Saturday, March 31, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
The Eastern Church in the Spiritual Marketplace
“Slagle’s study is an important contribution to several fields. It adds significantly to the treatment of conversion in the sociology of religion, which has tended to focus mainly on Protestantism and secondarily on Catholicism. The book is extraordinarily well written and organized, combining data and theory with an ease seldom found in academic prose.” —Andrew Buckser, Professor of Anthropology at Purdue University and co-editor of The Anthropology of Religious Conversion
“This is a fascinating collective biography of American spiritual seekers. Slagle’s study simultaneously broaches issues of personal identity, ethnicity in religion, what it means to be American, and the conflicting roles that race might play in the process of conversion to Orthodox Christianity in twenty-first century America.” —Roy R. Robson, Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
The Eastern Orthodox converts in this study are participants in what scholars today refer to as the “spiritual marketplace” or quest culture of expanding religious diversity and individual choice-making that marks the post-World War II American religious landscape. In this highly readable ethnographic study, Slagle explores the ways in which converts, clerics, and lifelong church members use marketplace metaphors in describing and enacting their religious lives. Slagle conducted participant observation and formal semi-structured interviews in Orthodox churches in Pittsburgh, PA—the “Holy Land” of North American Orthodoxy—and Jackson, MS, in the Bible Belt—where the Orthodox Church in America has marshaled significant resources to build mission parishes.
Relatively few ethnographic studies have examined Eastern Orthodox Christianity in the U.S., and Slagle’s book fills a significant gap. This lucidly written book is an ideal selection for courses on the sociology and anthropology of religion, contemporary Christianity, and religious change. Scholars of Orthodox Christianity, as well as clerical and lay people interested in Eastern Orthodoxy, will find this book to be of great appeal.Amy Slagle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This is the second and final MP3-DVD volume in Fr. Paul Tarazi's groundbreaking Orthodox Audio Bible Commentary. As each verse of the Old Testament is read aloud and carefully explained, listeners can hear the story of the Bible unfold in its entirety, while learning relevant historical, linguistic, and literary facts.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
“This is the third in a progression of books by Michael Plekon that have served to expand our understanding of saints and holiness. In this new book, he has taken yet a further step in relating holiness to ordinary or everyday life by showing the contours of grace, or the harmonics of holiness, revealed in the Christian journey of a number of contemporary Christian memoirists. He shows how the gospel story of death-resurrection is written in the journey of ordinary Christians.” — Robert Ellsberg, author of All Saints
“In this profoundly engaging and moving book, Michael Plekon looks at a range of contemporary writers who have charted their own paths in ‘holy living’ in the context of a fast-changing church and world. He introduces us to the three-dimensional reality of some of those who have explored God’s ways with us in recent decades and distills a great deal of significant theological and spiritual wisdom. And, above all, he boldly argues that what he has been describing is seriously good news about the future of Christian discipleship in the supposedly secular North Atlantic world. This is a book to unsettle us and inspire us: that is, it is a Christian book.” — Archbishop Rowan Williams
“Actual saints, Michael Plekon reminds us, don’t come with ready-made halos. They struggle and fail just as we do, endure bitter disappointments, and are at times nailed to the cross by the church itself. One of Plekon’s main themes is the problem of dysfunctionality in religious institutions. Too often those entrusted to lead ‘poison our hunger for God, discourage our desire to serve God and the neighbor, even disorient our vision of human relationships.’ Even so, saints—few of them formally canonized—continue to arise, partly thanks to the church, partly despite it. Plekon’s book challenges the reader’s very idea of sanctity.” — Jim Forest, author of All is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day