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Elite religion

2019-12-28 06:52:02

In sociology, elite religion is defined as the symbols, rituals and beliefs which are recognized as legitimate by the leadership of that religion.[1]

In contrast to folk religion

Elite religion is often contrasted with folk religion, or the religious symbols and beliefs of the masses. Elite religion is then the "official religion" as championed by the leaders of a religion.

Strengthening denominationalism

Sociologist Charles Liebman theorized that the strengthening of elite religion over members of a particular group led to the growth of denominationalism.[2]


  1. ^ Bock, Wilbur. "Symbols in Conflict: Official versus Folk Religion," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 5 (Spring 1966): 204-12.
  2. ^ Liebman, Charles. The Ambivalent American Jew. Jewish Publication Society. (1973): 83-86.