New Findings from the Baylor Surveys of Religion
Author: Rodney Stark
A shocking snapshot of the most current impulses in American religion. Rodney Stark reports the surprising findings of the 2007 Baylor Surveys of Religion, a follow up to the 2005 survey revealing most Americans believe in God or a higher power. This new volume highlights even more hot-button issues of religious life in our country. A must-read for anyone interested in Americans' religious beliefs and practices.
What Christian Teens Really Believe and Why
Author: Mike Nappa,Steven Smith
Publisher: Baker Books
The results of a nationwide survey reveal what Christian teenagers from sixteen different denominations believe, covering opinions on the accuracy of the Bible, the Christ conspiracies, the Holy Spirit, prayer, and evangelism.
Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious
Author: Linda A. Mercadante
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Named A Best Spiritual Book of the Year by Spirituality & Practice The last twenty years have seen a dramatic increase in "nones": people who do not claim any religious affiliation. These "nones" now outnumber even the largest Protestant denominations in America. They are not to be confused with secularists, however, for many of them identify themselves as "spiritual but not religious" (SBNR). The response to this dramatic change in American religion has been amazingly mixed. While social scientists have been busy counting and categorizing them, the public has swung between derision and adulation. Some complain "nones" are simply shallow dilettantes, narcissistically concerned with their own inner world. Others hail them as spiritual giants, and ground-breaking pioneers. Rarely, however, have these "nones" been asked to explain their own views, beliefs, and experiences. In Belief without Borders, theologian and one-time SBNR Linda Mercadante finally gives these individuals a chance to speak for themselves. This volume is the result of extensive observation and nearly 100 in-depth interviews with SBNRs across the United States. Mercadante presents SBNRs' stories, shows how they analyze their spiritual journeys, and explains why they reject the claims of organized religion. Surprisingly, however, Mercadante finds these SBNRs within as well as outside the church. She reveals the unexpected, emerging latent theology within this group, including the interviewees' creative concepts of divine transcendence, life after death, human nature, and community. The conclusions she draws are startling: despite the fact that SBNRs routinely discount the creeds and doctrines of organized religion, many have devised a structured set of beliefs, often purposefully in opposition to doctrines associated with Christianity. Belief without Borders is a captivating exploration of a growing belief system certain to transform the spiritual character of America.
The Religious Imagination of Stephen King
Author: Douglas E. Cowan
Publisher: NYU Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Illuminating the religious and existential themes in Stephen King’s horror stories Who are we? Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? For answers to these questions, people often look to religion. But religion is not the only place seekers turn. Myths, legends, and other stories have given us alternative ways to address the fundamental quandaries of existence. Horror stories, in particular, with their focus on questions of violence and mortality, speak urgently to the primal fears embedded in such existential mysteries. With more than fifty novels to his name, and hundreds of millions of copies sold, few writers have spent more time contemplating those fears than Stephen King. Yet despite being one of the most widely read authors of all time, King is woefully understudied. America’s Dark Theologian is the first in-depth investigation into how King treats religion in his horror fiction. Considering works such as Carrie, The Dead Zone, Misery, The Shining, and many more, Douglas Cowan explores the religious imagery, themes, characters, and, most importantly, questions that haunt Stephen King’s horror stories. Religion and its trappings are found throughout King’s fiction, but what Cowan reveals is a writer skeptical of the certainty of religious belief. Describing himself as a “fallen away” Methodist, King is less concerned with providing answers to our questions, than constantly challenging both those who claim to have answers and the answers they proclaim. Whether he is pondering the existence of other worlds, exploring the origins of religious belief and how it is passed on, probing the nature of the religious experience, or contemplating the existence of God, King invites us to question everything we think we know.
