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|Concept coined by Claude Lévi-Strauss, first used in the sociology of
religion by Thomas Luckmann. It signals the individualization of religion: People
"pick and choose" what to believe, selecting their preferred religious practices
and ethical options. This phenomenon has been called "religion à la carte"
because people disregard the set church "menu": In their religious outlook, they
mix elements from different religious and incorporate folk-religious practices,
superstitions, and ideas typical of psychoanalysis and group dynamics. As a consequence,
one may allude to religious recomposition or refer to a patchwork: different elements
integrated in a personal religious system.
R. W. Bibby, Fragmented Gods (Toronto: Irwin Publishing, 1987)
T. Luckmann, "The Structural Conditions of Religious Consciousness in Modern Societies," Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 6(1979):121-137
L. Voyé, "From Institutional Catholicism to Christian Inspiration," in The Post-War Generation and Establishment Religion , ed. W. C. Roof et al. (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1995): 191-206.
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