Participation, Identity, And Social Support In A Spiritual Community
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Paganism is a loosely organized community whose religious ideology incorporates the immanence of Deity. As a religious association with an ideology different from traditional Judeo-Christian faiths, members are often labeled as deviant and subjected to various negative sanctions. By relying on survey data collected on April 9-12, 1996 and in depth personal interviews collected on October 10-13, 1996, this study presents a model that best describes and explains acceptance and participation in pagan spiritualism. This study identifies three characteristics associated with positive ratings of childhood religious affiliation (church disaffection, family closeness, and role), three characteristics associated with feelings of belonging to the pagan community (church disaffection, social support, and participation), and finally examines a member's disclosure of their pagan identity as being a function of occupational prestige, weighing the costs of negative sanctions versus the pagan value of openly expressing a pagan identity, and self-efficacy.