Religion on the Edge

De-centering and Re-centering the Sociology of Religion
Author: Courtney Bender
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199938644
Category: Religion
Page: 297
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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.

Religion on the Edge

De-centering and Re-centering the Sociology of Religion
Author: Courtney Bender,Wendy Cadge,Peggy Levitt,David Smilde
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199986991
Category: Social Science
Page: 312
View: 9735

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The thirteen essays in this volume challenge 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. 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

Living Religion at God's Love We Deliver
Author: Courtney Bender
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226042817
Category: Religion
Page: 192
View: 8103

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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

Religion in the Halls of Medicine
Author: Wendy Cadge
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226922138
Category: Medical
Page: 328
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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

Gender Negotiation in Evangelical Families
Author: John P. Bartkowski
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813529196
Category: Religion
Page: 205
View: 5160

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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

The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America
Author: Wendy Cadge
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226089010
Category: Religion
Page: 278
View: 7638

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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

Reimagining Religious Engagement
Author: Courtney Bender,Pamela E. Klassen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231527268
Category: Religion
Page: 416
View: 3379

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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.

Artifacts and Allegiances

How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display
Author: Peggy Levitt
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520286065
Category: Art
Page: 268
View: 7182

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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.

A Fundamental Fear

Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism
Author: S. Sayyid
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
ISBN: 1783601930
Category: Political Science
Page: 224
View: 5857

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The fear and anxiety aroused by Islamism is not a myth, nor is it simply a consequence of terrorism or fundamentalism. Writing in 1997, before 9/11 and before the austerity that has bred a new generation of far right groups across Europe and the US, S. Sayyid warned of a spectre haunting Western civilization. This groundbreaking book, banned by the Malaysian government, is both an analysis of the conditions that have made ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ possible and a provocative account of the ways in which Muslim identities have come to play an increasingly political role throughout the world. This is a pioneering, provocative and intricately crafted study, which shows the challenge of Islamism is not only geopolitical or even cultural but also epistemological.

Sociology of Religion in America

A History of a Secular Fascination with Religion
Author: Anthony Blasi
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004271031
Category: Religion
Page: 276
View: 6576

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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.

The Sociology of Religion


Author: Max Weber
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 9780807042052
Category: Social Science
Page: 304
View: 5525

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Translated by Ephraim Fischoff With a new Foreword by Ann Swidler

Sociological Theory and the Question of Religion


Author: Dr Andrew McKinnon,Dr Marta Trzebiatowska
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1409465535
Category: Religion
Page: 274
View: 4999

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Religion lies near the heart of the classical sociological tradition, yet it no longer occupies the same place within the contemporary sociological enterprise. This relative absence has left sociology under-prepared for thinking about religion’s continuing importance in new issues, movements, and events in the twenty-first century. This book seeks to address this lacunae by offering a variety of theoretical perspectives on the study of religion that bridge the gap between mainstream concerns of sociologists and the sociology of religion. Following an assessment of the current state of the field, the authors develop an emerging critical perspective within the sociology of religion with particular focus on the importance of historical background. Re-assessing the themes of aesthetics, listening and different degrees of spiritual self-discipline, the authors draw on ethnographic studies of religious involvement in Norway and the UK. They highlight the importance of power in the sociology of religion with help from Pierre Bourdieu, Marx and Critical Discourse Analysis. This book points to emerging currents in the field and offers a productive and lively way forward, not just for sociological theory of religion, but for the sociology of religion more generally.

The Middle East and Brazil

Perspectives on the New Global South
Author: Paul Amar
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253014964
Category: History
Page: 366
View: 6314

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Connections between Brazil and the Middle East have a long history, but the importance of these interactions has been heightened in recent years by the rise of Brazil as a champion of the global south, mass mobilizations in the Arab world and South America, and the cultural renaissance of Afro-descendant Muslims and Arab ethnic identities in the Americas. This groundbreaking collection traces the links between these two regions, describes the emergence of new South-South solidarities, and offers new methodologies for the study of transnationalism, global culture, and international relations.

Religion, Media, and Social Change


Author: Kennet Granholm,Marcus Moberg,Sofia Sjö
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131780418X
Category: Social Science
Page: 214
View: 1021

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In an era of heightened globalization, macro-level transformations in the general socioeconomic and cultural makeup of modern societies have been studied in great depth. Yet little attention has been paid to the growing influence of media and mass-mediated popular culture on contemporary religious sensibilities, life, and practice. Religion, Media, and Social Change explores the correlation between the study of religion, media, and popular culture and broader sociological theorizing on religious change. Contributions devote serious attention to broadly-defined media including technologies, institutions, and social and cultural environments, as well as mass-mediated popular culture such as film, music, television, and computer games. This interdisciplinary collection addresses important theoretical and methodological questions by connecting the study of media and popular culture to current perspectives, approaches, and discussions in the broader sociological study of religion.

