What Americans Really Believe

New Findings from the Baylor Surveys of Religion

Author: Rodney Stark

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781602581784

Category: Religion

Page: 209

View: 3951

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.

Belief without Borders

Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious

Author: Linda A. Mercadante

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199931011

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 2191

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.

America's Dark Theologian

The Religious Imagination of Stephen King

Author: Douglas E. Cowan

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 1479894737

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 272

View: 2165

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.

Everything You Know about Evangelicals Is Wrong (Well, Almost Everything)

An Insider's Look at Myths and Realities

Author: Steve Wilkens,Don Thorsen

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 9781441212061

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 5593

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.

Unmasking Biblical Faiths

The Marginal Relevance of the Bible for Contemporary Religious Faith

Author: Charles W. Hedrick

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1532613024

Category:

Page: 376

View: 1796

Unmasking Biblical Faiths aims to address many of the challenges to traditional Christian faith in the modern world. Since the eighteenth-century Age of Enlightenment, human reason, formerly tethered by the constraints of organized religion, has been set free to explore the universe relatively unchallenged. The influence of the Bible, on the other hand, weakened due to the successes of modern historical criticism, is found to be inadequate for the task of enabling the faith “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), in that it cannot adequately respond to the many questions about religious faith that human reasoning raises for modern human beings. In a series of short but tightly reasoned essays, Charles Hedrick explores the confrontation between traditional Christian faith and aggressive human reason, a conflict that is facilitated by Western secular education.

House of Faith or Enchanted Forest?

American Popular Belief in an Age of Reason

Author: Charles W. Hedrick

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630874310

Category: Religion

Page: 116

View: 1949

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 Gods of Prophetstown

The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Holy War for the American Frontier

Author: Adam Jortner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019991270X

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 1432

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.

Atheist Awakening

Secular Activism and Community in America

Author: Richard Cimino,Christopher Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199392935

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 759

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.

Testing Prayer

Author: Candy Gunther Brown

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674064860

Category: Medical

Page: 376

View: 6558

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.

The 80% Solution

Christians Doing the Right Thing

Author: Donald R. Barbare

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

ISBN: 1469195399

Category: Reference

Page: 386

View: 9061

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The Second Coming of the Church

Author: George Barna

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc

ISBN: 0849914906

Category: Religion

Page: 223

View: 8354

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.

What Americans Know about Politics and why it Matters

Author: Michael X. Delli Carpini,Scott Keeter

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300072754

Category: History

Page: 397

View: 2890

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.

Faith No More

Why People Reject Religion

Author: Phil Zuckerman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199912351

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 9270

During his 2009 inaugural speech, President Obama described the United States as a nation of "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus--and nonbelievers." It was the first time an American president had acknowledged the existence of this rapidly growing segment of the population in such a public forum. And yet the reasons why more and more people are turning away from religion are still poorly understood. In Faith No More, Phil Zuckerman draws on in-depth interviews with people who have left religion to find out what's really behind the process of losing one's faith. According to a 2008 study, so many Americans claim no religion (15%, up from 8% in 1990) that this category now outranks every other religious group except Catholics and Baptists. Exploring the deeper stories within such survey data, Zuckerman shows that leaving one's faith is a highly personal, complex, and drawn-out process. And he finds that, rather than the clich? of the angry, nihilistic atheist, apostates are life-affirming, courageous, highly intelligent and inquisitive, and deeply moral. Zuckerman predicts that this trend toward nonbelief will likely continue and argues that the sooner we recognize that religion is frequently and freely rejected by all sorts of men and women, the sooner our understanding of the human condition will improve. The first book of its kind, Faith No More will appeal to anyone interested in the "New Atheism" and indeed to anyone wishing to more fully understand our changing relationship to religious faith.

Conventional Wisdom and American Elections

Exploding Myths, Exploring Misconceptions

Author: Jody C. Baumgartner,Peter L. Francia

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742547384

Category: Political Science

Page: 209

View: 3823

Conventional Wisdom and American Elections: Exploding Myths, Exploring Misconceptions debunks many common myths that have arisen about the electoral process in the past few decades. Topics include campaign finance, political participation and voting, the role of campaigns, internet campaigning, negative campaigning, political parties, and the role the media plays in the electoral process. Each chapter offers comprehensive coverage of the subject matter, and is written in a manner that is accessible to undergraduate students.

The Jesus Survey

What Christian Teens Really Believe and Why

Author: Mike Nappa,Steven Smith

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 0801014441

Category: Religion

Page: 245

View: 9974

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.

The day America told the truth

what people really believe about everything that really matters

Author: James Patterson,Peter Kim

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 270

View: 9457

Surveying a representative sample of Americans, this study considers the state of morals in America today

Nichts ist okay!

Author: Brendan Kiely,Jason Reynolds

Publisher: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag

ISBN: 3423430400

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 320

View: 342

Zwei Stimmen, zwei Autoren, schwarz und weiß.. Eigentlich wollte Rashad nur eine Tüte Chips kaufen, doch kaum hat er den Laden betreten, wird er von einem Polizisten brutal niedergeschlagen. Beobachtet hat den Vorfall ein anderer Junge: Quinn, der ausgerechnet mit der Familie des Angreifers befreundet ist. Rashad ist schwarz, der Polizist weiß. Ein weiterer rassistischer Übergriff? Wie so viele? Rashad landet im Krankenhaus, und Quinn steht zwischen den Fronten. Er muss sich entscheiden: Tritt er als Zeuge auf und wird zum Verräter? Oder hält er den Mund und schweigt zu Diskriminierung und Gewalt. Derweil organisieren Rashads Freunde eine Demonstration gegen Rassismus und Polizeiwillkür. Eine Stadt gerät in Ausnahmezustand. Und zwei Jugendliche mittendrin.

How the Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People

A Tactical Manual for Pragmatic Progressives

Author: John K. Wilson

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814795145

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 5520

If we were to rely on what the pundits and politicians tell us, we would have to conclude that America is a deeply conservative nation. Americans, we hear constantly, detest government, demand lower taxes and the end of welfare, and favor the death penalty, prayer in school, and an absolute faith in the free market. And yet Americans believe deeply in progressive ideas. In fact, progressivism has long been a powerful force in the American psyche. Consider that a mere generation ago the struggle for environmentally sound policies, for women's rights, and for racial equality were fringe movements. Today, open opposition to these core ideals would be political suicide. Drawing on this wellspring of American progressivist tradition, John K. Wilson has penned an informal handbook for the pragmatic progressive. Wilson insists that the left must become more savvy in its rhetoric and stop preaching only to the converted. Progressives need to attack the tangible realities of the corporate welfare state, while explicitly acknowledging that "socialism is," as Wilson writes, "deader than Lenin." Rather than attacking a "right-wing conspiracy," Wilson argues that the left needs one, too. Tracing how well-funded conservative pressure groups have wielded their influence and transformed the national agenda, Wilson outlines a similar approach for the left. Along the way, he exposes the faultlines of our poll- and money-driven form of politics, explodes the myth of "the liberal media," and demands that the left explicitly change its image. Irreverent, practical, and urgently argued, How The Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People charts a way to translate progressive ideals into reality and reassert the core principles of the American left on the national stage.

Apologetics: What Do You Really Believe

What Do You Really Believe

Author: Clifford Thompson

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

ISBN: 1465374329

Category: Religion

Page: 112

View: 6489

This long awaited book actually takes two distinct components and combine them into one comprehensive guide. The dedicated student, who wishes to concretize his or her belief or the inquisitive student, who simply wants to learn more concerning the biblical statutes of Christianity will find this an invaluable study aid. The first part of this book gives a detailed account of the structure of Christianity and its implications. The second part of this book provides step-by-step lessons for delivering its contents in a communicative learning environment. Each lesson is clearly laid out for ease of presentation. Also, there are activities that accompany each lesson for independent study or group interaction. The lessons are sequenced in order to maximize retention of content and understanding of certain historical events. Words and their current definitions are given along with several quotations from famous theologians and authors. Such a structure is guaranteed to enhance the appreciation of learning, while serving as a ministry tool.