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<hr> <p align="center"><font size="4">Volume VI, Number 3                                                             Spring 2000 </font></p> <hr> <p align="left"><font size="5"><strong><em>Contents:</em></strong></font></p> <p><font face="Times New Roman" size="4"><a href="#From_the_Chair">From the Chair</a><br> <a href="#Student_Rep">From Our Student Representative</a><br> <a href="#Preliminary">Preliminary Program</a><br> <a href="#List">Announcement List</a><br> <a href="#MemPub">Member Publication</a><br> <a href="#MemNews">Member News</a><br> <a href="#Opinion?">What's your Opinion</a><br> <a href="#From_the_Editor">From the Newsletter Editor</a></font><br> <br> <font size="4"><strong><em>Officers of the Section</em> </strong></font><br> <strong>Section Chair</strong><br> Patrick McNamara, University of New Mexico <a href=""></a><br> <strong>Chair-Elect</strong><br> Nancy T. Ammerman, Hartford Seminary <a href=""></a><br> <strong>Past Chair</strong><br> Mary Jo Neitz, University of Missouri <a href=""></a><br> <strong>Secretary/Treasurer</strong><br> Adair Lummis, Hartford Seminary <a href=""></a><br> <strong>Newsletter Editor</strong><br> Helen A. Berger, West Chester University <a href=""></a> <br> <strong>Council: </strong><br> Christian Smith ('00), University of North Carolina <a href=""></a><br> Patricia Wittberg ('00), Indiana University <a href=""></a><br> Marie Cornwall ('01), Brigham Young University <a href=""></a><br> Katherine Meyer ('01), Ohio State University <a href=""></a><br> Michele Dillon ('02), Yale University <a href=""></a><br> R. Steven Warner ('02), University of Illinois - Chicago <a href=""></a><br> Helen Rizzo, Student Representative, Ohio State University <a href=""></a><br> </p> <p align="center"><br> <a name="From_the_Chair"></a><font size="5"><strong>FROM THE CHAIR</strong></font><br> <br> <font size="4">Patrick McNamara </font></p> <p align="left"><font size="4">Graduate students of our section stand atop my list this spring.  Sometime in late April or early May you will each receive a survey, the first ever sponsored by our section. The main idea is to probe the quality of graduate education in the sociology of religion. We know that quality varies. Just how it varies is what we hope to find out with your help. Is sociology of religion a recognized area of specialization in your department? What course offerings are available? Are students given the opportunity to be professionally active in attending meetings and presenting papers? These are but a few of the issues the survey will explore. The findings will suggest to our section ways of offering support to students and departments in order to strengthen the professional quality of education and training offered. So please watch your mailbox for the survey. We would appreciate your filling it out as promptly as you can and mailing it back. Findings will be discussed at our section meeting on Sunday August 13 at the ASA meeting in Washington, D.C. Please make sure to attend. We need your comments and suggestions.</font></p> <font size="4"> <p>Our web site is up and running, thanks to a fine job by the committee members, Nancy Ammerman, Madeleine Cousineau, Scott Thumma and Lynn Clark. Be sure to take a look. It is being added to almost daily. I also urge you to take advantage of our listserv. You can share news and messages with section members, or initiate a discussion, by addressing your thoughts to:, a wonderful service. Again, Nancy Ammerman deserves our thanks for making this available.</p> <p>An issue recently raised concerns our Newsletter. As you know, it is now available online at the section web site, a helpful service to us all. Should the Newsletter be online exclusively, thus eliminating publishing costs now borne by the section? This is a complicated matter. If receiving the printed version is made optional for members and subscribers total below a certain number, the mailing will not qualify for nonprofit 3rd-class mailing. The resulting shift to first-class mailing will raise costs and make potential savings smaller than anticipated. We need discussion on this issue and it will certainly draw attention at the annual meeting.</p> <p>Speaking of the annual meeting, a reminder once again that Sunday August 13 is our section day, BUT the preceding evening is the joint reception for ASR/Section members. It will be held at the ASR meeting hotel, the Omni Shoreham, which is directly across the street from the Woodley Park Marriott, one of ASA's two principal hotels. Approximate time (you can check this out when you get there) is 7:30 p.m. following ASR's annual Furfey Lecture, to be given this year by Peter Berger. So please plan to be in D.C. by Saturday Aug. 12!</p> <p>As I thought about the graduate student survey and the difficulty we had finding sufficient funding for it (Rodney Stark was generous enough to offer partial funding), it occurred to me that any survey or research benefiting all four professional organizations--ourselves, ASR, RRR, and SSSR--ought to be a collaborative effort among all four withfunding being shared as well. A joint meeting of chairs/presidents in Washington, D.C. this August might be a good idea.