CHFA | Psychology Department Showcase: Completed Projects

Title

Identity Politics as Secular Religion

Presenter Information

Isaiah KingFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Religious Studies

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Sean Rife, PhD

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The CRS-POL is a modified version of an existing measure - Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS) - commonly used to examine the significance of traditional forms of religion in individuals’ personalities, beliefs, and transcendent experiences. This scale is prevalent in the Psychology of Religion and has been validated cross-culturally, so that it may be utilized for interreligious studies, and has rendered itself the principal measure in most psychological research assessing the salience of religiosity in the individual. The CRS, however far-reaching, does not measure an emerging type of religion that is becoming more prevalent by the day; secular religion. Eminent sociologists such as Peter Berger predicted in the 1960s that as societies evolved, they would become increasingly secular and eventually dispose of religion altogether. This concept was termed the Secularization Hypothesis. This hypothesis served as the theoretical foundation on which our CRS-POL was constructed. The CRS-POL is a new measure of religiosity that discards traditional religious terms and replaces them with language relevant to the particular belief system that is suspected to have a religious type of architecture (in this case, the left-wing identity politics). Through our modifications, the goal was to preserve the fundamental structure of the five dimensions of the original CRS: Intellect, Ideology, Public Practice, Private Practice, and Experience. It is hypothesized that left-wing identity politics concerning social injustice and intersectionality has emerged as a new secular religious movement. More recently, we have developed a modification of the CRS-POL that assesses a right-wing analog. The CRS-POL2 analyzes right-wing identity politics as secular religion and was made to extend our understanding of identity politics as secular religion on both ends of the political spectrum.

Keywords: religion; religiosity; secular religion; identity politics; secularization

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Psychology: Completed Projects

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Identity Politics as Secular Religion

The CRS-POL is a modified version of an existing measure - Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS) - commonly used to examine the significance of traditional forms of religion in individuals’ personalities, beliefs, and transcendent experiences. This scale is prevalent in the Psychology of Religion and has been validated cross-culturally, so that it may be utilized for interreligious studies, and has rendered itself the principal measure in most psychological research assessing the salience of religiosity in the individual. The CRS, however far-reaching, does not measure an emerging type of religion that is becoming more prevalent by the day; secular religion. Eminent sociologists such as Peter Berger predicted in the 1960s that as societies evolved, they would become increasingly secular and eventually dispose of religion altogether. This concept was termed the Secularization Hypothesis. This hypothesis served as the theoretical foundation on which our CRS-POL was constructed. The CRS-POL is a new measure of religiosity that discards traditional religious terms and replaces them with language relevant to the particular belief system that is suspected to have a religious type of architecture (in this case, the left-wing identity politics). Through our modifications, the goal was to preserve the fundamental structure of the five dimensions of the original CRS: Intellect, Ideology, Public Practice, Private Practice, and Experience. It is hypothesized that left-wing identity politics concerning social injustice and intersectionality has emerged as a new secular religious movement. More recently, we have developed a modification of the CRS-POL that assesses a right-wing analog. The CRS-POL2 analyzes right-wing identity politics as secular religion and was made to extend our understanding of identity politics as secular religion on both ends of the political spectrum.

Keywords: religion; religiosity; secular religion; identity politics; secularization