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Religious Organization Ecology: Exploring Schisms in High-Tension Religious Groups

July 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Religious Organization Ecology: Exploring Schisms in High-Tension Religious Groups

July 25, 2023, 12:00 noon (HKT)
Language: English
Venue: Via ZOOM (Registration is required.)
Registration Link: https://bit.ly/ASIARJuly25
Previous studies have attempted to synthesize religious economies, new institutional, and organizational ecology theories into a single perspective. Religious organization ecology theory proposes to be that synthesis and attempts to address meso-level weaknesses in cultural studies of lived religion. By analyzing schisms within high tension religious groups (otherwise known as “cults,” “new religious movements,” or “emergent religious groups”), the importance of church to sect mechanics, authority and doctrine, and niche conditions become apparent. These findings support ROE theory expectations of schism, suggesting that this research program may be a good way to address positivist charges of a lack of empiricism. Finally, the contribution of ROE to the cultural sociological study of religion is discussed. Future studies are needed to verify the theoretical improvements posited by ROE. 
Steven Foertsch is an award-winning third-year doctoral student in the sociology of religion program at Baylor University and research assistant at the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) with experience in research, policy, and working for IGOs/NGOs. From experiences ranging from AmeriCorps to the United Nations, he focuses on socio-ontological belief. He has conducted many studies to get at these religious and political beliefs– varying from Middle Age Papal Hegemony, Satanism, Wampanoag powwows, and AI chatbots to contemporary Christofascism. With this background, Steven is looking forward to continuing his research into the intersections of belief, social and political philosophy, emerging and New Age religious groups, political economy, deviance, and pluralism.
Dr Paul Joosse (Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong)
ASIAR Research Cluster, HKIHSS


July 25, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Via Zoom (Registration required)


ASIAR research cluster, HKIHSS, HKU