An activist religiosity? : exploring Christian support for the Occupy movement

Winter, Emily (2017) An activist religiosity? : exploring Christian support for the Occupy movement. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 32 (1). pp. 51-66. ISSN 1353-7903

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While Christian involvement in progressive social movements and activism is increasingly recognized, this literature has rarely gone beyond conceptualising religion as a resource to consider instead the ways in which individual activists may articulate their religious identity and how this intersects with the political. Based on ten in-depth interviews with Christian supporters of the London Occupy movement, this study offers an opportunity to respond to this gap by exploring the rich meaning-making processes of these activists. The article suggests that the location of the Occupy camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral was of central importance in bringing the Christian Occupiers’ religio-political identities to the foreground, their Christianity being defined in opposition to that represented by St Paul’s. The article then explores the religio-political meaning-making of the Christian Occupiers and introduces the term ‘activist religiosity’ as a way of understanding how religion and politics were articulated, and enacted, in similar ways. Indeed, religion and politics became considerably entangled and intertwined, rendering theoretical frameworks that conceptualise religion as a resource increasingly inappropriate. The features of this activist religiosity include post-institutional identities, a dislike of categorisation, and, centrally, the notion of ‘doings’—a predominant focus on engaged, active involvement.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Contemporary Religion
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Contemporary Religion on 22/12/2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? christianitysocial movementsoccupyactivismreligious identityreligious studiesphilosophycultural studies ??
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Deposited On:
20 Jun 2017 09:44
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:45