Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion

Overview

The quest culture created by the Baby Boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs and practices and of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths and spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups and alternative communities; and still others create their own mix of values and metaphysical beliefs. Spiritual Marketplace charts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, Born-again ...
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Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion

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Overview

The quest culture created by the Baby Boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs and practices and of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths and spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups and alternative communities; and still others create their own mix of values and metaphysical beliefs. Spiritual Marketplace charts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, Born-again Christians, mainstream believers, metaphysical believers and seekers, and secularists. Drawing on surveys and in-depth interviews conducted over a decade, Roof reports on the religious and spiritual styles, family patterns, and moral vision and values for each of these subcultures.
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Editorial Reviews

Teresa Watanabe
Trying to make sense of the American religious scene on the eve of the new millennium is a courageous enterprise. Bafflingly diverse and in a state of historic flux, American religion today defies easy generalization. Wade Clark Roof, a religion professor at UC Santa Barbara, has tackled the challenge admirably, doing a yeoman's job at compiling vast amounts of often surprising information in his latest book, Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion. The book is a follow-up to his widely acclaimed 1993 survey on the spiritual journey of the baby boomers, whom Roof memorably described as "the questers." Roof's new book integrates follow-up data on five religious subgroups--mainstream, born-agains, metaphysical seekers, dogmatists and secularists--with a wealth of secondary source material. He also presents close-up looks at five seekers. The close-up portraits help make the book more reader-friendly.
Los Angeles Times
Jonathan F. Creedon
In this follow-up to A Generation of Seekers, Roof adds new depth to his ongoing study of America's restless quest at century's end. What does it say about the novel today that one of the most revealing portaits of the culture's inner life happens to be the work of a sociologist?
Utne Reader
Kirkus Reviews
Another dose of Baby Boomer religion from Roof (Dept. of Religious Studies/UC-Santa Barbara), once again arguing that boomers are, as the title of one of his earlier books puts it, A Generation of Seekers.
Los Angeles Times
Baffingly diverse and in a state of historic flux, American religion today defies easy generalization. Wade Clark Roof has tackled the challenge admirably, doing a yeoman's job at compiling vast amounts of often surprising information. . . .
Books & Culture
What does it mean [to be] spiritual? That's what Roof has set out to ask and to answer: to track, capture, and name the current varieties of religious or spiritual experience in America. What he's come up with is a kind of metaphysical seed-catalog, a bewildering array of groups and sub-groups, beliefs and opinions, views and world-views, much of it mixed and matched.
— Mark Buchanan
Choice
Roof writes in a jargon-free, accessible style, often lucidly summarizing (and challenging) the arguments of other sociologists and cultural observers.
Sociology of Religion
Full of interesting findings and provocative interpretations.
Journal of the American Academy of Religion
A significant contribution to understanding trends in the lived religion of many Americans in their question for meaning.
— Jackson W. Carroll
Phi Beta Kappa The Key Reporter

This is a terrific book . . . Roof clearly demonstrates the old saw that people create their gods, not vice versa.
The Key Reporter (Phi Beta Kappa)
This is a terrific book . . . Roof clearly demonstrates the old saw that people create their gods, not vice versa.
Spiritus
This is a seminal study for the sociology of religion. It should be considered indispensable to anyone trying to take the spiritual pulse of America.
— John A. Coleman
Books & Culture - Mark Buchanan
What does it mean [to be] spiritual? That's what Roof has set out to ask and to answer: to track, capture, and name the current varieties of religious or spiritual experience in America. What he's come up with is a kind of metaphysical seed-catalog, a bewildering array of groups and sub-groups, beliefs and opinions, views and world-views, much of it mixed and matched.
S.J., Spiritus - John A. Coleman
This is a seminal study for the sociology of religion. It should be considered indispensable to anyone trying to take the spiritual pulse of America.
Journal of the American Academy of Religion - Jackson W. Carroll
A significant contribution to understanding trends in the lived religion of many Americans in their question for meaning.
From the Publisher
"This book shows not only how the 76 million boomers have been shaped by such seeking but how they have remapped the spiritual landscape for all Americans; boomers have shifted attention from the institution to the individual, emphasized 'lived religion' (religion in practice) and created a 'quest culture'."—Publishers Weekly

"Baffingly diverse and in a state of historic flux, American religion today defies easy generalization. Wade Clark Roof has tackled the challenge admirably, doing a yeoman's job at compiling vast amounts of often surprising information. . . ."—Los Angeles Times

"Roof's work thoughtfully articulates the introspective fluidity of the baby-boom generation he studies."—Publishers Weekly

"What does it mean [to be] spiritual? That's what Roof has set out to ask and to answer: to track, capture, and name the current varieties of religious or spiritual experience in America. What he's come up with is a kind of metaphysical seed-catalog, a bewildering array of groups and sub-groups, beliefs and opinions, views and world-views, much of it mixed and matched."—Mark Buchanan, Books & Culture

"Roof writes in a jargon-free, accessible style, often lucidly summarizing (and challenging) the arguments of other sociologists and cultural observers."—Choice

"This is a terrific book . . . Roof clearly demonstrates the old saw that people create their gods, not vice versa."—The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa

"Full of interesting findings and provocative interpretations."—Sociology of Religion

"This is a seminal study for the sociology of religion. It should be considered indispensable to anyone trying to take the spiritual pulse of America."—John A. Coleman, S.J., Spiritus

"A significant contribution to understanding trends in the lived religion of many Americans in their question for meaning."—Jackson W. Carroll, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691016597
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/22/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.49 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: On Maps and Terrains 3
Ch. 1 Varieties of Spiritual Quest 16
Ch. 2 The Making of a Quest Culture 46
Ch. 3 Spiritual Marketplace 77
Ch. 4 On Being Fluid and Grounded 111
Ch. 5 A Quest for What? 145
Ch. 6 Redrawing the Boundaries 180
Ch. 7 Realigning Family and Religion 217
Ch. 8 Moral Vision and Values 254
Conclusion: "Whirl Is King, Having Driven Out Zeus" 294
App.: Methodology 315
Notes 325
Index 361
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