Title

Gender, Religious Tradition and Biblical Literalism

Keywords

biblical literalism, religion, structuration theory, gender theory, patriarchy

Abstract

Several studies examine biblical literalism to categorize Christian denominations and predict attitudes and behaviors. Yet, few studies have identified the predictors of literalist orientations. In this study, we use structuration theory and gender theory to develop hypotheses concerning gender differences in literalist ideologies based on the degree of organizational patriarchy among religious traditions. Analyses using two national data sets demonstrate that women are relatively more inclined than men to embrace a literalist ideology in patriarchal religious organizations than in mainline organizations. We argue that a literalist ideology provides a compensatory schema to conservative Protestant women, who are generally denied access to organizational resources, especially positions of leadership and authority, in such organizations. We conclude by identifying the implications of our findings for research on gender, religion and patriarchal organizations.

Original Publication Citation

Hoffmann, John P., and John P. Bartkowski. 2008. “Gender, Religious Tradition, and Biblical Literalism.” Social Forces 86(3): 1245-1272.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2008-3

Publisher

Social Forces

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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