Religion on the Edge

Author: Courtney Bender
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199938643
Release Date: 2012-12-06
Genre: Religion

The thirteen essays in this volume offer a challenge to conventional scholarly approaches to the sociology of religion. They urge readers to look beyond congregational settings, beyond the United States, and to religions other than Christianity, and encourage critical engagement with religion's complex social consequences. By expanding conceptual categories, the essays reveal how aspects of the religious have always been part of allegedly non-religious spaces and show how, by attending to these intellectual blindspots, we can understand aspects of identity, modernity, and institutional life that have long been obscured. Religion on the Edge addresses a number of critical questions: What is revealed about the self, pluralism, or modernity when we look outside the U.S. or outside Christian settings? What do we learn about how and where the religious is actually at work and what its role is when we unpack the assumptions about it embedded in the categories we use? Religion on the Edge offers groundbreaking new methodologies and models, bringing to light conceptual lacunae, re-centering what is unsettled by their use, and inviting a significant reordering of long-accepted political and economic hierarchies. The book shows how social scientists across the disciplines can engage with the sociology of religion. By challenging many of its long-standing empirical and analytic tendencies, the contributors to this volume show how their work informs and is informed by debates in other fields and the analytical purchase gained by bringing these many conversations together. Religion on the Edge will be a crucial resource for any scholar seeking to understand our post-modern, post-secular world.

Heaven s Kitchen

Author: Courtney Bender
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226042812
Release Date: 2003-05-01
Genre: Religion

How do people practice religion in their everyday lives? How do our daily encounters with people who hold different religious beliefs shape the way we understand our own moral and spiritual selves? In Heaven's Kitchen, Courtney Bender takes a highly original approach to answering these questions. For more than a year she worked in New York City as a volunteer for a nonprofit, nonreligious organization called God's Love We Deliver, helping to prepare home-cooked meals for people with AIDS. Paying close attention to what was said and not said, Bender traces how the volunteers gave voice to their moral positions and religious values. She also examines how they invested their conversations, and mundane activities such as cooking, with personal meaning that in turn affected how they saw their own spiritual lives. Filled with vibrant storytelling and rich theoretical insights, Heaven's Kitchen shows faith as a living practice, reshaping our understanding of the role of religion in contemporary American life.

Paging God

Author: Wendy Cadge
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226922133
Release Date: 2013-01-18
Genre: Medical

While the modern science of medicine often seems nothing short of miraculous, religion still plays an important role in the past and present of many hospitals. When three-quarters of Americans believe that God can cure people who have been given little or no chance of survival by their doctors, how do today’s technologically sophisticated health care organizations address spirituality and faith? Through a combination of interviews with nurses, doctors, and chaplains across the United States and close observation of their daily routines, Wendy Cadge takes readers inside major academic medical institutions to explore how today’s doctors and hospitals address prayer and other forms of religion and spirituality. From chapels to intensive care units to the morgue, hospital caregivers speak directly in these pages about how religion is part of their daily work in visible and invisible ways. In Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine, Cadge shifts attention away from the ongoing controversy about whether faith and spirituality should play a role in health care and back to the many ways that these powerful forces already function in healthcare today.

Remaking the Godly Marriage

Author: John P. Bartkowski
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813529190
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Religion

While religious leaders often have enormous influence over their members' beliefs and how they translate their beliefs into action in everyday life, the individual family remains the place where religious values are practiced through and ultimately transferred to the next generation. As such, the family is an extremely important, though frequently overlooked, topic of study for sociologists of religion. In Remaking the Godly Marriage, John Bartkowski studies evangelical Protestants and their views on marriage and gender relations and how they are lived within individual families. The author compares elite evangelical prescriptions for godly family living with the day-to-day practices in conservative Protestant households. He asks: How serious are the debates over gender and the family that are manifested within contemporary evangelicalism? What are the values that underlie this debate? Have these internecine disputes been altered by the emergence of new evangelical movements such as biblical feminism and the Promise Keepers? And given the fact that leading evangelicals advance competing visions of godly family life, how do conservative religious spouses make sense of their own family relationships and gender identities? Through in-depth interviews with evangelical married couples and an exhaustive study of evangelical family advice manuals, Bartkowski explores the disputes and ambivalence concerning traditional gender roles and patriarchal models of family life, which derive from the tension between evangelical Protestantism as a religious subculture and the broader American secular culture in which it is embedded. Bartkowski reveals how evangelical men and women jointly negotiate gender roles within their families and selectively appropriate values of the larger culture even as they attempt to cope with the conflicting messages of their own faith.

