Religion and religiosity in The United States
- Issue date
Oficyna Wydawnicza AFM
Krakowskie Studia Międzynarodowe 2011, nr 2, s. 241-260.
- American religious life; American culture; history; Anglicanism; Religiosity of the American people
"Considering the lack of attention paid to religious topics in European popular journalism and scholarly magazines, the noticeable interest in religiosity and passionate discussions on the issue in the United States is an interesting phenomenon. An inquiring observer of American religious life will easily notice that new publications on the topic are issued with an extraordinary frequency. This indicates that religion is an important part of various aspects of the American past and present reality. It constituted one of the fundamentals upon which the United States was built, determined the mentality of the first settlers and their descendants and was an influential factor in the social and cultural changes in the country. Moreover, religion has always interwoven with politics, from the period of the first colonial authorities up to today. An interesting characteristic of American religion is also its symbiosis with popular culture. It seems that church leaders are experts in benefiting from modern technologies, both in performing religious services and in attracting new members. All these issues make American religiosity an intriguing phenomenon from a sociological point of view. Therefore, I will investigate it in this paper. Nevertheless, there are numerous difficulties which come along with all the fascinating observations, mainly caused by the fact that there is simply no one dominant American faith. The times when Protestantism did not have rivals and shaped American culture are gone. Nowadays, the American religious scene is so diverse that it cannot be easily organised or classified. Bearing this fact in mind, I will attempt to sketch a general and to some degree simplified image of American religiosity which will, however, provide an insight into this absorbing topic."(...)
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