Places of Faith: A Road Trip across America's Religious Landscape

Places of Faith: A Road Trip across America's Religious Landscape

by Christopher P. Scheitle, Roger Finke
     
 

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Lavishly illustrated with over 100 color photographs, Places of Faith takes readers on a fascinating religious road trip. Christopher Scheitle and Roger Finke have crisscrossed America, visiting churches in small towns and rural areas, as well as the mega-churches, storefronts, synagogues, Islamic centers, Eastern temples, and other places of faith in major cities.

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Overview

Lavishly illustrated with over 100 color photographs, Places of Faith takes readers on a fascinating religious road trip. Christopher Scheitle and Roger Finke have crisscrossed America, visiting churches in small towns and rural areas, as well as the mega-churches, storefronts, synagogues, Islamic centers, Eastern temples, and other places of faith in major cities. Each stop on their tour provides an opportunity to introduce a particular current of American religion. Memphis serves as a window into the Black Church, a visit to Colorado Springs provides insight into evangelicalism, and a stop in Detroit sheds light on American Muslims. Readers visit Hare Krishnas in San Francisco, the Amish in central Pennsylvania, and a "cowboy church" in Amarillo, Texas. As the authors journey across the country, they retell unique religious histories and touch on local religious profiles and trends. They draw from conversations they had with pastors, imams, bishops, priests, and monks, along with ordinary believers of all kinds. Most of all, they tell the reader what they saw and heard, putting a human face on America's astounding religious diversity.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Scheitle (sociology, Pennsylvania State Univ.; Beyond the Congregation: The World of Christian Nonprofits) and Finke (sociology & religious studies, Pennsylvania State Univ.; The Churching of America) lead readers on a fascinating journey in this survey of buildings, towns, and cities that reflect the long history and striking diversity of religion in the United States. Their selections, ranging from urban places of worship to rural hamlets and encompassing not only evangelicalism and mainline Protestantism but also Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, and other faiths, are eclectic but clearly demonstrate the breadth and depth of religion's role in American culture. Vivid illustrations and historical and sociological tidbits bring the text to life, short bibliographies allow for further research, and side trips scattered throughout provide insight and history. VERDICT Readers who enjoy actual or armchair travel or those looking for a light general religion book will find this an easy read that may spur further research. Scholars may be frustrated by the brief treatments, although further resources are listed. Overall, strongly recommended.—Ray Arnett, Fremont Area Dist. Lib., MI
From the Publisher
"Accessibly written and visually engaging... The incorporation of over 150 color images distinguishes Places of Faith as a compelling (and rare) example of visual methods in the sociology of religion... a welcome addition to introductory courses." —Sociology of Religion

"At a time when strip-mall sameness threatens to erase local difference, this book reminds us of the stubborn particularity of the religious landscape. Using vivid prose and engaging photographs to take us with them on their journey across America, the authors document contemporary diversity while recounting the local terrain's complex history and wider significance. The best spiritual journey you can take without leaving home."
—Thomas A. Tweed, author of America's Church: The National Shrine and Catholic Presence in the Nation's Capital

"This engaging volume demonstrates as clearly as anything I know that place is fundamentally important in American religion. People of faith lovingly consecrate the buildings in which they worship, the halls in which they meet, and the cemeteries in which they bury their dead. Scheitle and Finke have done a wonderful job of showing the diversity of ways in which this happens."
— Robert Wuthnow, Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University

"A fascinating journey... Vivid illustrations and historical and sociological tidbits bring the text to life, short bibliographies allow for further research, and side trips scattered throughout provide insight and history. ... Overall, strongly recommended." — Library Journal

"The authors' informed historical and cultural perspectives unfold many hidden aspects of America's religious traditions, and they more than fulfill their promise to reveal a rich and diverse religious landscape overlaying the physical ground they covered...an excellent overview of the spiritual nature of the United States in the 21st century."—America

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199791521
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/14/2012
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

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