Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy
Author: Roger Finke,Rodney Stark
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
In this provocative book, Roger Finke and Rodney Stark challenge popular perceptions about American religion. They view the religious environment as a free market economy, where churches compete for souls. The story they tell is one of gains for upstart sects and losses for mainline denominations. Although many Americans assume that religious participation has declined in America, Finke and Stark present a different picture. In 1776, fewer than 1 in 5 Americans were active in church affairs. Today, church membership includes about 6 out of 10 people. But, as Finke and Stark show, not all denominations benefited. They explain how and why the early nineteenth-century churches began their descent, while two newcomer sects, the Baptists and the Methodists, gained ground. They also analyze why the Methodists then began a long, downward slide, why the Baptists continued to succeed, how the Catholic Church met the competition of ardent Protestant missionaries, and why the Catholic commitment has declined since Vatican II. The authors also explain why ecumenical movements always fail In short, Americans are not abandoning religion; they have been moving away from established denominations. A "church-sect process" is always under way, Finke and Stark argue, as successful churches lose their organizational vigor and are replaced by less worldly groups. Some observers assert that the rise in churching rates indicates increased participation, not increased belief. Finke and Stark challenge this as well. They find that those groups that have gained the greatest numbers have demanded that their followers accept traditional doctrines and otherworldliness. They argue that religious organizations can thrive only when they comfort souls and demand sacrifice. When theology becomes too logical, or too secular, it loses people.
Author: Martin Luther
Publisher: Fortress Press
Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on the church door at Wittenberg in 1517. In the three years that followed, Luther clarified and defended his position in numerous writings. Chief among these are the three treatises written in 1520. In these writings Luther tried to frame his ideas in terms that would be comprehensible not only to the clergy but to people from a wide range of backgrounds. To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation is an attack on the corruption of the church and the abuses of its authority, bringing to light many of the underlying reasons for the Reformation. The second treatise, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, contains Luther's sharp criticism of the sacramental system of the Catholic church. The Freedom of a Christian gives a concise presentation of Luther's position on the doctrine of justification by faith. The translations of these treatises are all taken from the American edition of Luther's Works. This new edition of Three Treatises will continue to be a popular resource for individual study, church school classes, and college and seminary courses.
A Study in Sociology of Religion with a New Preface for the Rose Edition
Author: Dean M. Kelley
Publisher: Mercer University Press
The Mixing of Sacred and Secular in American History
Author: Robert Laurence Moore
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
This book is an intriguing narrative of the interplay between American religion and patterns of American culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. R. Laurence Moore considers the ways nationalism, the separation of church and state, democratic pluralism, and shifts in boundaries between secular and sacred practice have shaped American religion for the past two hundred years.
Author: William Sims Bainbridge
Publisher: Psychology Press
Explaining how religion and society transform each other, this book explores such movements as Holiness, Adventism, religious communes, Satanism, New Age and democratization. The Sociology of Religious Movements is the culmination of work begun in The Future of Religion (the 1986 award winner of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion) and A Theory of Religion (1993 award winner of the Pacific Sociological Association). Explaining religious schism, innovation, and conversion to show how religion and society transform each other, this book explores such movements as: Holiness, Adventism, religious communes, Children of God, Satanism, New York City Mission Society, New Age, Asian imports, and democratization.
The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America
Author: Anthony Gill
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Political Science
Nowhere has the relationship between state and church been more volatile in recent decades than in Latin America. Anthony Gill's controversial book not only explains why Catholic leaders in some countries came to oppose dictatorial rule but, equally important, why many did not. Using historical and statistical evidence from twelve countries, Gill for the first time uncovers the causal connection between religious competition and the rise of progressive Catholicism. In places where evangelical Protestantism and "spiritist" sects made inroads among poor Catholics, Church leaders championed the rights of the poor and turned against authoritarian regimes to retain parishioners. Where competition was minimal, bishops maintained good relations with military rulers. Applying economic reasoning to an entirely new setting, Rendering unto Caesar offers a new theory of religious competition that dramatically revises our understanding of church-state relations.
Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers
Author: Ed Stetzer,Warren Bird
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Based on a study that was commissioned by the Leadership Network, this book reveals the best practices in church planting and uncovers the common threads among them. --from publisher description.
How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success
Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Random House
Many books have been written about the success of the West, analyzing why Europe was able to pull ahead of the rest of the world by the end of the Middle Ages. The most common explanations cite the West’s superior geography, commerce, and technology. Completely overlooked is the fact that faith in reason, rooted in Christianity’s commitment to rational theology, made all these developments possible. Simply put, the conventional wisdom that Western success depended upon overcoming religious barriers to progress is utter nonsense. In The Victory of Reason, Rodney Stark advances a revolutionary, controversial, and long overdue idea: that Christianity and its related institutions are, in fact, directly responsible for the most significant intellectual, political, scientific, and economic breakthroughs of the past millennium. In Stark’s view, what has propelled the West is not the tension between secular and nonsecular society, nor the pitting of science and the humanities against religious belief. Christian theology, Stark asserts, is the very font of reason: While the world’s other great belief systems emphasized mystery, obedience, or introspection, Christianity alone embraced logic and reason as the path toward enlightenment, freedom, and progress. That is what made all the difference. In explaining the West’s dominance, Stark convincingly debunks long-accepted “truths.” For instance, by contending that capitalism thrived centuries before there was a Protestant work ethic–or even Protestants–he counters the notion that the Protestant work ethic was responsible for kicking capitalism into overdrive. In the fifth century, Stark notes, Saint Augustine celebrated theological and material progress and the institution of “exuberant invention.” By contrast, long before Augustine, Aristotle had condemned commercial trade as “inconsistent with human virtue”–which helps further underscore that Augustine’s times were not the Dark Ages but the incubator for the West’s future glories. This is a sweeping, multifaceted survey that takes readers from the Old World to the New, from the past to the present, overturning along the way not only centuries of prejudiced scholarship but the antireligious bias of our own time. The Victory of Reason proves that what we most admire about our world–scientific progress, democratic rule, free commerce–is largely due to Christianity, through which we are all inheritors of this grand tradition.
Author: David G. Hackett
Publisher: Psychology Press
Religion and American Culture challenges the religion's traditional emphasis on older European, American, male, middle-class, Protestant, northeastern narratives concerned primarily with churches and theology. Breaking through the field with multicultural tales of Native American, African Americans and other groups that cut across boundaries of gender, class, religion and region, David Hackett's anthology offers an illuminating and comprehensive overview of the most exciting work currently underway in this field.
Author: Thomas P. Johnston
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
" Charts for a Theology of Evangelism "compiles ninety-three in-depth visual charts for classroom, preaching, and personal use that will allow people to develop a biblical theology of evangelism.
A Road Trip across America's Religious Landscape
Author: Christopher P. Scheitle,Roger Finke
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
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.
Author: Rodney Stark,William Sims Bainbridge
Publisher: Anaya -Spain
In this unique text, Stark and Bainbridge begin with basic statements about human nature and, employing the principles of logic and philosophy, build toward increasingly complex propositions about societies and their religious institutions. They provide a rigorous yet flexible sociological theory of religion as well as a general sociological model for deriving macrolevel theory from microlevel evidence.
From the Colonial Period to the Present
Author: Mark A. Noll,Luke E. Harlow
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
These essays examine how religious beliefs and practices have shaped political thought and behaviour (and vice versa), and how in certain periods religious and political thought has coincided or moved in opposition, and how minority perspectives have challenged majority views.
Author: Mark A. Noll
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Author Mark Noll presents the unfolding drama of American Christianity with accuracy and skill, from the first European settlements to ecumenism in the late 20th Century. This work has become a standard in the field of North American religious history.
Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century
Author: Brian J. Grim,Roger Finke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Social Science
The Price of Freedom Denied shows that, contrary to popular opinion, ensuring religious freedom for all reduces violent religious persecution and conflict. Others have suggested that restrictions on religion are necessary to maintain order or preserve a peaceful religious homogeneity. Brian J. Grim and Roger Finke show that restricting religious freedoms is associated with higher levels of violent persecution. Relying on a new source of coded data for nearly 200 countries and case studies of six countries, the book offers a global profile of religious freedom and religious persecution. Grim and Finke report that persecution is evident in all regions and is standard fare for many. They also find that religious freedoms are routinely denied and that government and the society at large serve to restrict these freedoms. They conclude that the price of freedom denied is high indeed.
