ERIC Number: EJ1040832
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Scripture-Based Discourses of Latter-Day Saint and Methodist Youths
Rackley, Eric D.
Reading Research Quarterly, v49 n4 p417-435 Oct-Dec 2014
Drawing on social and cultural perspectives of literacy, conceptualizations of religious literacies, and Gee's notion of Discourses, I develop a framework for exploring 16 Latter-day Saint and Methodist youths' religious literacies as social and cultural practice. This work grows out of the increasingly important role that religion plays in local and global events, the large population of religious youths who demonstrate strong commitments to engaging with scripture, and the enormous cultural space occupied by religious texts. Data consisted of 59 extensive, semistructured interviews over two years and a year of observations of the youths in multiple contexts. Inductive analyses informed by constant comparative analysis and the development of key linkages indicated that participants engaged in religious literacy discourses that were informed by the religiohistorical beliefs, experiences, and values of their families and religious congregations. Two primary categories emerged: Methodist youths engaged in an active construction of meaning with scripture, situated within a culture of interpretation and discussion of religious texts. Latter-day Saint youths privileged a passive reception of meaning from scripture, situated within a culture of listening that included reading long passages of scripture and memorizing scripture. These discourses provided ways for the youths to represent the manner in which they participated in, and made sense of, the world through language and texts. This research raises questions about the study of sacred texts, the selection and use of culturally important texts for instructional use, and the value of exploring religion as social and cultural practice.
Descriptors: Christianity, Biblical Literature, Protestants, Religious Cultural Groups, Youth, Literacy, Semi Structured Interviews, Observation, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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