</p> <p>Finally, with the headlines, newspaper and magazine articles discussing Pope John Paul II's recent "forgiveness" initiatives, I found myself trying to think sociologically about what I was reading. It seems that John Paul is engaging in what Durkheim referred to as a society (here, church)"recreating itself," led by an "idea which it forms of itself." Durkheim saw that conflicts often follow between an older ideal and a new one arising, "that of yesterday and that of today; that which has the authority of tradition and that which has the hope of the future." This strategy of reducing antagonisms through proposing forgiveness also echoes Weber's thoughts about the charismatic leader who "seizes the task for which he is destined and demands that others obey and follow him by virtue of his mission." I don't think Weber would object to recasting his formulation. Rather than "demands that others obey," substitute "invites others to listen and reflect." That invitation, like any charismatic message, deserves to be tested for sincerity and completeness, and we see just that as some Jewish spokespersons ask for more specific expressions of repentance. In any case, forgiveness/repentance surely seems that "hope of the future" ideal Durkheim was alluding to. </p> </font> <p><b> </p> <hr> <p align="center"><font size="5">ASA SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION WEB SITE</font></b><font size="4"></p> <hr> <p align="center"><b>OUR WEB SITE IS NOW UP AND RUNNING!!</b></p> <p align="center">The fastest way to get to our website is: <u></u> then click on Sociology of Religion. You can also find it by going to the ASA homepage <a href=""></a>, and then going to sections.</font></p> <hr> <p><b><font size="6"><i> </p> <p align="center"><a name="Student_Rep"></a></i></font><font size="5"><strong>FROM OUR STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE:</strong> </font></b><br> <br> <font size="4">Helen Rizzo <br> The Ohio State University</p> </font><font size="5"><b> <p align="center">The Challenge of Cross-Cultural Research:<br> The Case of Islam and the Middle East</p> </b></font> <p> <font size="4">As I complete my graduate student career and enter into the next phase of my life, I reflect on the challenges that I have faced examining religious beliefs and practices in a culture that is not my own. My research interests have focused on women's rights and democratization in the Middle East. In order to fully appreciate these issues, I have learned about Islam and examined the effect of religious beliefs and practices on attitudes towards women's rights and democratization. </font></p> <font size="4"> <p>Recently, I had an unpleasant experience presenting some results from this research. A member of the audience said I was "Western and Orientalist" in how I measured Islamic beliefs and practices. This was very disconcerting since I have worked to recognize biases (Western, middle class, feminist) and move beyond them in my work. Some ways that I have done this are: examining the literature on women’s rights and democratization by scholars from a variety of sociological, disciplinary and geographical perspectives, building a network of multinational and multidisciplinary scholars through joining organizations and attending conferences, and learning Arabic. I have also worked very closely with a Kuwaiti colleague/co-author on projects examining women's rights in Kuwait and this colleague and his associates helped me to develop the interview and survey instruments for my dissertation research on women's groups in Kuwait. Thus, I felt very strongly that I had dealt with biases and it was gut wrenching to be accused of them. </p> <p>As I reflect on this experience, I realize that nothing I could have said would have appeased this audience member. He saw me as a Western women studying a culture and religion that was not my own. The take-home message for me from him was that I should not study groups to which I do not belong. Does that mean that women can never study men, whites should never study other minority groups, Muslims should never study Catholics? The possibility of ever doing comparative work is eliminated if we followed this flawed logic. Would there be much of interest to talk about in sociology if this were to happen?</p> <p>I recognize that other sub-fields in sociology face this critique, but I think the Section on Religion especially needs to consider the effects of this critique because of the marginalization of the study of religion within the social sciences. As we think about obstacles to students entering this sub-field, one is the difficulty and frustration in studying religion because it is such an important and contentious institution worldwide. No matter how hard one works to construct a good, "non-biased" study, there will always be that person who accuses you of being "Western and Orientalist", etc.. The risk of receiving such a critique may be one that students are not willing to take or repeat. </p> <p>However, there is hope. I think mentors in our subfield need to prepare students to respond to such critiques and I think as a subdiscipline we need to emphasize that the rewards of studying religion, especially cross-culturally, outweigh any ill informed critiques we may face. An epiphany for me, when I was feeling pretty low about my research, was when a friend pointed out that no two Muslims can agree on the best way to measure Islamic beliefs and practices, so the accusation