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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: September 27 2002
Latest Update: September 27, 2002

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Site Teaching Modules Religious Practice and Social Capital

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, September 2002.
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I jsut received an e-mail for Taylor and Francis that the new iddue of Journal of Contemporary Religion is out. I don't subscribe to the journal, but the abstracts suggest that we need to take a closer look at the articles. I consider of particular importance the authors' discussion of the apparently declining willingness of the British to take part in civic activity. I presume that the "Putnam Thesis" suggests an "unwillingness to associate." I'm reminded of Less Than Zero, the novel, and its leit-motif: "People are afraid to connect." I think the movie de-emphasized connection, but the leit-motif carried a termendous effect for me in the novel.

I also wonder to what extent the "unwillingness to associate" is connected to a loss of trust. Do you suppose Americans are more trusting and more willing to associate since the 9/11 attack? I'd also like us to explore the extent to which our infrastructure discourages connection and association. Read the abstracts. Even if we don't have time to find the articles, this will give you an idea of the importance of these issues today. Also think on whether this is a religious topic or a sociological topic or a topic that crosses many disciplines. What would that mean to our research? Would we be doing good research if we made a mistake in limiting our discussion to one discipline?

I thought I'd just purchase the articles directly from Taylor and Francis for us, until they told me it would be $17 per article! Gee whiz, isn't something crazy here? Hello out there, World, you're making it so hard to get the learning materials, we don't get a lot. I think we need to speak to publishers collectively about such practices. They're inexcusable. Sometimes they say that the high cost is for the structure they must set up, but then they go on selling to us and gouging us for the rest of infinity, when they have no more need to construct the database and/or the structure. In the old days, with print, they had to typeset the printed matter, but that didn't justify this kind of pricing. So read the abstracts, and we'll wonder about the rest. jeanne

The new articles:

  • A Review of Praying Alone? Church-Going in Britain and the Putnam Thesis By Steve Bruce in In the latest issue of the Journal of Contemporary Religion.

    Praying Alone? Church-Going in Britain and the Putnam Thesis By Steve Bruce. Journal of Contemporary Religion Publisher: Carfax Publishing Company, part of the Taylor & Francis Group. Issue: Volume 17, Number 3/October 01, 2002. Pages: 317 - 328.

    Abstract:

    "The decline in British church-going has conventionally been taken as evidence of a decline in religious interest. There is another possibility. Davie and Brierley have suggested that declining church membership may be seen as part of a wider unwillingness to associate. This article examines that alternative."

  • Review of Praying Alone? Church-Going in Britain and Social Capital: A Reply to Steve Bruce. By Grace Davie. In the latest issue of the Journal of Contemporary Religion.

    Praying Alone? Church-Going in Britain and Social Capital: A Reply to Steve Bruce Journal of Contemporary Religion Publisher: Carfax Publishing Company, part of the Taylor & Francis Group. Issue: Volume 17, Number 3/October 01, 2002. Pages: 329 - 334.

    Abstract:

    "This article responds to Bruce's reluctance to consider the decline in church-going in Britain in relation to wider changes in social behaviour, more especially the unwillingness of increasing sections of the population to participate in voluntary activity or civic engagement of any kind. It covers two points in particular: the first relates to the Putnam thesis and the particular place of religion in this; the second considers in more detail the relationship between religious belief and religious practice."

  • Review of A Response to Steve Bruce's "Praying Alone?"By Robin Gill.. In the latest issue of the Journal of Contemporary Religion.

    A Response to Steve Bruce's "Praying Alone?" By Robin Gill. Journal of Contemporary Religion Publisher: Carfax Publishing Company, part of the Taylor & Francis Group. Issue: Volume 17, Number 3/October 01, 2002. Pages: 335 - 338.

    Abstract:

    "This article argues that neither Steve Bruce's theory of secularisation nor Grace Davie's theory of voluntary organisations are needed to explain British attitudes to religious belief and practice."