Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 42
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Duderija, Adis and Rane, Halim 2019. Islam and Muslims in the West. p. 53.

    Sigler, J. E. and Renner, Max M. 2018. Lex Cantandi, Lex Credendi: A Content Analysis of Organizational Identity-Constructing Pronouns in Pre- and Post-Vatican II Catholic Hymns. Journal of Media and Religion, Vol. 17, Issue. 1, p. 12.

    Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi and Sözeri, Semiha 2018. Diyanet as a Turkish Foreign Policy Tool: Evidence from the Netherlands and Bulgaria. Politics and Religion, Vol. 11, Issue. 03, p. 624.

    Faimau, Gabriel and Chamberlain, John Martyn 2017. Religious testimonial narratives and social construction of identity: Insights from prophetic ministries in Botswana. Cogent Social Sciences, Vol. 3, Issue. 1,

    Faimau, Gabriel 2017. The dynamics and digitisation of religious testimonies: a case of prophetic ministries in Botswana. Anthropology Southern Africa, Vol. 40, Issue. 2, p. 85.

    Bellar, Wendi 2017. Private practice: Using digital diaries and interviews to understand evangelical Christians’ choice and use of religious mobile applications. New Media & Society, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 111.

    Faulkner, Caroline L. 2017. Identity Change Among Ethno-Religious Border Crossers: The Case of the Former Amish. Review of Religious Research, Vol. 59, Issue. 4, p. 447.

    Winchester, Daniel 2017. “A Part of Who I Am”: Material Objects as “Plot Devices” in the Formation of Religious Selves. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 56, Issue. 1, p. 83.

    Mariano, Danicar Yeoh, Brenda S.A. and Cheng, Yi'En 2017. Crossing boundaries of state and religious power: Reproductive mobilities in Singapore. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, Vol. 58, Issue. 2, p. 203.

    Repo, Nora 2017. Everyday lived Islam: religiosities and identities of Muslim women in the Republic of Macedonia. Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. 32, Issue. 3, p. 417.

    Marti, Gerardo 2016. “I Was a Muslim, But Now I Am a Christian”: Preaching, Legitimation, and Identity Management in a Southern Evangelical Church. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 55, Issue. 2, p. 250.

    2016. “Being Jew is like Travelling by Bus”: Constructing Jewish Identities in Spain between Individualisation and Group Belonging. Journal of Religion in Europe, Vol. 9, Issue. 4, p. 324.

    Sharp Penya, Lynette Macaluso, Suzanne Fournier and Bailey, Garry 2016. The Attitudes Toward Gender Roles in Conservative Christian Contexts Scale: A Psychometric Assessment. Review of Religious Research, Vol. 58, Issue. 1, p. 165.

    Edgell, Penny Hull, Kathleen E. Green, Kyle and Winchester, Daniel 2016. Reasoning Together Through Telling Stories: How People Talk about Social Controversies. Qualitative Sociology, Vol. 39, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    O’Brien, John 2015. Individualism as a Discursive Strategy of Action. Sociological Theory, Vol. 33, Issue. 2, p. 173.

    Winchester, Daniel 2015. Converting to Continuity: Temporality and Self in Eastern Orthodox Conversion Narratives. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 54, Issue. 3, p. 439.

    Reed, Jean-Pierre and Pitcher, Sarah 2015. Religion and Revolutionary We-Ness: Religious Discourse, Speech Acts, and Collective Identity in Prerevolutionary Nicaragua. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 54, Issue. 3, p. 477.

    Sakellariou, Alexandros 2015. Female Converts from Greek Orthodoxy to Islam and their Digital Religious Identity. Hawwa, Vol. 13, Issue. 3, p. 422.

    De Juan, Alexander Pierskalla, Jan H. and Vüllers, Johannes 2015. The Pacifying Effects of Local Religious Institutions. Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 68, Issue. 2, p. 211.

    Bakker, Cok Barnard, Marcel de Kock, Jos and Visser-Vogel, Elsbeth 2015. Sources for Religious Identity Development of Orthoprax Muslim Adolescents in the Netherlands. Journal of Muslims in Europe, Vol. 4, Issue. 1, p. 90.

  • Print publication year: 2003
  • Online publication date: June 2012

16 - Religious Identities and Religious Institutions


For modern social theory, as well as for many ordinary people, religious identities have been a problem. Just what does it really mean to claim a Jewish or Christian identity? To think of oneself as Presbyterian or Baptist? What do we know of that new church down the road that simply calls itself “Fellowship Church”? And do any of those things have anything to do with how we might expect someone to perform their duties as a citizen or a worker? As modern people have loosened their ties to the families and places that (perhaps) formerly enveloped them in a cocoon of faith (or at least surrounded them with a predictable round of religious activity), they can choose how and whether to be religious, including choosing how central religion will be in their lives. Religious practices and affiliations change over a complicated lifetime, and the array of religious groups in a voluntary society shifts in equally complex ways. If religious identity ever was a given, it certainly is no longer.

In his influential work on religion and personal autonomy, Philip Hammond posits that, given the mobility and complexity of the modern situation, individual religious identities are of various sorts – either ascribed (collectivity-based) or achieved (individual) and either primary (a core or “master” role) or secondary (Hammond 1988). In the premodern situation, religion was presumably collective and core. In the modern situation, taking up a collective, core religious identity is a matter of (exceptional) choice, not determinism.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Handbook of the Sociology of Religion
  • Online ISBN: 9780511807961
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *