Guhin, “Why worry about evolution?”

Guhin, Jeffery.  2016. Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools.  Sociological Theory  34(2): 151-174.

Abstract: Previous work on conservative Protestant creationism fails to account for other creationists who are much less morally invested in opposition to evolution, raising the sociological question: What causes issues’ moral salience? Through ethnographic fieldwork in four creationist high schools in the New York City area (two Sunni Muslim and two conservative Protestant), I argue that evolution is more important to the Christian schools because it is dissonant with their key practices and boundaries. The theory of evolution is salient for American Evangelicals because it is dissonant with reading the Bible literally, which is both their key practice and key boundary. For American Muslims, the key practice is prayer, and the key boundary is gender performance, neither of which is dissonant with evolution. These cases provide evidence for a theory of moral salience that is more cultural and micro-level than the typical political and macro-level studies of issues’ political salience.


Bialecki, “After the Denominozoic”

Bialecki, Jon.  2014. After the Denominozoic: Evolution, Differentiation, Denominationalism.  Current Anthropology.  Early online publication.

Abstract: In this paper I argue that sociological denomination theory, despite its success in describing historic denomination cycles, has limits to its contemporary use and does not match the ethnographic description of the variety of ways in which denominationalism is expressed in anthropological ethnographies of Christianity. The cause of this mismatch is placed at the feet of unilinear models of denominational evolution. In its place, a differential model of autopoietic denominational evolution is suggested, where denominations are seen as different and differing solutions to an insistent Christian problematic. The capacities of this model are explored through the Vineyard, an association of charismatic churches that originated in Southern California.