Miriam Attia

M. Attia


Martin Marty Center Fellow

Miriam Attia's dissertation looks at how religious teachings and practices that help stabilize religious communities can also discourage marginalized members from criticizing their marginalization; and it traces the ways in which some of those members use their religion's resources creatively to call for change. She has been doing ethnographic research with three religious communities in Chicago whose members tend to be highly engaged, some of whom want to see certain changes made. Through this research, she is tracing religious teachings and practices concerning the relationship between divine and institutional authority, responses to suffering, markers of religious identity, and perceptions of non-members. She seeks to identify ways that religious communities can stabilize themselves and help members find meaning in their suffering while also soliciting and responding productively to constructive criticism from marginalized members.