It is surprising to learn that as many as half of U.S. correctional departments offer government-funded and supported faith-based correctional departments within the prison walls. In this critical, historically contextualized, and deeply researched ethnography of faith-based correctional institutions in Florida, where such carceral programs started in 1999, Brad Stoddard argues that FCBIs serve the interests of neoliberal politics and economics by creating a relatively deregulated sphere of state-sanctioned programs aimed at socialization and rehabilitation. Spiritual Entrepreneurs delves into the intensifying public debate about the appropriate role of religion in American politics and society. Stoddard demonstrates that Florida is an essential place for understanding the history, development, impact, and implications of the larger trend to empower “faith-based” social service providers and their favored solutions in key areas of the public sphere. (forthcoming from UNC Press)
Organized in chronological order, of the founding of each movement, this documentary reader brings to life new religious movements from the 18th century to the present. It provides students with the tools to understand questions of race, religion, and American religious history. Movements covered include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), the Native American Church, the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, and more. The voices included come from both men and women.
Each chapter focuses on a different new religious movement and features:
an introduction to the movement, including the context of its founding
two to four primary source documents about or from the movement
suggestions for further reading
Thirty or forty years ago, the phrase method and theory in Religious Studies scholarship referred to more social scientific approaches to the study of religion, as opposed to the more traditional theological hermeneutics common to the field. Today, however, it seems that everyone claims to do theory and method, including those people who shun social scientific approaches the academic study of religion. As a result, what does it mean to do theory and method in an era where the phrase has no distinct meaning? To help address this question, the North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) addressed the issue of theory at its annual meeting in 2015. Based on what all agreed were productive and rigorous conversations, NAASR returned to the topic at its meeting a year later, where panelists and presenters discussed the issue of method. This volume is a collection of papers presented at the 2016 NAASR meeting, where panelists specifically addressed description, interpretation, comparison, and explanation in Religious Studies scholarship.
Our culture is full of popular stereotypes about religion, both positive and negative. Many people uncritically assume that religion is intrinsically violent, or that religion makes people moral, or that it is simply "bullshit". This concise volume tackles 10 of these stereotypes, addresses why scholars of religion find them to be cliched, describes their origins, and explains the social or political work they rhetorically accomplish in the present.
Written in an easy and accessible style, Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Cliches will be of interest to all readers looking to clear away unsophisticated assumptions in preparation for more critical studies.