Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review Coming Soon.........

I haven't reviewed many books this year but it doesn't mean that I haven't read any, it's just, well, like everything else, book reviews get short listed for other bigger and better things in life! Better things than books? Well, not exactly, but reviews are lower on the totem pole than other important things like parish work, family, and writing.

I am looking forward to reading and reviewing Dr. Slagle's new book called The Eastern Church in the Spiritual Marketplace published by Northern Illinois Press. Slagle's work considers the current situation in the Orthodox Church regarding those who are new to the faith. I heard some good things about this book from a friend of mine so I wanted to check it out.

Will tell you about the book soon.

Below is some information about the book from the publisher's website.

By the way, I am thrilled that Church, World, Kingdom: The Eucharistic Foundations of Alexander Schmemann's Pastoral Theology (Hillenbrand Books, 2012) will be coming out this Fall. Right now the book is going through copyediting and the art director is working on the cover art. I'll keep you posted..........

American Conversions to Orthodox Christianity

The Eastern Church in the Spiritual Marketplace

Amy Slagle

“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.