of being Western and Orientalist was pretty unfair. </p> <p>Of course, we should never be satisfied with how we measure and approach religion from a sociological perspective. We must continue to question and criticize our projects in order to improve our measures and build upon on our research. No piece of research is ever the final word. However, we must be careful to phrase our critiques in an constructive way so as to not push budding scholars out of the field. I think there is a value in someone like me, a non Muslim researching and learning about Islam, because I am going to expose students (mostly non Muslims) to a whole new world. These students may not have this opportunity otherwise. If Muslims (or minorities or women) are the only ones learning, researching and teaching about Muslims (or minorities or women) to other Muslims (or minorities or women). Then where is the cross-fertilization and multiculturalism? Isn't that a major goal of sociology?</font></p> <p> </p> <p align="center"><font size="5"><strong><a name="Preliminary"></a>PRELIMINARY PROGRAM:</strong></font><em><br> <font size="5"><strong><b>2000 Meetings of the ASA<br> Sociology of Religion Section</b></strong></font></em></p> <b><font size="4"> <p align="center"></font><font size="5"><strong>Immigration and Religion</strong></font><font size="4"></p> <p></b>Organizer: Peggy Levitt - Wellesley College and Harvard University</p> <p>Presider: Prema Kurien, USC</p> <u> <p>Presentations:</u></p> <p>Pawan H. Dhingra, Cornell University: "Transnational Religion and Native Racial Positions: Ethinc Boundaries of Indian American and Korean American Religious Organizations"</p> <p>Ronald Lawson, Queen College, CUNY: "When Immigrants Take Over: The Changing Face of Seventh-Day Adventism in England, France, and Canada"</p> <p>Prema Kurien, USC at Los Angeles: "Different Patterns for Different Groups: Explaining the Political Behavior of Indian American Religious Organizations"</p> <p>Sehriban Sahin, New School for Social Research: "A Religion Transformed: From Secrecy to Publicity in the National and Transnational Social Spheres"</p> <p>Discussant: Christian Smith, University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina<b></p> <p></font><font size="5"><strong> </strong></font></p> <p ALIGN="CENTER"></b><font size="5"><strong>Religion and Homosexuality</strong></font><font FACE="Arial" SIZE="4"><b></p> <p></b></font><font SIZE="4">Organizer and Presider: Jodi O'Brien, Seattle University</p> <u> <p>Presentations:</u></p> <p>Wendy Cadge, Princeton University: "Vital Conflicts: The Mainline Denominations Debate Homosexuality"</p> <p>Rene Drumm, Andrews University:"Gay and Lesbian Seventh-day Adventists: Resisting Homosexual Identities"</p> <p>James C. Cavendish, Donileen R. Loseke, University of South Florida: "Answering the Gospel's Call: Dignity and the Construction of Social Activism"</p> <p>Nathan Wright, Northwestern University "Religion and Tolerance of Homosexuality"<b></p> <p></font><font size="5"> </p> <p ALIGN="CENTER"><strong>Social Networks and the Maintenance<br> of Religious Meaning</strong></font><font SIZE="4"></p> <p></b>Organizer and Presider C. Kirk Hadaway, United Church of Christ</p> <u> <p>Presentations</u></p> <p>Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Colorado at Boulder :" The Popular Imagination and the Vernacular Religion (a.k.a. the ‘funky’ side of religion): An Ethnographic E xploration of Beliefs in the Supernatural Among Contemporary U.S. Teens."</p> <p>Kevin D. Dougherty and Roger Finke, Purdue University: "The Effects of Professional Training: The Social and Religious Capital Acquired in Seminaries."</p> <p>Amy A. Holzgang, Syracuse University: "Communion Tables and ‘Dog Collars’: Maintenance and Negotiations of Rituals, Images and Titles of Women in the Episcopal Priesthood."</p> <p>Penny L. Marler, Samford University: "Friendship Networks and Religious Marginality"</p> <p>Discussion: Rhys H. Williams, Southern Illinois University</p> </font> <p><b> </p> <font size="5"> <p ALIGN="CENTER">Refereed Roundtables on Religion</font><font SIZE="4"></p> <p></b>Organizer: David Yamane, University of Notre Dame<b></p> <i> <p>1. The Social Rewards of Religion</i></p> <p></b>Table Presider: William Lockhart, University of Virginia</p> <p>William Lockhart, University of Virginia</p> <p>Religion Reducing the Risks of Poverty: An Analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY) Data</p> <p>Katherine Meyer, Tina Kassenbaum, and Linda Lobao, Ohio State University</p> <p>Church, Social Support, and Mental Health During the Midwestern Farm Crisis<b></p> <p> </p> <i> <p>2. Religion and Immigration</i></p> </b> <p>Table Presider: O-kyun Kwon, City University of New York</p> <p>Gary Huang, Synectics, Inc.