Heartwood

Author: Wendy Cadge
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226089010
Release Date: 2008-10-10
Genre: Religion

Theravada is one of the three main branches of Buddhism. In Asia it is practiced widely in Thailand, Laos, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. This fascinating ethnography opens a window onto two communities of Theravada Buddhists in contemporary America: one outside Philadelphia that is composed largely of Thai immigrants and one outside Boston that consists mainly of white converts. Wendy Cadge first provides a historical overview of Theravada Buddhism and considers its specific origins here in the United States. She then brings her findings to bear on issues of personal identity, immigration, cultural assimilation, and the nature of religion in everyday life. Her work is the first systematic comparison of the ways in which immigrant and convert Buddhists understand, practice, and adapt the Buddhist tradition in America. The men and women whom Cadge meets and observes speak directly to us in this work, both in their personal testimonials and as they meditate, pray, and practice Buddhism. Creative and insightful, Heartwood will be of enormous value to sociologists of religion and anyone wishing to understand the rise of Buddhism in the Western world.

After Pluralism

Author: Courtney Bender
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231527262
Release Date: 2010-11-02
Genre: Religion

The contributors to this volume treat pluralism as a concept that is historically and ideologically produced or, put another way, as a doctrine that is embedded within a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Their critique considers how religious difference is framed as a problem that only pluralism can solve. Working comparatively across nations and disciplines, the essays in After Pluralism explore pluralism as a "term of art" that sets the norms of identity and the parameters of exchange, encounter, and conflict. Contributors locate pluralism's ideals in diverse sites Broadway plays, Polish Holocaust memorials, Egyptian dream interpretations, German jails, and legal theories and demonstrate its shaping of political and social interaction in surprising and powerful ways. Throughout, they question assumptions underlying pluralism's discourse and its influence on the legal decisions that shape modern religious practice. Contributors do more than deconstruct this theory; they tackle what comes next. Having established the genealogy and effects of pluralism, they generate new questions for engaging the collective worlds and multiple registers in which religion operates.

Sociology of Religion in America

Author: Anthony Blasi
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004271036
Release Date: 2014-03-21
Genre: Religion

Sociology of Religion in America tells the story of the controversies involved in the development of a scientific specialty that often makes news in America. The evidence it presents runs contrary to the many myths about the field.

Choosing Our Religion

Author: Elizabeth Drescher
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199341238
Release Date: 2016-03-01
Genre: Religion

To the dismay of religious leaders, study after study has shown a steady decline in affiliation and identification with traditional religions in America. By 2014, more than twenty percent of adults identified as unaffiliated--up more than seven percent just since 2007. Even more startling, more than thirty percent of those under the age of thirty now identify as "Nones"--answering "none" when queried about their religious affiliation. Is America losing its religion? Or, as more and more Americans choose different spiritual paths, are they changing what it means to be religious in the United States today? In Choosing Our Religion, Elizabeth Drescher explores the diverse, complex spiritual lives of Nones across generations and across categories of self-identification such as "Spiritual-But-Not-Religious," "Atheist," "Agnostic," "Humanist," "just Spiritual," and more. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews conducted across the United States, Drescher opens a window into the lives of a broad cross-section of Nones, diverse with respect to age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and prior religious background. She allows Nones to speak eloquently for themselves, illuminating the processes by which they became None, the sources of information and inspiration that enrich their spiritual lives, the practices they find spiritually meaningful, how prayer functions in spiritual lives not centered on doctrinal belief, how morals and values are shaped outside of institutional religions, and how Nones approach the spiritual development of their own children. These compelling stories are deeply revealing about how religion is changing in America--both for Nones and for the religiously affiliated family, friends, and neighbors with whom their lives remain intertwined.

Decentering the Regime

Author: Jeffrey W. Rubin
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822320630
Release Date: 1997
Genre: History

An ethnographic analysis of popular politics and the pursuit of democracy in Juchitan, Mexico.