An Insider's Look at Myths and Realities
Author: Steve Wilkens,Don Thorsen
Publisher: Baker Books
While evangelicals make up a significant portion of American society, they still constitute a mystery for many. They exert considerable influence on virtually every aspect of American life and culture, yet by those who don't appreciate them they're seen as rednecks, crypto-fundamentalists, and people without education. Wilkens and Thorsen contend that evangelicals are tired of being caricatured and provide an insider's look at myths and realities surrounding the movement. They winsomely and sometimes humorously assess the breadth and depth of evangelical beliefs, values, and practices, arguing that evangelicalism is identifiable by a family resemblance, vitality, and relevance that transcends particular theological and political stereotypes that arise inside as well as outside of it. The book provides a synthetic presentation of contemporary evangelical Christianity as well as critiques of it.
Author: Michael X. Delli Carpini,Scott Keeter
Publisher: Yale University Press
The authors explore how Americans' levels of political knowledge have changed over the past 50 years, how such knowledge is distributed among different groups, and how it is used in political decision-making. Drawing on extensive survey data, they present compelling evidence for benefits of a politically informed citizenry--and the cost of one that is poorly and inequitably informed. 62 illustrations.
Author: Anthony Walsh
Publisher: Vernon Press
In the face of increasing attacks on Christianity by militant new atheists, Christians should be able to robustly defend their beliefs in the language spoken by Christianity’s detractors—science. Atheists claim that science and religion are incompatible and in constant conflict, but this book argues that this is assuredly not true. In order to rebut the polemic agenda of the new atheists who want God banned from the public square, this book engages with the physical and natural sciences, social science, philosophy, and history. It shows that evidence from these diverse disciplines constitutes clear signposts to God and the benefits of Christianity for societies, families, and individuals. Answering the New Atheists begins by examining what new atheism is, before demolishing its claim that Christianity is harmful by showing the many benefits it has for freedom and democracy, morality, longevity, and physical and mental health. Many historians of science contend that science was given its impetus by the Christian principle that a rational God wants us to discover his fingerprints on nature. Thus, in subsequent chapters, Walsh presents a well-informed and philosophical-based analysis of the Big Bang and cosmic fine-tuning, the unimaginable improbability of factors that make this planet habitable, and the multiverse often called the “last refuge of the desperate atheist.” Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book adeptly explores the very problematic issues of the origin and evolution of life that have forced many top-rate scientists including Nobel Prize winners, who have thought deeply about the philosophical meaning of their work, to accept God as the Creator of everything.
What People Really Believe About Everything That Really Matters
Author: James Patterson,Peter Kim
Publisher: N A L Trade
Category: Political Science
Surveying a representative sample of Americans, this study considers the state of morals in America today
American Popular Belief in an Age of Reason
Author: Charles W. Hedrick
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Since the Renaissance of the 14th through 17th centuries, and particularly since the Enlightenment of the 18th century, the ancient creeds of faith have been under serious fire, and the struggle has not gone well for popular religion in America. The rapid advances made by the physical sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries and the corresponding reliance on scientific accomplishments in American life have been matched by the growing influence of reason in the way Americans think about religion. Except for pockets of resistance, these developments have negatively influenced the practical role of traditional religion in American life. These essays-published over a twenty-year period as newspaper editorials addressed to the general public-confront popular beliefs and morals with the challenge of human reason. At issue in this meeting of faith and reason is nothing less than the nature of religion in the twenty-first century. Will faith embrace reason to create a House where both dwell in harmony or will faith ignore the claims of reason and continue to live in an Enchanted Forest? Each essay, written in the practical language of the streets, attempts to dialogue with the general reader and gently provoke critical thinking on sensitive issues of belief.
