Rethinking Religious Identity, Commitment, and Hybridity

Meredith B. McGuire

in Lived Religion

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195172621
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199851942 | DOI:
Rethinking Religious Identity, Commitment, and Hybridity

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This chapter challenges the Western image of a religion as a unitary, organizationally defined and relatively stable set of collective beliefs and practices. The result of interviews about individual religious beliefs and practices reveals that extensive religious blending and within-group religious heterogeneity are the norm rather than the exception. This suggests that it is not possible to make any assertions about contemporary religious hybridity as a new phenomenon without seriously considering whether scholars' earlier depiction of individual religious belonging was no more than an artifact of their definitional and methodological assumptions. It suggests that it is important to reconsider conceptions of religious identity and commitment in rethinking what is religion.

Keywords: religion; religious identity; religious commitment; religious hybridity; religious beliefs; religious practices

Chapter.  11825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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