Religion and Culture in Tension: The Abortion Discourses of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and the Southern Baptist Convention

Academic Article


  • Sociologists increasingly emphasize the systemic openness of religious organizations to their environment. Mark Kowalewski argues that the Catholic church, for example, engages in a “limited accommodation” with the broader culture in order to “rein in the forces of change and to keep modernizing elements under the control of the existing power elite.” Others suggest that the church manages its multiple identities across diverse audiences by articulating culturally adaptive discourses. Nancy Ammerman documents the responsiveness of religious organizations to political currents by demonstrating how doctrinal and ideological upheavals within the Southern Baptist Convention during the 1980's resulted in a conservative resurgence within the organization and a new administration committed to taking an activist public stance on various sociomoral issues, including abortion.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • 1995
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 159
  • End Page

  • 180
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 2