The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Holy War for the American Frontier
Author: Adam Jortner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
It began with an eclipse. In 1806, the Shawnee leader Tenskwatawa ("The Open Door") declared himself to be in direct contact with the Master of Life, and therefore, the supreme religious authority for all Native Americans. Those who disbelieved him, he warned, "would see darkness come over the sun." William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory and future American president, scoffed at Tenskwatawa. If he was truly a prophet, Harrison taunted, let him perform a miracle. And Tenskwatawa did just that, making the sun go dark at midday. In The Gods of Prophetstown, Adam Jortner provides a gripping account of the conflict between Tenskwatawa and Harrison, who finally collided in 1811 at a place called Tippecanoe. Though largely forgotten today, their rivalry determined the future of westward expansion and shaped the War of 1812. Jortner weaves together dual biographies of the opposing leaders. In the five years between the eclipse and the battle, Tenskwatawa used his spiritual leadership to forge a political pseudo-state with his brother Tecumseh. Harrison, meanwhile, built a power base in Indiana, rigging elections and maneuvering for higher position. Rejecting received wisdom, Jortner sees nothing as preordained-Native Americans were not inexorably falling toward dispossession and destruction. Deeply rooting his account in a generation of scholarship that has revolutionized Indian history, Jortner places the religious dimension of the struggle at the fore, recreating the spiritual landscapes trod by each side. The climactic battle, he writes, was as much a clash of gods as of men. Written with profound insight and narrative verve, The Gods of Prophetstown recaptures a forgotten turning point in American history in time for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Tippecanoe.
Secular Activism and Community in America
Author: Richard Cimino,Christopher Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Surveys over the last twenty years have seen an ever-growing number of Americans disclaim religious affiliations and instead check the "none" box. In the first sociological exploration of organized secularism in America, Richard Cimino and Christopher Smith show how one segment of these "nones" have created a new, cohesive atheist identity through activism and the creation of communities. According to Cimino and Smith, the new upsurge of atheists is a reaction to the revival of religious fervor in American politics since 1980. Feeling overlooked and underrepresented in the public sphere, atheists have employed a wide variety of strategies-some evangelical, some based on identity politics-to defend and assert themselves against their ideological opponents. These strategies include building and maintaining communities, despite the absence of the kinds of shared rituals, texts, and laws that help to sustain organized religions. Drawing on in-depth interviews with self-identified atheist, secularist, and humanist leaders and activists, as well as extensive observations and analysis of secular gatherings and media, Cimino and Smith illustrate how atheists organize and align themselves toward common goals, and how media-particularly web-based media-have proven invaluable in connecting atheists to one another and in creating a powerful virtual community. Cimino and Smith suggest that secularists rely not only on the Internet for community-building, but on their own new forms of ritual. This groundbreaking study will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the growing atheist movement in America.
Was am Ende wirklich zählt. Über Würde, Autonomie und eine angemessene medizinische Versorgung
Author: Atul Gawande
Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag
Ein Buch über das Sterben, das das Leben lehrt Die Medizin scheint über Krankheit und Tod zu triumphieren, doch sterben wir so trostlos wie nie zuvor. Der Bestsellerautor und renommierte Arzt Atul Gawande schreibt in seinem beeindruckenden Buch über das, was am Ende unseres Lebens wirklich zählt. Ungewöhnlich offen spricht er darüber, was es bedeutet, alt zu werden, wie man mit Gebrechen und Krankheiten umgehen kann und was wir an unserem System ändern müssen, um unser Leben würdevoll zu Ende zu bringen. Ein mutiges und weises Buch eines großartigen Autors, voller Geschichten und eigener Erfahrungen, das uns hilft, die Geschichte unseres Lebens gut zu Ende zu erzählen. »Dieses Buch ist nicht nur weise und sehr bewegend, sondern gerade in unserer Zeit unbedingt notwendig und sehr aufschlussreich.« Oliver Sacks »Die medizinische Betreuung ist mehr auf Heilung ausgelegt als auf das Sterben. Dies ist Atuls Gawandes stärkstes und bewegendstes Buch.« Malcolm Gladwell
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Publisher: Hanser Berlin
Category: Political Science
Wenn in den USA schwarze Teenager von Polizisten ermordet werden, ist das nur ein Problem von individueller Verfehlung? Nein, denn rassistische Gewalt ist fest eingewebt in die amerikanische Identität – sie ist das, worauf das Land gebaut ist. Afroamerikaner besorgten als Sklaven seinen Reichtum und sterben als freie Bürger auf seinen Straßen. In seinem schmerzhaften, leidenschaftlichen Manifest verdichtet Ta-Nehisi Coates amerikanische und persönliche Geschichte zu einem Appell an sein Land, sich endlich seiner Vergangenheit zu stellen. Sein Buch wurde in den USA zum Nr.-1-Bestseller und ist schon jetzt ein Klassiker, auf den sich zukünftig alle Debatten um Rassismus beziehen werden.
