Lived Religion: Faith and Practice in Everyday Life

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9780195368338: Lived Religion: Faith and Practice in Everyday Life

How can we grasp the complex religious lives of individuals such as Peter, an ordained Protestant minister who has little attachment to any church but centers his highly committed religious practice on peace-and-justice activism? Or Hannah, a devout Jew whose rich spiritual life revolves around her women's spirituality group and the daily practice of meditative dance? Or Laura, who identifies as Catholic but rarely attends Mass, and engages daily in Buddhist-style meditation at her home altar arranged with symbols of Mexican American popular religion? Diverse religious practices such as these have long baffled scholars, whose research often starts with the assumption that individuals commit, or refuse to commit, to an entire institutionally framed package of beliefs and practices.

Meredith McGuire points the way forward toward a new way of understanding religion. She argues that scholars must study religion not as it is defined by religious organizations, but as it is actually lived in people's everyday lives. Drawing on her own extensive fieldwork, as well as recent work by others, McGuire explores the many, seemingly mundane, ways that individuals practice their religions and develop their spiritual lives. By examining the many eclectic and creative practices -- of body, mind, emotion, and spirit -- that have been invisible to researchers, she offers a fuller and more nuanced understanding of contemporary religion.

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About the Author:


Meredith McGuire is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She has written and edited numerous books, most recently Personal Knowledge and Beyond: Reframing the Ethnography of Religion, co-edited with Jim Spickard and Shawn Landres.

Review:


"An invaluable resource that broadens understandings of the complicated interactions of personal spirituality and social contexts. ...This important book provides an extraoridnary overview that challenges quantitative researchers to develop new approaches and stimulates qualitative researchers to addres new questions in new ways."
--Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion


"Meredith McGuire's Lived Religion richly endows an expanding academic literature highlighting the relevance of religious-spiritual practices that are typically excluded from the received view of what counts as religion and spirituality. ...McGuire's thoughtful, intellectually engaging, and well-written book is a welcome addition to the analysis of the prevalence of religion and spirituality in everyday practices. ...McGuire succeeds in making visible the many hybrid sources of religious community and commitment that might otherwise remain beyond the gaze of scholarly attention."
--American Journal of Sociology


"McGuire's thoughtful, intellectually engaging, and well-written book is a welcome addition to the analysis of the prevalence of religion and spirituality in everyday practices."Michele Dillon, University of New Hampshire


"This is an important book in the sociology of religion, because it prods us to take seriously religious practices...rich analysis...."--Wyndy Corbin Reushling


"...A creative blending of a personal and professional narrative and normative zeal to reform the field of sociology and religion... The book succeeds in its goal to infuse tired debates in the sociology of religion with a fresh perspective. It will stimulate many conversations about which lamppost we should look under to find religion in contemporary society, how it got there, and where it is going." --Contemporary Sociology


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. What are we to make of the Latina schoolteacher who considers herself a good Catholic, rarely attends Mass, but meditates daily at her home altar (where she mixes images of the Virgin of Guadalupe with those of Frida Kahlo, and traditional votive candles with healing crystals), yet feels particularly spiritual while preparing food for religious celebrations in her neighborhood? Diverse religious practices such as these have long baffled scholars of contemporary religion, whose research started with the assumption that Individuals commit, or refuse to commit, to an entire institutionally-defined package of beliefs and practices. Social surveys typically ask respondents to self-identify by denominational or other broad religious categories. Sociologists attempt to measure religiosity according to how well individuals conform to the official religious standards, such as frequency of church attendance, scripture-reading, or prayer. In this book Meredith McGuire points the way forward toward a new way of understanding and studying religious behavior. Rather than try to fit people into prearranged packages, she argues, scholars must begin to study religion as it is actually lived and experienced in peoples everyday lives. Drawing on her own extensive fieldwork, as well as recent work by other scholars, McGuire explores the many ways that people express themselves spiritually and shows that they rarely fit neatly into the categories we ve developed. Challenging those who see declining church attendance as the death of religion in the Western world, McGuire demonstrates that religion is as widespread, potent, and vital as ever, if you know where to look. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780195368338

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