Craig Martin’s chapter on authority is a key one for thinking about the power dynamics in examples of culture that people deem religious. That is to say that when people talk about religion, they often have instances of authority in mind. And when we focus in on the role of authority in a scenario, we can better see the other social features we’ve discussed (essentialism,, habitus, classification, structure, as we as legitimation).

A sign that reads "Restricted Area: Do Not Enter, Authorized Personel Only." It has a person "X'ed" out in a circle.
Who does the authorizing around here?

If you think about it, there are authority figures all around us. As you proceed through the chapter, I want you to jot down no more than 10 words that help you understand the phrases in bold (which were taken from section headings).

  • Return to Origins
  • False Universalism
  • Authoritative Figures as Mirrors
  • Authority and Audience
  • Selective Privileging
  • Challenging Authority
  • Responding to Challenges

After writing down the 10 words, draw a doodle of a memory or experience that you have that would be an example of the bold phrase. You can be as artsy or non-artsy as you like, but make this doodle something that jogs your memory. You’re flexing different muscles here that are going to help you strengthen your conceptualization of this idea. Make an inside joke with yourself. Do whatever it takes to make your output work for you!

*You can of course write more than 10 words, but I want you to first limit yourself to the 10 words and the doodle. After doing so, you can create an appendix where you write down more detailed definitions and explanations.