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Sense of the FaithfulHow American Catholics Live Their Faith$
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Jerome P. Baggett

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326956.001.0001

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Paradox

Paradox

Tradition in a Posttraditional Society

Chapter:
(p.205) 7 Paradox
Source:
Sense of the Faithful
Author(s):

Jerome P. Baggett (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326956.003.0007

This chapter reflects on an inherent paradox of religious traditions. Characterized by both stasis and flux, traditions conserve cultural meanings for new generations of people who, in reinterpreting these as novel situations require, ultimately alter those very meanings. To comprehend this is to grasp more fully the perennial and dynamic nature of religious faith. This pushes us to acknowledge two additional points. The first is that the analytical categories we frequently utilize in investigating religious traditions must also adapt if we are truly to do justice to tradition's paradoxical character. The second point is that the ending of one iteration of a religious tradition is often tantamount to the beginning of another.

Keywords:   American Catholicism, Catholics, religious traditions, religious culture

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