Religions of Mesoamerica

Author: Davíd Carrasco
Publisher: Waveland Press
ISBN: 9781478611035
Release Date: 2013-08-26
Genre: Religion

The Second Edition of Religions of Mesoamerica comes at a turning point in the study of the Americas and the religious and cultural histories of the New World. To that end, esteemed scholar Davíd Carrasco integrates past and current research, developments, and excavations to vividly synthesize the history of Mesoamerican cultures—their religious forms, ceremonial centers, complex social structures, view of time and space, myths, and rituals. Carrasco’s deep yet concise overview takes readers on an absorbing journey where they experience the dynamics and complexities of Aztec and Maya cultures, the Spanish conquest, and cultural combinations of European and indigenous ideas and practices. He skillfully demonstrates how the religious imagination was and continues to be crucial to the survival and creativity of Mesoamerica and its Chicano/a descendants.

Artifacts and Allegiances

Author: Peggy Levitt
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520286061
Release Date: 2015-07-07
Genre: Art

What can we learn about nationalism by looking at a country’s cultural institutions? How do the history and culture of particular cities help explain how museums represent diversity? Artifacts and Allegiances takes us around the world to tell the compelling story of how museums today are making sense of immigration and globalization. Based on firsthand conversations with museum directors, curators, and policymakers; descriptions of current and future exhibitions; and inside stories about the famous paintings and iconic objects that define collections across the globe, this work provides a close-up view of how different kinds of institutions balance nationalism and cosmopolitanism. By comparing museums in Europe, the United States, Asia, and the Middle East, Peggy Levitt offers a fresh perspective on the role of the museum in shaping citizens. Taken together, these accounts tell the fascinating story of a sea change underway in the museum world at large.

The Sacred Canopy

Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781453215371
Release Date: 2011-04-26
Genre: Social Science

Influential scholar Peter L. Berger explores the sociological underpinnings of religion and the rise of a modern secular society Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger carefully lays out an understanding of religion as a historical, societal mechanism in this classic work of social theory. Berger examines the roots of religious belief and its gradual dissolution in modern times, applying a general theoretical perspective to specific examples from religions throughout the ages. Building upon the author’s previous work, The Social Construction of Reality, with Thomas Luckmann, this book makes Berger’s case that human societies build a “sacred canopy” to protect, stabilize, and give meaning to their worldview.

The Sociology of Religion

Author: Max Weber
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807042056
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Social Science

Translated by Ephraim Fischoff With a new Foreword by Ann Swidler

Decentring Health Policy

Author: Mark Bevir
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781315310794
Release Date: 2017-07-28
Genre: Political Science

Taking a ‘decentred’ approach to the analysis of health policy means being attentive to the historical contingencies and circumstances within which reforms are located, the influence of dominant or elite narratives in the shaping of policy, the local traditions and customary practices through which policies are mobilised, and the way local actors contest, negotiate and co-construct policy. This book offers a unique analysis of the changing landscape of healthcare reform in Britain, as an example of decentralized reforms across the developed world. The collection is framed by the recognition that healthcare reform has resulted in variegated and decentralized forms of governance. The chapters look at distinct aspects of reform within the British NHS to bring to light the influence of local histories, traditions, coalitions, and values, in the remaking of a national healthcare system. Each chapter focuses on a different aspects of reform, and in others developing cross-national and comparative analysis. However, each offers a unique contribution and analysis of contemporary theories of healthcare governance. This book will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners in healthcare, health and social policy, political science, and public management and governance.

Religion and Progressive Activism

Author: Ruth Braunstein
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479852901
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Genre: Religion

New stories about religiously motivated progressive activism challenge common understandings of the American political landscape. To many mainstream-media saturated Americans, the terms “progressive” and “religious” may not seem to go hand-in-hand. As religion is usually tied to conservatism, an important way in which religion and politics intersect is being overlooked. Religion and Progressive Activism focuses on this significant intersection, revealing that progressive religious activists are a driving force in American public life, involved in almost every political issue or area of public concern. This volume brings together leading experts who dissect and analyze the inner worlds and public strategies of progressive religious activists from the local to the transnational level. It provides insight into documented trends, reviews overlooked case studies, and assesses the varied ways in which progressive religion forces us to deconstruct common political binaries such as right/left and progress/tradition. In a coherent and accessible way, this book engages and rethinks long accepted theories of religion, of social movements, and of the role of faith in democratic politics and civic life. Moreover, by challenging common perceptions of religiously motivated activism, it offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of religion and the American political landscape.