…people generally do not adopt a set of beliefs called “Christianity” and then pick out a church in which to express them. People become “Christian” by practicing a variety of activities enriched by traditions and cultures of the faithful across the generations — worshipping, singing, praying, eating, reading scripture, visiting the sick, helping the needy. But practices cannot simply be deduced from objective conditions. I do not worship because there is a need for worship in the world. I worship because it is a way of life. My life may be a mess of shame and disappointment; but those conditions do not necessarily eventuate in my praying. When I do worship and pray, though, I find myself welcomed into a whole world of practice — language, tune, symbol, story — that I learn more fully only over time. As Bourdieu put it in one of his most delightful sentences, “It is because subjects do not, strictly speaking, know what they are doing that what they do has more meaning than they know.
Tom Frank from The Soul of the Congregation
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