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Vocation Versus Vocational Status In The Lives Of Current And Former Vowed American Catholic Religious

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Chapter Summary

This chapter intends to trace the dialectic between vocation and vocational status in two American samples of current and former Roman Catholic members of religious communities ("orders" and "congregations"). There has been a tendency in the history of the sociology of religion to place vocation in the strict sense and vocation as a status in a historical relationship to one another, with the vocation as calling emerging at the beginning of a religious tradition and the vocation as status developing over time. The present purposes are served adequately by tapping into one dimension common to a number of people's personal vocations and examining the associations between that dimension and the institutional features of occupational vocations. The actual dialectic between personal vocation and occupational vocations can be readily indicated in its temporal dimension by the number of years spent under vows in a religious order or congregation.

Keywords: American Catholic religious; congregation; occupational vocation; personal vocation; vocational status



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