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It Takes Two: The Interplay of Individual and Group Theology on Social Embeddedness

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Prior research argues that religious homophily in social networks is a product of overlapping interests and activities unintentionally leading to relationships or the intentional seeking of relationships with people of similar religious beliefs. This article advances research on religious homophily by including the role that exclusive theological beliefs play in explaining religious homophily among friends. We lay out three propositions for individual-, congregational-, and cross-level effects on the relationship between exclusive theology and embeddedness within one's congregation. Using multilevel models and data from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey (USCLS), we find support for our three propositions. We discuss our findings in terms of how exclusive theologies may contribute to bonding forms of social capital, but limit exposure to diverse social perspectives and bridging forms of social capital.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology Pennsylvania State University 2: Department of Sociology City University of New York

Publication date: March 1, 2009


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