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The role of religion in every country is important for cultural development of the nation. Religion is one of the key twelve domains of culture. The key determinant of the communication between individuals within the nation is given to religion.
Goff and Harvey (2004) have stressed the importance of studying religion as a domain of culture due to its cultural effect in American society and noted that, “religious history had for decades highlighted the thoughts of men, mostly ‘white’, as the real story”, while everyone else who was religious provided either background or alternatives that were usually understood merely as foils to the metanarrative” (p. 1). Therefore, it is essential to look at how religion formulates the society. In this respect, it is proposed to address such aspects as worship and community. These two aspects are at the same time strong and yet differ by their impact on the development of American modern culture and society in general.
Gillard and Hackett (2003) notice that nowadays the study of American culture and religion are far from the older observation and analysis of European culture with its diverse religious contexts. The authors point out that “many of these new studies cut across boundaries of gender, class, and region, and pay particular attention to popular religion” (Gillard and Hackett, 2003, p. xi). Therefore, both worship and community are examined under general concept of the American nation without dividing it into fewer national cultures and religions.
However, there are major differences in understanding the concept of worship and the concept of community in American culture under the domain of religion. Many authors agree that worship is still identified as part of the national background of a person, while the community as a concept is closer to the popular culture (Black, 2000; Maynard-Reid, 2000; Gillard and Hackett, 2003).
The situation with worship and community is very different. Therefore, it is proposed to study both concepts separately due to their different meaning in terms of religion as a domain of culture. Black (2000) also believes that, “throughout history, most worship services have been ‘multicultural’ to some degree in that they contain elements from diverse cultures, including roots in Jewish worship” (p. 2). At the same time, worship is something that identifies the culturally diverse behavior of American people. All individuals learn to respect other cultures due to the differences in worship that many Americans have.
Community as an aspect has a different meaning. First of all, the concept of community is unites people under some specific religious background rather than splitting them apart as individuals without rights and faith. The community role of religion is very popular within the members of the American society, as it helps the people identify their core national values through religion. Community is largely mentioned as the formulating factor of religion, while worship is more of an identifier of religion.
According to Mensching (1976), “the religious community presents itself as a secular community with a religious law” (p. 44). Therefore, religious communities within American culture have developed into small inner circles and societies of people who are united under a certain idea of worship and faith. Therefore, as Maynard-Reid (2000) argues, religious community has a role that expands much larger than the actual worshiping pattern. Religion as part of American culture has determined the framework for personal development of an individual living within certain society and bearing certain principles and community rules. These rules include worship, but it is a community which describes the principles and which sorts religious laws and rules within the national minority. American culture and its historic development have expanded this process due to its uniqueness and co-existence of diverse cultures.