<br> The Mother Tongue Faithful: The Sacred and the Mundane at a Chinese Language School</p> <p>O-kyun Kwon, City University of New York<br> Why Are There More Protestants in the Korean Community? Pre- and Post-Migration Factors</p> <b> <p> </p> <i> <p>3. Religion and Political Involvement: Theoretical Advances</i></p> <p></b>Table Presider: Robert Mackin, University of Wisconsin</p> <p>Evelyn Bush, Cornell University<br> Constructing Secularity: Framing Strategies for Religious Participation in Secular Institutions</p> <p>Robert Mackin, University of Wisconsin<br> Becoming the Red Bishop of Cuernavaca: Rethinking Gill's Religious Competition Model<b></p> </b> <hr> <p align="center"></font><a name="List"></a><br> <font size="5"><strong>SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION ANNOUNCEMENT LIST</strong></font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">We are pleased to announce new internet resources made possible by the ASA. If you are a member of the ASA Sociology of Religion section you have automatically been subscribed to this new ANNOUNCEMENT list. From time to time you will receive important Section announcements, including timely reminders of upcoming events and deadlines. This is not a discussion list, and information posted here will be kept lean and focused -- no need to worry about your mailbox being flooded. List managers are Joe Tamney, in-coming editor of the Newsletter, and Nancy Ammerman, chair-elect.</font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">Members wishing to participate in a <em><strong>discussion </strong></em>list may subscribe to the Section list by </font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">a) sending a message to <a href=""></a>. <br> b) Leave the subject field blank, and in the body of the message, type subscribe religion<br> c) Leave everything else blank, and send the message. </font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">After you have been through the authentication procedure that ASA has set up (which will be described in the message you will receive from majordomo), you will be subscribed. Then you can send and receive messages from</font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">Note that this new discussion list will replace "".</font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">Helpful hints:</font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">1. If you wish to submit an announcement to be posted, it should be sent to <a href=""></a>.</font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">2. If you wish to be removed from the announcement list, you may send a request to <a href=""></a>.</font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">3. For substantive inquiries or comments, section members should contact the list manager at <a href=""></a>.</font></p> <p><font SIZE="4">4. For technical information or inquiries, such as updating an e-mail address, contact ASA at <a href=""></a>.</font></p> <p> </p> <font SIZE="4"> <p ALIGN="CENTER"></font><a name="MemPub"></a><font size="5"><strong>MEMBER PUBLICATION</strong></font><font SIZE="4"></p> <p ALIGN="CENTER">Sharon K. Houseknecht and Jerry G. Pankhurst, (eds.)  2000.  <i><strong>Family, Religion and Social Change in Diverse Societies</strong>.</i>  New York:  Oxford University Press.</p> <p ALIGN="CENTER"> </p> <p ALIGN="CENTER"></font><a name="MemNews"></a><font size="5"><strong>MEMBER NEWS</strong></font><b></p> <p><font SIZE="4">Prema Kurien</b>, University of Southern California, has been awarded a fellowship from the Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University for 2000-2001 to write a book manuscript based on her project, "The Emergence of American Hinduism: Genteel Multiculturalism and Militant Fundamentalism."</font></p> <p align="left"><br> </p> <hr> <font face="Arial" size="5"> <p align="center"><a name="Opinion?"></a></font><font size="5" face="Times New Roman"><strong>WHAT'S YOUR OPINION???</strong></font></p> <p align="left"><font SIZE="4" face="Times New Roman">Do you think the section's newsletter should be exclusively on our Web site? Should only those who do not have computers or are uncomfortable using the Internet have the newsletter sent to them? There are factors to consider on both sides of the issue--as discussed by our chair in his column in this newsletter. If you have an opinion on this issue and would like to share it with us please write to Pat McNamara at: </font></p> <p align="center"><font SIZE="4" face="Times New Roman">PO Box 966, Corrales, NM 87048<br> or e-mail <a href=""></a> </font></p> <hr> <p align="center"><a name="From_the_Editor"></a><br> <strong><font size="5">FROM THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR</font></strong></p> <font SIZE="4"> <p align="center">Helen A. Berger</p> <p>With this newsletter my term as editor has ended. Doing the newsletter has been a learning experience for me. From necessity and with my students' help I learned the rudiments of desktop publishing. As newsletter editor I have come to a better appreciation of the devotion of all those who donate their time and energies to maintain the section and help it grow. I have enjoyed working with three chairs--Ruth Wallace, Mary Jo Neitz, and Pat McNamara. I would like to thank Madeleine Cousineau, our first newsletter editor for her help and advice when I first took over the job. Joe Tamney is our new editor. I wish you luck, Joe!! I am now looking forward to reading your first newsletter.<br> </font></p> <hr> <p align="center"><font SIZE="4"><strong>PLEASE SEND NEWS ITEMS FOR THE FALL 2000 ISSUE<br> OF THE NEWSLETTER BY SEPTEMBER 1, 2000 TO:</strong> </font><br> <br> <font SIZE="4">Joseph Tamney<br> Sociology Department<br> Ball State University<br> Muncie, IN 47306<br> <a href=""></a></font></p> <p align="center"><font SIZE="4">765-285-5454 (tel)<br> 765-285-8980 (fax)</font></p> <hr>



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