Social Capital, Religious Social Capital and the Missing Element of Religious Ritual

in Religion and Theology
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This article was written to contribute towards developing a suitable conceptual framework for meeting the overarching research aim of developing a more profound empirically informed interpretation of the manner and extent to which religious ritual could be valued as a source of social capital formation in the South African context. With this in mind, the article first explores the concept of social capital in the light of the threefold distinction between bonding, bridging and linking forms of social capital. Secondly, from the vantage point of such exploration the connection with religion is made more pointedly. By tapping into the more recently invented notion of religious social capital, the article shows how this concept is today used meaningfully to advance a twofold perspective: on religion as a special repository of social capital, but also on the limitations of religion and its institutions in meeting the social capital needs of communities and the wider society. Finally, from the viewpoint of eliciting important conceptual value from the notion of religious social capital, the case of religious ritual as a very necessary yet untapped element in the contemporary research focus on religion and social capital formation is presented. In particular, an argument about religious ritual as the consistently missing element in this research focus is put forward and given greater substance through the identification of two pointers from the literature that can be deemed useful in starting to address this lacuna.

Social Capital, Religious Social Capital and the Missing Element of Religious Ritual

in Religion and Theology

Sections

References

6

John FieldSocial Capital (London: Routledge2003) 136.

9

FieldSocial Capital136.

10

See FieldSocial Capital11–43. For a similar recognition of the contribution of Bourdieu Coleman and Putnam see Mark K. Smith “Social Capital” The Encyclopedia of Informal Education http://infed.org/mobi/social-capital/ 2000–2009 retrieved 20 March 2014.

11

See FieldSocial Capital1–2.

13

See FieldSocial Capital40–42.

14

FieldSocial Capital136.

15

FieldSocial Capital136.

17

FieldSocial Capital42.

20

Michael Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development: Towards a Theoretical Synthesis and Policy Framework”Theory and Society 27 no. 2 (1998): 188; see also Michael Woolcock “The Place of Social Capital in Understanding Social and Economic Outcomes” Development Research Group The World Bank and Kennedy School of Government Harvard University 25 www.oecd.org/innovation/research/1824913.pdf 2001 retrieved 1 February 2015; Michael Woolcock and Deepa Narayan “Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory Research and Policy” The World Bank Research Observer 15 no. 2 (2000): 227–228 243.

22

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 155–159.

23

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 159.

24

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 159.

26

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 226; see also Woolcock “The Place of Social Capital” 9; Woolcock “Social Capital and Economic Development” 155.

27

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 226.

28

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 226–227.

29

Woolcock“The Place of Social Capital” 11; Woolcock and Narayan “Social Capital: Implications for Development” 230.

30

Woolcock“The Place of Social Capital” 3–4 11; Woolcock and Narayan “Social Capital: Implications for Development” 230–233.

32

Woolcock“The Place of Social Capital” 10–11; Woolcock and Narayan “Social Capital: Implications for Development” 230–231; see also Woolcock “Social Capital and Economic Development” 168–175.

33

Woolcock“The Place of Social Capital” 11; see also Woolcock “Social Capital and Economic Development” 168; Woolcock and Narayan “Social Capital: Implications for Development” 231–233.

34

Woolcock“The Place of Social Capital” 10–11.

35

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 232.

36

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 174; see also Woolcock and Narayan “Social Capital: Implications for Development” 232–233 242.

37

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 175.

38

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 233.

39

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 233.

40

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 233.

41

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 167–182.

42

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 233.

43

See Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 171–173.

44

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 234.

45

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 234; see also Woolcock “Social Capital and Economic Development” 176–178.

46

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 236.

47

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 176–178.

48

See Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 234–239.

49

See Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 235–239.

50

Woolcock“The Place of Social Capital” 16; cf. Woolcock and Narayan “Social Capital: Implications for Development” 238.

51

Woolcock and Narayan“Social Capital: Implications for Development” 16.

53

Woolcock“Social Capital and Economic Development” 178.

59

Maselko et al.“Religious Social Capital” 760; see in further support of this observation John A. Coleman “Religious Social Capital: Its Nature Social Location and Limits” in Religion as Social Capital: Producing the Common Good ed. Corwin Smidt (Waco TX: Baylor University Press 2003) 33; Corwin Smidt “Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life: Concluding Thoughts” in Religion as Social Capital: Producing the Common Good ed. Corwin Smidt (Waco TX: Baylor University Press 2003) 216–222; Unruh and Sider “Social Capital and Spiritual Capital” 219–232.

61

Swart“Churches as a Stock of Social Capital” 368–369.

62

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 216.

63

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 211.

64

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 216; see also Corwin Smidt “Introduction” in Religion as Social Capital: Producing the Common Good (Waco TX: Baylor University Press 2003) 3; Coleman “Religious Social Capital” 33–34.

65

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 216.

66

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 216.

67

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 216; cf. Coleman “Religious Social Capital” 33–34.

68

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 216.

69

Smidt“Introduction” 3.

71

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 217.

72

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 217.

73

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 217.

74

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 217–218.

75

Smidt“Religion Social Capital and Democratic Life” 218. For similar arguments advanced elsewhere see Chapter 11 on “Social and Spiritual Capital” in Unruh and Sider Saving Souls Serving Society 218–238.

76

Browning quoted in Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 45; Unruh and Sider Saving Souls Serving Society 238.

77

Browning quoted in Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 45; Unruh and Sider Saving Souls Serving Society 238.

78

Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 45.

79

Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 44.

80

Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 45.

81

Unruh and SiderSaving Souls Serving Society225.

82

Unruh and SiderSaving Souls Serving Society225.

83

Unruh and SiderSaving Souls Serving Society225.

84

Unruh and SiderSaving Souls Serving Society225.

85

Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 45–46.

86

Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 38.

87

Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 37–38 46; see also Unruh and Sider Saving Souls Serving Society 232–235.

88

Coleman“Religious Social Capital” 38.

89

Unruh and SiderSaving Souls Serving Society234.

94

Swart“Religion and Social Capital Research in South Africa” 113–114; see also Swart “Churches as a Stock of Social Capital” 369–370.

97

Sosis and Alcorta“Signaling” 265.

98

Lukken“No Life without Rituals” 110.

100

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred184–198.

101

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred184.

102

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred184–185.

103

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred185.

104

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred186.

105

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred187–188.

106

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred188–190. It could be noted here how Swenson relies on the classic works of Smith and Durkheim in support of his identification of this function. He shows how they (Smith and Durkheim) held similar opinions about the way in which the bonding element established between believers and their gods through ritual practice (such as acts of worship) effectively leads to human bonding. Smith referred to the way in which ritual “renewed the bonds of family social and national obligation” and Durkheim to the way in which ritual strengthens “the bonds attaching the individual to the society of which he is a member” (see pp. 188–189).

107

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred190–191.

108

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred191–193.

109

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred193–194.

111

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred194–195.

112

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred195–196.

113

SwensonSociety Spirituality and the Sacred196–197.

122

Cas Wepener and Johan Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital in Contexts of Poverty,” in Religion and Social Development in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Perspectives for Critical Engagementeds. Ignatius Swart Hermann Rocher Sulina Green and Johannes Erasmus (Stellenbosch: SUN Press 2010) 417.

123

Wepener and Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital” 417–419.

125

Wepener and Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital” 419–420.

126

Wepener and Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital” 421.

127

Wepener and Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital” 422 428.

128

Wepener and Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital” 422–426.

129

Wepener and Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital” 419.

130

Wepener and Cilliers“Ritual and the Generation of Social Capital” 426.

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