Snapshots in a Journey from "Either-Or" to "Both-And" in Christian Ministry
Author: Graham Buxton
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Many people in Christian ministry are tired of simplistic certainties; what they need is permission to live with uncertainty, with mystery, ambiguity, and paradox. Because we live in a world that is far removed from the modernist version of reality, with its rational, clinical, and superficial presentation of life, we need the courage and wisdom to embrace the presence of uncertainties in the midst of certainty. In this book, the author offers snapshots of a number of central Christian topics--God, the gospel, the church, salvation, ministry--inviting us to treat them as features of a landscape to explore rather than a set of propositional statements to sign up to. Each chapter--short enough to provoke interest and curiosity--will be a catalyst for deeper reflection and enquiry, inviting us to discover a new freedom in ministry as we embrace a more generous "both-and" perspective in place of a more narrow "either-or" interpretation of the Christian faith. In the process, we may find ourselves rediscovering "the Life we have lost in living" as we imaginatively participate in the life, ministry, and mystery of the triune God of grace in our midst.
Author: Candy Gunther Brown
Publisher: Harvard University Press
In Candy Gunther Brown's view, science cannot prove prayer's healing power, but what scientists can and should do is study prayer's measurable effects on health. If prayer benefits, even indirectly, then more careful attention to prayer practices could impact global health, particuarly in places without access to conventional medicine.
Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes
Author: Vanessa S. Williamson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Political Science
A surprising and revealing look at what Americans really believe about taxes Conventional wisdom holds that Americans hate taxes. But the conventional wisdom is wrong. Bringing together national survey data with in-depth interviews, Read My Lips presents a surprising picture of tax attitudes in the United States. Vanessa Williamson demonstrates that Americans view taxpaying as a civic responsibility and a moral obligation. But they worry that others are shirking their duties, in part because the experience of taxpaying misleads Americans about who pays taxes and how much. Perceived "loopholes" convince many income tax filers that a flat tax might actually raise taxes on the rich, and the relative invisibility of the sales and payroll taxes encourages many to underestimate the sizable tax contributions made by poor and working people. Americans see being a taxpayer as a role worthy of pride and respect, a sign that one is a contributing member of the community and the nation. For this reason, the belief that many Americans are not paying their share is deeply corrosive to the social fabric. The widespread misperception that immigrants, the poor, and working-class families pay little or no taxes substantially reduces public support for progressive spending programs and undercuts the political standing of low-income people. At the same time, the belief that the wealthy pay less than their share diminishes confidence that the political process represents most people. Upending the idea of Americans as knee-jerk opponents of taxes, Read My Lips examines American taxpaying as an act of political faith. Ironically, the depth of the American civic commitment to taxpaying makes the failures of the tax system, perceived and real, especially potent frustrations.
Die wahre Geschichte
Author: Bill O'Reilly,Martin Dugard
Publisher: Droemer eBook
Auf der Grundlage zeitgenössischer Quellen und der biblischen Überlieferung entwerfen die Bestsellerautoren Bill O’Reilly und Martin Dugard ein groß angelegtes historisches Panorama um Leben und Sterben von Jesus von Nazareth. Die Autoren veranschaulichen die umwälzenden Ereignisse, die einen fundamentalen historischen Wandel in Gang setzten – die Christianisierung der römischen Welt.
Christians Doing the Right Thing
Author: Donald R. Barbare
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Author: George Barna
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc
Based on 15 years of cultural analysis, here is George Barna's dynamic blueprint for a new model for the 21st century Church. Barna explores the Church's response to the culture and defines practical, dynamic solutions to counter moral collapse.