In this article I review a cultural perspective on religion and suggest that cultural analysis resolves current debates over the nature of religion as either collectivist or individualist. I use one type of cultural analysis, institutionalism, to present an interpretive overview of religious change and movements in historical contexts of global instrumental rationality, in particular the expansion of state authority. The usefulness of this approach is revealed in interpreting Protestantism in the United States, Islamic fundamentalism, and movements and trends in global Roman Catholicism. While not reflecting precisely the views of the authors of this collection, this article introduces the studies of the recent restructuring of religion in the United States (Robert Wuthnow), Islamic fundamentalisms in Iran and Syria (Mansoor Moaddel), and global Roman Catholicism (José Casanova).
|Number of pages
|Published - 1996
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science