Diversified Power: The Rise of New Leaders in Bourdieu's Religious Field

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Stephen Grusendorf

Abstract

Using Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of the religious field, capital, and habitus as theoretical frameworks, this article highlights emerging sources of influence within contemporary religious fields, as well as factors leading to their rise within our current culture. Specifically, the prereflexive nature of the individual agent will be re-considered in light of mass migration, globalization, and digital technology. The increasing influence of lay and digital leaders will also be considered, and their impact on traditional forms of religious authority discussed. What becomes apparent through this analysis is that once privileged religious elites have less control over dispensing spiritual capital.

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