American reform and the religious imagination
Author: Robert H. Abzug
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In the forty years before the Civil War, America was awash in political and social reform movements. Abolitionists stormed against the cruelties of slavery. Temperance zealots hounded producers and consumers of strong drink. Sabbatarians fought to make Sunday an officially recognized sacred day. Woman's rights activists proclaimed the case for sexual equality. Others offered programs of physiological and spiritual self-reform: phrenology, vegetarianism, the water-cure, spiritualism, and miscellaneous others. "Even the insect world was to be defended," Emerson mused, "and a society for the protection of ground-worms, slugs, and mosquitoes was to be incorporated without delay." Cosmos Crumbling brilliantly reassesses the religious roots of these antebellum reform movements through a series of penetrating profiles of key men and women who sought to remake their worlds in sacred terms. Filled with vivid anecdotes and penetrating analysis, the book presents a genealogy of reform cosmology that begins with the American Revolution and ends with "the woman question," the issue that drove a wedge between traditional evangelical reformers and the more radical reformers who questioned the very foundations of the conventional Christian cosmos. Here is the story of Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Rush, and his lifelong odyssey to bring together his unorthodox Christian ideals and his revolutionary republicanism. Other portraits highlight the guiding role of religion in the careers of the tireless abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, the evangelical minister Lyman Beecher, his daughter, influential educational reformer Catharine Beecher, and of Angelina and Sarah Grimke, and Lydia Maria Child, fearless women who made enormous strides in reimagining the spiritual and moral power of women and their place in society. There is also an intriguing chapter on leaders of the body reforms, including phrenologist Orson Squire Fowler, who began his career reading the heads of his fellow students at Amherst College for small change, and William Andrus Alcott, who advocated a bland vegetarian diet, cold water bathing, and a profusion of daily rituals to guide his followers through their every waking moment. Arguing that we cannot understand American reform movements unless we understand the sacred significance reformers bestowed on the worldly arenas of politics, society, and the economy, Abzug presents these men and women in their own words, placing their cherished ideals and their often heated squabbles within the context of their millennial and sometimes apocalyptic sense of America's role in the cosmic drama. Tracing the lasting impact of what began as a peculiarly Protestant, largely New England, style of social action on the uniquely American traditions of activism that flourish today, Cosmos Crumbling is a signal contribution to our understanding of the myriad ways in which the quest for enlightenment and salvation continues to shape American politics.
An Introduction to Christianity on Five Continents
Author: Douglas Jacobsen
Publisher: Baker Academic
In this pathbreaking book, award-winning author Douglas Jacobsen describes global Christianity and provides a framework for understanding the varied experiences of Christians around the world. Focusing on the five big continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America, Jacobsen recounts their differing histories, contemporary experiences, and cultural theologies. In the current era of massive and dynamic global challenges, this accessible and fair-minded volume sets the stage for Christians worldwide to engage the gospel--and each other--more deeply. Global Gospel contains numerous maps, charts, and illustrations that aid comprehension. Accompanying videos can be found on YouTube's "Global Christianity" channel (www.youtube.com/globalchristianity).
A New History
Author: Mark Granquist
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
In this lively and engaging new history, Granquist brings to light not only the institutions that Lutherans founded and sustained but the people that lived within them. This shows the complete story--not only the policies and the politics, but the piety and the practical experiences of the Lutheran men and women who lived and worked in the American context. Bringing the story all the way to the present day, Granquist ably covers the full range of Lutheran expressions, bringing order and clarity to a complex and vibrant tradition.
The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today
Author: Edwin S. Gaustad,Leigh Schmidt
A Dynamic Account of Religion's Central Role in American History
How We Create the Meaning of Life
Author: Paul Froese
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE
"On Purpose is a sociological conversation about the meaning of life. The moral of the book is not that life has some ultimate meaning or no meaning at all, but rather that a purpose-driven life was always a collective project"--