The last few classes consisted of us reading articles and giving a crash course on what the main points of each article was, as well as highlighting the main point the author was making throughout. While I read several articles over the last week and a half, the one that struck out to me the most was Meredith McGuire’s Everyday Religion as Lived. The article focused on religious authority and how it had grown less significant to many people in the United States, yet religion in itself had not faltered over that period of time. She went as far back as the 1960’s, and as recent as the 90’s, to investigate what individuals felt was the most important about what they practice religiously, spiritually, or any affiliation, or lack thereof, of any congregation. Four individuals were the focus of the particular article, each four having different circumstances and believing in their actions defining their religious/spiritual association, not the church or other institution they may have attended.
This had me think the most, mainly because I was allowed the opportunity to think of religion differently: an individual may find their religious position to be very important to them, yet the authority of religion in itself may not be as significant. For example, someone who strongly identifies as a Roman Catholic may not necessarily practice their religion in the way that it’s fundamentally taught. They may practice their religion by other means that fits their lifestyle, like gardening in their backyard or collecting items to store in their homes. I never quite thought of religion authority and how it differs from actual religion until the article brought the concept up, helping me understand the behaviors and attitudes of people and how religion plays a role in it. The other articles I read were interesting too, but in a religious standpoint, Everyday Religion as Lived has the lasting impact.