Journal Article

Declining Institutional Sponsorship and Religious Orders: A Study of Reverse Impacts

Patricia Wittberg

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 61, issue 3, pages 315-324
Published in print January 2000 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2000 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3712581
Declining Institutional Sponsorship and Religious Orders: A Study of Reverse Impacts

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In recent decades, Catholic religious orders have largely withdrawn from an active presence in the day-to-day operations of their sponsored institutions. Recent mergers have similarly reduced their presence at administrative and board levels. While many studies have investigated the impact of this reduced presence on religious colleges, hospitals, and social agencies, few if any have studied the impact on the sponsoring orders themselves. The present paper uses a series of thirty extended, taped interviews to explore the implications of reduced or eliminated institutional presence on the internal functioning, group identity, and spirituality of two communities of Catholic sisters. Some tentative implications are suggested for further research in other denominations.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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