Last week, we learned that religion can play a massively important role in society. In her first chapter, Meredith McGuire wrote about how, 50 years ago, sociologists looked for religion in churches, but now they are trying to define religion differently. According to sociologists, there are two types of religious definitions. There are: substantive definitions, which use a Western worldview and define more narrowly, and functional definitions, which define more broadly but may encapsulate more than was intended. In class, we learned that there are four aspects of religion that all shape one another: experience, image, story, and community.
On Monday, January 21st, our university is hosting an interesting religious experience, called Beyoncé Mass. “The worship service uses the music and life of Beyoncé as a tool to cultivate an empowering conversation about Black women — their lives, bodies, and voices — while creating an event with story, scripture, and song that calls for the liberation of all people.” I am excited to “experience” this event from a sociological perspective, specifically focusing on the human. This religious event is going to bring experience, image, story, AND community, and it is an unorthodox worship service being held in a highly religious town, so I expect the overall response to the event to be thought-provoking. It is super cool that our school is hosting this event because last year in San Francisco, it was a hit.
I would highly recommend attending the event. I think it will bring some interesting discussions to our course.