chapter  14
12 Pages

Engaged faith: my own and that of others

ByWade Clark Roof

By engaged faith, I have in mind one that privileges the psychological space between certainty and exploration, even doubt, or an inner dialogue of sorts between a takenfor-granted world of meaning and order and the threat of chaos impinging upon it. Of course this is language from Peter Berger, to whom I am greatly indebted; more than any other religion scholar he shaped my sociological imagination as a young sociologist of religion. But there were earlier influences, family experiences growing up that meshed well with, perhaps predisposed me to, Berger’s insights. The two sets of influences are so bound together that it is impossible to sort out my career story apart from the personal story. So here I trace those earlier experiences of conflicted identity and ambivalence towards faith, and reflect on how the two are connected – as best I can – with my own religious inclinations and research agenda as it evolved over time, all of course telescoped into a very brief narrative.