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The United States is the world's primary creator and exporter of popular mass culture and arguably one of the most religious countries in modern history. As a result, the coexistence of American religion with popular culture has created a fertile yet caustic environment for new religious belief structures, new texts, and new worldviews that are uniquely American. This work considers ways in which American television, advertising, music, and video games have played a significant role in creating, representing, and influencing contradictory religious identities. The authors examine three distinct segments of popular culture that rescript the sacred, including popular religious texts (e.g. the Christian fantasy novels of Frank Peretti), secular works that nonetheless reflect and influence popular religions (e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and works that contain a central element of religious content but no clear didactic intent (e.g. The Da Vinci Code).
The essays presented in this volume are among the most wide-ranging, intellectually rich, and diverse of Christopher Dawson's reflections on the relations of faith and culture. In them, he explores the contact between the spiritual life of the individual and the social and economic organization of modern culture. His focus ranges from the passing of industrialism to the Catholic understanding of the human person, to Islamic mysticism, to a Christian account of sexuality.Dawson argues that modern Western culture is unique in its tendency to ignore its spiritual roots and its once close contact with nature and tradition, and to substitute for them an impersonal economic and materialist organization of mass society. In these essays, he warns against the increasingly secular preoccupations of modern sociological accounts of European culture and insists that they require the supplement and corrective of theology and philosophy. But he is equally insistent on the dangers of a false spiritualism that ignores emerging sociological insights.Widely praised as one of the most important Catholic historians of the twentieth century, Christopher Dawson, in all of his writings, masterfully brings various disciplinary perspectives and historical sources into a complex unity of expression and applies them to concrete conditions of modern society. Enquiries into Religion and Culture includes an introduction by Robert Royal.
Baptists in Early North America-Swansea, Massachusetts, is the first volume to appear in the BENA Series. Designed as a unique contribution to religious and Baptist scholarship, BENA recovers never-before-published original records and manuscripts for students, scholars, and genealogists. Volume 1 covers the period 1649 to 1844. Known in part as the Ilston Book, it is the oldest surviving record of a Baptist congregation in North America and contains equally unique material from the Welsh period of the congregation gathered by John Myles. The record follows the history, theology, and community development of a congregation transplanted from Wales to Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. The record covers virtually all of the American religious heritage of the era-colonial community development, the Great Awakening, theological diversification, and the Second Great Awakenings. The original one-volume book is one of the treasures in John Hay Library, Brown University.
Baptists in Early North America-First Baptist, Providence, is the second volume to appear in the BENA Series. Designed as a unique contribution to religious and Baptist scholarship, BENA recovers never-before-published original records and manuscripts for students, scholars, and genealogists. Also known as the First Baptist Church in America, it was founded in 1638 by Roger Williams and a group of religious outcasts from Massachusetts Bay Colony. The dozen original manuscript record books are carefully reproduced with annotations and an historical introduction. Also included are eighteenth-century pew rental lists and membership rosters for the congregation that evolved from Calvinistic roots, to General Six Principle, to Regular Baptist identity. This congregation was closely related to Brown University and included numerous pastoral luminaries-such as Confederation congressman, James Manning- in the bustling seaport of Providence, Rhode Island.
This book sheds an interdisciplinary light on 'transforming bodies': bodies that have been subjected to, contributed to, or have resisted social transformations within religious or secular contexts in contemporary Europe. It explores the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion that underpin embodied transformations. Using post-secularist, postcolonial and gender/queer perspectives, it aims to gain a better understanding of the orchestrations and effects of larger social transitions related to religion. This volume is the outcome of the intensive collaboration of the authors, who for years have been meeting regularly in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to discuss themes related to religion and 'the challenge of difference', with an added afterword by Prof. Pamela Klassen from the University of Toronto. The book is divided in three subsections that focus on particular types of embodiment: body politics in governmental and NGO organisations; the role of the body in literary and/or autobiographical narratives; and ethnographic case studies of bodies in daily life. Doing so, it provides an innovative exploration of contemporary religion and the body. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of Religious Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Theology, and Philosophy.