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RELIGION

Religion and Progressive Activism New Stories About Faith and Politics

Edited by RUTH BRAUNSTEIN, TODD NICHOLAS FUIST and RHYS H. WILLIAMS

RELIGION AND PROGRESSIVE

ACTIVISM NEW STORIES ABOUT FAITH AND POLITICS

A new approach to understanding religiously motivated social action, and the realities of the American political landscape

To many mainstream-media saturated Americans, the terms “progressive” and “religious” may not seem to go hand-in-hand. As religion is usually tied to conservatism, an important way in which religion and politics intersect is being overlooked. EDITED BY

RUTH BRAUNSTEIN, TODD NICHOLAS FUIST, and RHYS H. WILLIAMS

Progressive Religion and Social Activism focuses on this significant intersection, revealing that with almost every political issue or area of public concern, progressive religious activists are a driving force in American public life. Taken together, the book challenges common perceptions of religiously motivated social action, and offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of religion and the American political landscape. In a coherent and accessible way, this book engages and rethinks long accepted theories of religion, social movements, and of the role of faith in democratic politics and civic life. RUTH BRAUNSTEIN is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut. TODD NICHOLAS FUIST is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Arkansas State University. RHYS H. WILLIAMS is Professor of Sociology at Loyola University, Chicago, where he also directs the McNamara Center for the Social Study of Religion.

Alternative Sociologies of Religion Through Non-Western Eyes JAMES V. SPICKARD Explores what the sociology of religion would look like had it emerged in a Confucian, Muslim, or Native American culture rather than in a Christian one Sociology has long used Western Christianity as a model for all religious life. As a result, the field has tended to highlight aspects of religion that Christians find important, such as religious beliefs and formal organizations, while paying less attention to other elements. What aspects of religion would scholars see more clearly if they had been raised in Confucian China? What could they learn about religion from Ibn Khaldūn, the famed 14th century Arab scholar? What would they better understand, had they been born Navajo, whose traditional religion certainly does not revolve around beliefs and organizations? Through these thought experiments, Spickard shows how non-Western ideas understand some aspects of religions--even of Western religions— better than does standard sociology. The volume shows how non-Western frameworks can shed new light on several different dimensions of religious life, including the question of who maintains religious communities, the relationships between religion and ethnicity as sources of social ties, and the role of embodied experience in religious rituals. These approaches reveal central aspects of contemporary religions that the dominant way of doing sociology fails to notice. Each approach also provides investigators with new theoretical resources to guide them deeper into their subjects. The volume makes a compelling case for adopting a global perspective in the social sciences. JAMES V. SPICKARD is Professor of Sociology at the University of Redlands.

JUNE 2017 368 PAGES • 22 black & white illustrations PAPER • 978-1-4798-5290-1 • $30.00S (£24.99) CLOTH • 978-1-4798-5476-9 • $89.00X (£74.00) In the Religion and Social Transformation series RELIGION 34

N Y U PR E S S • SPR ING 2 0 1 7

MARCH 2017 336 PAGES • 12 black & white illustrations PAPER • 978-1-4798-6631-1 • $27.00S (£21.99) CLOTH • 978-1-4798-2663-6 • $89.00X (£74.00) RELIGION • SOCIOLOGY 1.800.996.NYUP

NYU Press Spring 2017  
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