Spiritual and Religious Capital

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:30 AM-10:20 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
RC22 Sociology of Religion (host committee)

Language: English

Scholars exploring the function of religion and spirituality do not seem to reach agreement regarding the issue of inequality: some researchers identify religion and/or spirituality as factor/s in reproducing existing patterns of inequality, whereas other authors argue the opposite, that religion/spirituality contribute to overcoming social inequality. A third position is possible in this debate, expressed by a minority of authors who argue that religion/spirituality go beyond the issue of inequality, because they point to something other than social order. This session will focus on the understanding of religion/spirituality as forms of “capital”, and will therefore investigate religious/spiritual capital in relation to inequality. An increasing body of literature distinguishes between religion and spirituality as two opposing instances. Within journalism for instance a kind of tradition has been developed in which "spirituality" is often used with positive connotations, whereas "religion" is used with negative implications; some recent studies on religiosity argue that although “religion” may be in decline, “spirituality” is on the rise. Such instances reflect a societal reflex that regards religion as restrictive, whilst spirituality would offer more open engagement with existential questions (as seen with the popular slogan that someone`s orientation is "spiritual but not religious"). In academic theology, "religion" most often describes traditional dogmatological and practical concerns, whereas "spirituality" refers to the wider and deeper, that is: the more experiential and intuitive aspects of religiosity. Such differentiations are however not entirely clear when it comes to identifying specific capital-type resources that religion/spirituality give rise to. Much of the literature about religious/spiritual capital uses these terms interchangeably without explaining the content underpinning these concepts. In this session, these matters will be explored in various ways. Eight papers will be presented. Each speaker is allocated a ten-minute speaking slot. Immediately after each presentation, two minutes are allocated for to-the-point questions or very brief remarks. At the end of the session, an additional ten minutes of open question / discussion time has been planned for. For further discussions on the papers, please meet the presenters immediately after this session.
Session Organizers:
Christo LOMBAARD, University of South Africa, South Africa and Maria HAEMMERLI, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
Christo LOMBAARD, University of South Africa, South Africa
The Spiritual Capital As a Fundamental Element Of Cultural Capital (Oral Presentation)
Svetlana SHARONOVA, St.Tikhon's Orthodox University, Russia

New Religious Capital, Conversion, and Drug Rehabilitation: Evangelical Social Projects in Baja California, Mexico (Oral Presentation)
Ramiro JAIMES MARTÍNEZ, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico; Rebecca MOORE, San Diego State University, USA

Religion, Spirituality and Capital In Japan and Italy: The Pilgrimage To Ise and Crocifisso Di Bilìc (Oral Presentation)
Carmelina CANTA, Università Roma Tre, Italy; Asami TAJMA;, University Roma Tre, Italy

Religious Capital and Addressing Latino Immigrant Health Inequalities in the U.S (Oral Presentation)
Ephraim SHAPIRO, Columbia University, USA

The Site of Recapitalizing the Spiritual Capital of the City: Welcoming the Stranger with Intention and Architectural Edifice (Oral Presentation)
Calvyn DU TOIT, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Hendrik AURET, University of the Free State, South Africa

New Age, New Economy, New Middle Class: The Case of Jewish New Age in Israel (Oral Presentation)
Dana KAPLAN, The Open University, Israel; Rachel WERCZBERGER, Ben Gurion University, Israel

Investing in the Afterlife: Inequality, Charity, and Hopes for Salvation in the Hizmet Movement (Oral Presentation)
Kim SHIVELY, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, USA

Deus Ex Machina? Religious Texts, Spiritual Capital and Inequalities – in Continuation of the Current Debate (Oral Presentation)
Christo LOMBAARD, University of South Africa, South Africa