The Altars Where We Worship: The Religious Significance of Popular Culture

The Altars Where We Worship: The Religious Significance of Popular Culture

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Overview

While a large percentage of Americans claim religious identity, the number of Americans attending traditional worship services has significantly declined in recent decades. Where, then, are Americans finding meaning in their lives, if not in the context of traditional religion? In this provocative study, the authors argue that the objects of our attention have become our god and fulfilling our desires has become our religion. They examine the religious dimensions of six specific aspects of American culture—body and sex, big business, entertainment, politics, sports, and science and technology—that function as "altars" where Americans gather to worship and produce meaning for their lives. The Altars Where We Worship shows how these secular altars provide resources for understanding the self, others, and the world itself. "For better or worse," the authors write, "we are faced with the reality that human experiences before these altars contain religious characteristics in common with experiences before more traditional altars." Readers will come away with a clearer understanding of what religion is after exploring the thoroughly religious aspects of popular culture in the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780664235154
Publisher: Presbyterian Publishing
Publication date: 11/18/2016
Pages: 225
Sales rank: 242,745
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Juan M. Floyd-Thomas is Associate Professor of African American Religious History at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. He is the author of Liberating Black Church History: Making It Plain, among other works.



Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas is Associate Professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She is the author or coeditor of numerous books, including Beyond the Pale: Reading Ethics from the Margins and Beyond the Pale: Reading Theology from the Margins, both published by Westminster John Knox Press.



Mark G. Toulouse is Principal and Professor of the History of Christianity at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. He has written and edited numerous books, including God in Public: Four Ways American Christianity and Public Life Relate, published by Westminster John Knox Press.

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