Journal Article

Religion, Flesh, and Blood: Re-creating Religious Culture in the Context of HIV/AIDS

Pamela Leong

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 67, issue 3, pages 295-311
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Religion, Flesh, and Blood: Re-creating Religious Culture in the Context of HIV/AIDS

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This ethnography of an African-American AIDS ministry in Los Angeles aims to provide insight as to why this congregation is able to: transcend constraints imposed by traditional religious institutions; address the health, spiritual, and social needs of its parishioners without losing sight of its religious traditions; and, at all times, maintain an AIDS-activist orientation. The focus is on the congregation's distinct religious-therapeutic culture. Through processes of ideological reconstruction, the congregation enables a consonance between religious traditions and its members' unique identities. The reworking of dominant Christian ideology is exemplified in how the pastor has re-framed the divine, in how he has incorporated psycho-therapeutic elements into religious rituals, in his method of exegesis, and in how he has reworked the sacred-profane divide. But as a separatist religious organization, this congregation also offers alternative and oppositional religious and social cultures, providing a familiar and empowering site for its members

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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