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Active belonging, passive belonging and negative belonging are terms that refer to the relationship between religious belief and belonging to a church and/or religious affiliation. Active belonging indicates religious belief coupled with active attendance at and affiliation with a church and/or religious group. Passive belonging indicates passivity in belief coupled with attendance at and/or affiliation with a church and/or religious group; something on the order of "You can make me go, but you can't make me a fanatic." Negative belonging indicates the absence of belief coupled with coerced attendance at and/or affiliation with a church and/or religious group; something on the order of, "You may be able to make me go, but you can't make me believe."
Tituba and Abigail Williams might represent examples of negative belong. Tituba may be so classed because she is associated with Voodoo and magic through the associations with her homeland of Barbados. Her superstitious nature is aggravated by the trials leading to her psychological disintegration while in jail.
Abigail may be so classed because The Crucible raises the question of how extensive her beliefs in magic, are and her conduct raises the question of her acceptance of basic Christian doctrine requiring that one extend love and kindness and do justice and not bear false witness. On the other hand, Giles Corey might represent passive belonging since he spent the majority of his life not caring much about the church or church doctrine.
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