Interaction Ritual Chains and Religious Participation1

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This article explores congregational-level influences on religious participation by adding a distinctively sociological approach to the debate through the application of Collins’s interaction ritual chain theory—a reinterpretation and integration of Durkheim and Goffman—at a congregational level of analysis. Arguing that the congregational worship service can be understood as an interaction ritual, this article offers an initial exploration of the role of effective ritual in increasing religious participation rates. Using the National Congregation Study (1998) data set, the findings from the multiple regression analysis offer support for both interaction ritual chains and religious economies predictors on a congregational attendance ratio.

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