Shopping for Faith in the American Spiritual Marketplace

Much has been made in recent years about the phenomenon of American religion as a “spiritual marketplace” in which individuals are consumers out “shopping for faith” that suits their religious or spiritual tastes. But how do we reconcile this image of a large and diverse marketplace of producers and consumers with the considerable conventionality weContinue reading “Shopping for Faith in the American Spiritual Marketplace”

Speaking of Duke

Speaking of Duke, here’s a quote from a recent New York Times article called “Rebels with a Cross”: [Christian Smith, a University of North Carolina sociologist,] compared the romance of rebellion to the middle-class fascination with hip-hop culture. “Spoiled suburban white kids act like rappers, and there is a real connection to something, but reallyContinue reading “Speaking of Duke”

Kids are Funny, Part Deux

More conversations in the household — 10 Year Old Son: There are too many girls in my Sunday school class. Father: How can that be? That’s like saying there are too many flowers. 5 Year Old Son: Boys and girls are enemies. Father: What?! 5 Year Old Son: Like England and France. I don’t knowContinue reading “Kids are Funny, Part Deux”

Why Did I Leave OLU?

This weekend, I am going to a meeting at The Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion to help choose recipients of a book-writing fellowship. The Louisville Institute has been very supportive of my work in the past, giving me both a dissertation fellowship and a large grant to conduct research on conversion. TheyContinue reading “Why Did I Leave OLU?”

Questions and Answers

Yesterday was the first day of classes for the semester, and my first day of classes ever, at Wake Forest University. Which raises a number of questions that I’ll try to answer quickly. Further observations will no doubt be posted as I make them. How’s the weather? It depends on what you like. You probablyContinue reading “Questions and Answers”