Forests

The Shadow of Civilization
Author: Robert Pogue Harrison
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226318059
Category: Nature
Page: 304
View: 2056

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In this wide-ranging exploration of the role of forests in Western thought, Robert Pogue Harrison enriches our understanding not only of the forest's place in the cultural imagination of the West, but also of the ecological dilemmas that now confront us so urgently. Consistently insightful and beautifully written, this work is especially compelling at a time when the forest, as a source of wonder, respect, and meaning, disappears daily from the earth. "Forests is one of the most remarkable essays on the human place in nature I have ever read, and belongs on the small shelf that includes Raymond Williams' masterpiece, The Country and the City. Elegantly conceived, beautifully written, and powerfully argued, [Forests] is a model of scholarship at its passionate best. No one who cares about cultural history, about the human place in nature, or about the future of our earthly home, should miss it.—William Cronon, Yale Review "Forests is, among other things, a work of scholarship, and one of immense value . . . one that we have needed. It can be read and reread, added to and commented on for some time to come."—John Haines, The New York Times Book Review

Black Crescent

The Experience and Legacy of African Muslims in the Americas
Author: Michael A. Gomez
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521840958
Category: History
Page: 385
View: 7138

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Beginning with Latin America in the fifteenth century, this book, first published in 2005, is a social history of the experiences of African Muslims and their descendants throughout the Americas, including the Caribbean. The record under slavery is examined, as is the post-slavery period into the twentieth century. The experiences vary, arguably due to some extent to the Old World context. Muslim revolts in Brazil are also discussed, especially in 1835, by way of a nuanced analysis. The second part of the book looks at the emergence of Islam among the African-descended in the United States in the twentieth century, with successive chapters on Noble Drew Ali, Elijah Muhammad, and Malcolm X, with a view to explaining how orthodoxy arose from varied unorthodox roots.

Religion and Politics

European and Global Perspectives
Author: Johann P. Arnason
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 074869174X
Category: Religion
Page: 224
View: 2998

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Combining theoretical and empirical research, these 12 essays examine the role of religion and its prospects in Europe. On the one hand, the volume discusses growing Islamic presence in Europe as a reminder of enduring religious pluralism, not least in view of the high prominence given to Islamic experience in arguments against over-generalised notions of secularisation. On the other hand, it explores the question of Christian motivated extremism and religious nationalism. Against this background, the contributors discuss the role of religion in other countries throughout the world including China, Japan, Russia and the MENA region.

Why We Need Religion


Author: Stephen T. Asma
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190469692
Category: Religion
Page: 288
View: 8062

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How we feel is as vital to our survival as how we think. This claim, based on the premise that emotions are largely adaptive, serves as the organizing theme of Why We Need Religion. This book is a novel pathway in a well-trodden field of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Stephen Asma argues that, like art, religion has direct access to our emotional lives in ways that science does not. Yes, science can give us emotional feelings of wonder and the sublime--we can feel the sacred depths of nature--but there are many forms of human suffering and vulnerability that are beyond the reach of help from science. Different emotional stresses require different kinds of rescue. Unlike secular authors who praise religion's ethical and civilizing function, Asma argues that its core value lies in its emotionally therapeutic power. No theorist of religion has failed to notice the importance of emotions in spiritual and ritual life, but truly systematic research has only recently delivered concrete data on the neurology, psychology, and anthropology of the emotional systems. This very recent "affective turn" has begun to map out a powerful territory of embodied cognition. Why We Need Religion incorporates new data from these affective sciences into the philosophy of religion. It goes on to describe the way in which religion manages those systems--rage, play, lust, care, grief, and so on. Finally, it argues that religion is still the best cultural apparatus for doing this adaptive work. In short, the book is a Darwinian defense of religious emotions and the cultural systems that manage them.

Empire of Religion

Imperialism and Comparative Religion
Author: David Chidester
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226117263
Category: Religion
Page: 400
View: 2179

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How is knowledge about religion and religions produced, and how is that knowledge authenticated and circulated? David Chidester seeks to answer these questions in Empire of Religion, documenting and analyzing the emergence of a science of comparative religion in Great Britain during the second half of the nineteenth century and its complex relations to the colonial situation in southern Africa. In the process, Chidester provides a counterhistory of the academic study of religion, an alternative to standard accounts that have failed to link the field of comparative religion with either the power relations or the historical contingencies of the imperial project. In developing a material history of the study of religion, Chidester documents the importance of African religion, the persistence of the divide between savagery and civilization, and the salience of mediations—imperial, colonial, and indigenous—in which knowledge about religions was produced. He then identifies the recurrence of these mediations in a number of case studies, including Friedrich Max Müller’s dependence on colonial experts, H. Rider Haggard and John Buchan’s fictional accounts of African religion, and W. E. B. Du Bois’s studies of African religion. By reclaiming these theorists for this history, Chidester shows that race, rather than theology, was formative in the emerging study of religion in Europe and North America. Sure to be controversial, Empire of Religion is a major contribution to the field of comparative religious studies.

The Sacred Canopy

Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion
Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453215379
Category: Social Science
Page: 229
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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.