Social versus individual motivation: implications for normative definitions of religious orientation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The traditional interpretation of "intrinsic" religiousness has fostered an unchallenged assumption that normative and substantive religious motivation is inherently individual and personal. Social motives for religiousness and structured practices have been characterized as "extrinsic" and as lacking in formative significance. We argue that this view is most applicable in American Protestant religions, and hence existing religious motivation scales reflect a distinctly American Protestant view. We then show that social motives and structured ritual practices are, in fact, as normative as individual motivations in several religious traditions. In particular, we describe the social practices and motives normative for Judaism and certain streams of Christianity. We then discuss the potential relevance of this analysis to emotion, collective identity, and moral judgment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cohen, AB; Hall, DE; Koenig, HG; Meador, KG

Published Date

  • 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 48 - 61

PubMed ID

  • 15745864

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1088-8683

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1207/s15327957pspr0901_4


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States