Moral Freighting and Civic Engagement: A UK Perspective on Putnam and Campbell's Theory of Religious-Based Social Action
AbstractThis article tests the relevance and salience of Putnam and Campbell's concept of moral freighting, developed within a U.S. and largely Christian context, to the more secularized and religiously diverse context of the UK. Moral freighting suggests that individual citizens who are members of religious groups are better neighbors and more civically active than their secular counterparts. The article maps Putnam and Campbell's arguments, locating them within the wider genealogy of sociological theory explaining connections between religious belonging and pro-social participation. It thickens and nuances Putnam and Campbell's definition of moral freighting with reference to recent UK-based qualitative research via means of Belonging, Becoming and Participation Grids (BBP). Three case studies (Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian) are extrapolated, before concluding with a brief appraisal of moral freighting as an adequate conceptual tool for locating the role of religious and spiritual groups in shaping the contribution of individual citizens to public life.
Baker, Christopher <http://research.gold.ac.uk/view/goldsmiths/Baker=3AChristopher=3A=3A.html>. 2013. Moral Freighting and Civic Engagement: A UK Perspective on Putnam and Campbell's Theory of Religious-Based Social Action. Sociology of Religion, 74(3), pp. 343-369. ISSN 1069-4404 [Article]