1st Edition

Disruptive Religion The Force of Faith in Social Movement Activism

Edited By Christian Smith Copyright 1996

    Religion has long played a central role in many social and political movements. Solidarity in Poland, anti-apartheid in South Africa, Operation Rescue in the United States--each of these movements is driven by the energy and sustained by the commitment of many individuals and organizations whose ideologies are shaped and powered by religious faith. In many cases, religious resources and motives serve as crucial variables explaining the emergence of entire social movements. Despite the crucial role of religion in most societies, this religious activism remains largely uninvestigated. Disruptive Religion intends to fill this void by analyzing contemporary social movements which are driven by people and organizations of faith. Upon a firm base of empirical evidence, these essays also address many theoretical issues arising in the study of social movements and disruptive politics.

    Introduction, Christian Smith; Part 1 Pre-Existent Organizations and Leadership; Chapter 1 The Black Church in the Civil Rights Movement: the SCLC as the Decentralized, Radical Arm of the Black Church, Aldon Morris; Chapter 2 Radical Islamic Insurgency in the Iranian Revolution of 1978–1979, M. M. Salehi; Part 2 Religious Ritual and Insurgent Consciousness; Chapter 3 Pastoral Mobilization and Contention: The Religious Foundations of the Solidarity Movement in Poland, Maryjane Osa; Chapter 4 Religious Rituals of Resistance and Class Consciousness in Bolivian Tin-Mining Communities, June Nash; Part 3 Mobilization and Repression; Chapter 5 Popular Religion, Protest, and Revolt: The Emergence of Political Insurgency in the Nicaraguan and Salvadoran Churches of the 1960s–80s, Sharon Erickson Nepstad; Chapter 6 Church Leadership, State Repression, and the “Spiral of Involvement” in the South African Anti-aPart heid Movement, 1983–1990, Tristan Anne Borer; Part 4 Symbolic Worlds and Activist Identity; Chapter 7 For God and the Fatherland: Protestant Symbolic Worlds and the Rise of German National Socialism, DavidSikkink, MarkRegnerus; Chapter 8 Many are Called but Few Obey: Ideological Commitment and Activism in Operation Rescue, Rhys H.Williams, JeffreyBlackburn; Part 5 Religious Ideology and Disruptive Tactics; Chapter 9 Popular Christianity and Political Extremism in the United States, JamesAho; Chapter 10 A Comparison of the Political Behavior of Faith-Based and Secular Peace Groups, RonPagnucco;


    Christian Smith

    "This is an excellent book that deserves to be widely read ... [It] is highly readable and would be of interest to a much wider audience than academic scholars ... This book could serve very well as a supplementary text in sociology of religion courses." -- Journal of Church and State