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 informative 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology