This weeks class focused on religion and individualism. The two articles I read for this week were Gospel Hour by Thumma and Reproducing Ethnicity by Ebaugh. Both of these articles presented a safe space for marginalized groups to practice religion. Gospel Hour examined a bar in Atlanta where LGBTQ could freely worship while Reproducing Ethnicity presented multiple case studies where immigrants could find community within church spaces. Religious centers (conventional or not) provide a safe space for people to not only worship but also express their own culture. Religion’s function in society is more than an expression of one’s faith. Expression of culture or identity play into where people choose to worship. Both of these articles present how individual identity is a factor in religiosity of the religious landscape today.
This week I went on my congregation visit to the sectarian church, Redlands Christian Center. As Jeena pointed out, it was very reminiscent of the film “Born Again”. One of the most prominent parallels was the congregations focus on literally being born again. The church emphasized that they only way to salvation is to accept Jesus into one’s own life with this church. Overall, this church visit was unlike any other I have attended, and it gave me a in-person experience of a sectarian church.