Publication Date

2015

Abstract

The Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 and its corollaries, Occupy Sandy and Occupy Debt, have been largely understood as secular movements. In spite of this, religious actors not only participated, but in some cases played an integral role within the movement, lending material support, organizing expertise, and public statements of support. We rely on interviews with faith leaders (N = 13) in New York and Oakland, and engage in an analysis of print and online media to explore the role of religious actors and groups in Occupy Wall Street. Religious participants were often long-time veterans of progressive political struggles and drew inspiration from their faith traditions. Nonetheless, religious commitments were secondary to political objectives shared by themselves and their secular counterparts. Religious leaders believed they offered symbolic authority to the movement and highlighted this in their engagement in the hope of giving it greater moral weight. Current discussions on postsecularism and public religions are considered.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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