Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life

Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life

by Nancy Tatom Ammerman


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Nancy Tatom Ammerman examines the stories Americans tell of their everyday lives, from dinner table to office and shopping mall to doctor's office, about the things that matter most to them and the routines they take for granted, and the times and places where the everyday and ordinary meet the spiritual.

In addition to interviews and observation, Ammerman bases her findings on a photo elicitation exercise and oral diaries, offering a window into the presence and absence of religion and spirituality in ordinary lives and in ordinary physical and social spaces. The stories come from a diverse array of ninety-five Americans — both conservative and liberal white Protestants, African American Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Wiccans, and people who claim no religious or spiritual proclivities — across a range that stretches from committed religious believers to the spiritually neutral. Ammerman surveys how these people talk about what spirituality is, how they seek and find experiences they deem spiritual, and whether and how religious traditions and institutions are part of their spiritual lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199917365
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/12/2013
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,090,647
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Nancy Ammerman is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University, where she teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Theology. She has written award-winning books on America's conservative religious movements and on the role of religious organizations in community life.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Tables
List of Illustrations and Captions
Chapter 1. In Search of Religion in Everyday Life
Chapter 2. "Spirituality" and "Religion": What Are We Talking About?
Chapter 3. Spiritual Practices in Everyday Life
Chapter 4. Religious Communities and Spiritual Conversations
Chapter 5. Everyday Life at Home
Chapter 6. Nine to Five: Spiritual Presence at Work
Chapter 7. Everyday Public Life: Circles of Spiritual Presence and Absence
Chapter 8. Bodies and Spirits: Health, Illness and Mortality
Chapter 9. Spiritual Tribes: Toward a Sociology of Religion in Everyday Life
Appendix 1. Participants and Their Religious Communities
Appendix 2. Coding and Analyzing Stories
Appendix 3. Research Protocols

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