invisible Religion: Religion as a Societal Conversation About Transcendent Meaning." Sociological Theory. 23:2 179-196. Link
Contemporary sociology conceptualizes religion along two dimensions: the institutional and the individual. Lost in this dichotomy is religion's noninstitutional, but collective and public, cultural dimension. As a result, theories of religious modernity, including both sides of the secularization debate, are unable to recognize or evaluate the social power of noninstitutionalized religious communication. This article offers a reconceptualization of religion that highlights its cultural, communicative dimension. Original research on religious talk provides an empirical ground for a theoretical discussion that highlights: (1) the ``invisible'' nature of religion in modern societies, as theorized by Thomas Luckmann and (2) the social power attributed to communication by contemporary cultural sociologists and cultural theorists. I argue that conceptualizing religion as an evolving societal conversation about transcendent meaning broadens the empirical and theoretical grasp of the religion concept.

Wuthnow, R. 2004. "The Religious Factor Revisited." Sociological Theory. 22:2 205-218. Link
Four decades have passed since the publication of Gerhard Lenski's The Religious Factor. While generally regarded as a classic in the sociology of religion, the book has had a curious history, largely because of the interest it generated in differences between Protestants and Catholics. In this paper I provide an alternative reading of The Religious Factor's impact on sociology of religion that points to its larger theoretical implications. I argue that the book should be understood in relation to continuing debates about the classification of religious traditions, differentiation among socioreligious groups, intergroup relations among religious traditions, and friendship ties within religious communities. Through understanding these contributions, the book's legacy as well as continuities and new opportunities in the study of religion can be appreciated.

Bentz, VM & W Kenny. 1997. "``body-as-world'': Kenneth Burke's Answer to the Postmodernist Charges Against Sociology." Sociological Theory. 15:1 81-96. Link
Postmodernism charges that sociological methods project ways of thinking and being from the past onto the future, and that sociological forms of presentation are rhetorical defenses of ideologies. Postmodernism contends that sociological theory presents reified constructs no more based in reality than are fictional accounts. Kenneth Burke's logology predates and adequately addresses postmodernism's valid charges against sociology. At the same time, logology avoids the idealistic tendencies and ethical pitfalls of radical forms of postmodernist deconstruction, which acknowledge neither pretextual and extratextual worlds nor the way sin which experience is embodied. While not fully articulated, Burke's logology gives primacy to an embodies, social world prior to text (body-as-World). Sociology can strengthen both its theoretical arsenal and its response to postmodernism by reacknowledging and reclaiming Burke's logology.

Kopelowitz, E & M Diamond. 1998. "Religion That Strengthens Democracy: an Analysis of Religious Political Strategies in Israel." Theory and Society. 27:5 671-708. Link

Pfaff, Steven. 2013. "The True Citizens of the City of God: the Cult of Saints, the Catholic Social Order, and the Urban Reformation in Germany." Theory and Society. 42:2 189-218. Link
Historical scholarship suggests that a robust cult of the saints may have helped some European regions to resist inroads by Protestantism. Based on a neo-Durkheimian theory of rituals and social order, I propose that locally based cults of the saints that included public veneration lowered the odds that Protestantism would displace Catholicism in sixteenth-century German cities. To evaluate this proposition, I first turn to historical and theoretical reflection on the role of the cult of the saints in late medieval history. I then test the hypothesis with a data set of sixteenth-century German cities. Statistical analysis provides additional support for the ritual and social order thesis because even when several important variables identified by materialist accounts of the Reformation in the social scientific literature the presence of shrines as an indicator for the cult of the saints remains large and significant. Although large-scale social change is usually assumed to have politico-economic sources, this analysis suggests that cultural factors may be of equal or greater importance.

Moon, Dawne. 2013. "Powerful Emotions: Symbolic Power and the (productive and Punitive) Force of Collective Feeling." Theory and Society. 42:3 261-294. Link
This article argues that emotions can be a medium of social power. Using qualitative interview material from American Jews discussing anti-Semitism and its relationship to contemporary politics, it engages recent scholarship on emotions and political contention and shows how emotions make effective the various forms of symbolic exclusion by which group members exercise what Bourdieu calls symbolic power. It also explores the emotional connections to group membership by which some ``excluded'' members can engage in symbolic struggle over ``the principles of vision and division'' Bourdieu (Sociological Theory 7(1), 14-25, 1989) that define the group. Finally, it shows how emotions work to incite discipline in some group members, inspiring them to conform to dominant definitions of group membership so as to avoid both symbolic struggle and exclusion.