Contemporary American Religion: An Ethnographic Reader / Edition 1
No single narrative or theory can describe the varieties of religious experience in North America today. The tidy dichotomies of liberal/ conservative, public/private, local/global, and renewal/secularization make little sense once specific congregations are examined closely. To understand the shifting boundaries of contemporary religious expressions, new tools are needed. Contemporary American Religion collects qualitative, on-the-ground studies of local congregations by up-and-coming religious scholars. Ethnography combined with more traditional sociological methods, help make sense of complex religious communitiesfrom Messianic Jews to evangelical feminists, from Gospel Hour at a gay bar to exurban megachurches. This collection covers a wide span of the religious landscape, always trying to uncover new theoretical insights. Essential reading for classes in sociology of religion, contemporary American religion, and anthropology of religion.
chapter 1 Penny Edgell Becker and Nancy L. Eiesland, Introduction chapter 2 1. Shoshanah Feher, Managing Strain, Contradictions, and Fluidity: Messianic Judaism and the Negotiation of a Religio-Ethnic Identity chapter 3 2. Matthew Lawson, Struggles for Mutual Reverence: Social Strategies and Religious Stories chapter 4 3. Edward R. Gray and Scott L. Thumma, The Gospel Hour: Liminality, Identity, and Religion in a Gay Bar chapter 5 4. Janet Stocks, To Stay or to Leave?: Organizational Legitimacy in the Struggle for Change Among Evangelical Feminists chapter 6 5. Penny Edgell Becker, What is Right? What is Caring? Moral Logic in Local Religious Life chapter 7 6. Elfriede Wedam, Splitting Interests or Common Causes: Styles of Moral Reasoning in Opposing Abortion chapter 8 7. Tim Nelson, The Church and the Street: Race, Class, and Congregation chapter 9 8. Nancy L. Eiesland, Contending with a Giant: The Impact of a Megachurch on Exurban Religious Institutions chapter 10 9. Mike McMullen, The Religious Construction of a Global Identity: An Ethnographic Look at the Atlanta Bahai Community chapter 11 Robert Wuthnow, Conclusion chapter 12 References chapter 13 Index