The Role of Religious Organizations in Social Movements

The Role of Religious Organizations in Social Movements

The Role of Religious Organizations in Social Movements

The Role of Religious Organizations in Social Movements

Synopsis

Religious organizations often help communicate the core ideas of social movements; this collection of essays analyzes how social movements have been impacted by religious support in the United States. The contributors draw from cultural pluralism and communications theory to examine religious involvement in movements for political sanctuary, gay and lesbian rights, peace, and moral majority themes. Among their findings: religious organizations become significant communication vehicles for certain movements whose ideologies are consistent with their religious tenets.

Excerpt

This volume examines the role of religious organizations in U.S. social movements. Starting from the theoretical base of J. Freeman and Andrew S. McFarland (Chapter 2), which posits that interest groups often provide important communications networks which facilitate the spread of core ideas of social movements, the volume examines the extent to which religious organizations have helped to spread U.S. social movements, including the sanctuary movement, the gay and lesbian rights movement, the peace movement, and the fundamentalist Christian movement. I suggest in Chapter 3 that social movements arise when a collective decision is made to follow the natural law over the positive law when the two conflict. Further, religious organizations are likely participants in social movements since they are generally committed to natural law precepts. Hence, religious organizations may become involved in social movements and act as the important communications system for a social movement's ideas, when . . .

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