Wesley V. Jamison 1 , Caspar Wenk, and James V. Parker Every Sparrow That Falls: Understanding Animal Rights Activism as Functional Religion ABSTRACT This ar ticle repor ts original research conducted among animal rights activists and elites in Switzerland and the United States, and the nding that activism functioned in activists’ and elites’ lives like religious belief. The study used reference sampling to select Swiss and American informants.Various ar ticles and activists have identied both latent and manifest quasi-religious compo- nents in the contemporar y movement. Hence, the research fol- lowed upon these data and anecdotes and tested the role of activism in adherents’ lives. Using extensive inter views, the research discovered that activists and elites conform to the ve necessar y components of Yinger’s denition of functional religion: intense and memorable conversion experiences, newfound communities of meaning, normative creeds, elaborate and well-dened codes of behavior, and cult formation. The ar ticle elaborates on that schema in the context of animal rights belief, elucidates the deeply meaningful role of activism within a ligree of meaning, and con- cludes that the movement is facing schismatic forces not dissim- ilar to redemptive and religious movements KEYWORDS: animal rights, activism, religion,
Society & Animals – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
Keywords: ACTIVISM; BELIEF; ANIMAL RIGHTS; RELIGION
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