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Spiritual marketplace : baby boomers and the remaking of American religion /
Wade Clark Roof.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1999.
description
x, 367 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691016593 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1999.
isbn
0691016593 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3146913
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Wade Clark Roof is the J. F. Rowny Professor of Religion and Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-10-11:
This sociological study tackles the same subject matter (baby boomers and their self-styled spiritual quests) as Roof's 1993 book, A Generation of Seekers. Roof organizes the book almost identically, using the same methodology (a mix of comprehensive surveys and in-depth personal interviews), and even interviewing the same research subjects about their developing spirituality. Yet the second time proves to be the charm, because this book does nearly everything better than its predecessor. Where Generation recognized boomers' predilection for "spirituality" over organized religion, here Roof acknowledges the proliferation of multiple, complex spiritualities (feminist, Latino, ecological, etc.) that often overlap with various established religious traditions and therapeutic movements. Roof's contextualization of boomer spirituality is more historically nuanced. He notes that it is ironic that many boomers are now turning aside from individualistic self-fulfillment strategies, since the boomer generation first empowered the self, not the community, to direct spiritual life. This book shows not only how the 76 million boomers have been shaped by such seeking but how they have remapped the spiritual landscape for all Americans; boomers have shifted attention from the institution to the individual, emphasized "lived religion" (religion in practice) and created a "quest culture." Scholars may quibble with Roof's free use of the marketplace metaphor, with its oversimplified emphasis on supply and demand and the "range of goods and services" now available from an ever-increasing parade of vendors. But even so, Roof's work thoughtfully articulates the introspective fluidity of the baby-boom generation he studies. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2000-05-01:
In Spiritual Marketplace sociologist Wade Clark Roof analyzes what he calls the spiritual "quest culture" that has developed among the baby boomer generation. The book follows up on people Roof interviewed for his earlier work, A Generation of Seekers (CH, Oct'93). Roof begins by introducing five individuals whose life histories exemplify "reflexive spirituality" or "quest culture." He argues that boomers generally feel alienated from institutional or organized religion and prefer to construct eclectic spiritual identities and new forms of community. After examining the social trends that gave rise to the quest culture, he goes on to explore how religions have become products to be marketed to the broader culture, using new rhetorical discourses and new symbolic frameworks. Within this quest culture Roof finds boomers fitting into five subcultures: Born-again Christians, Mainstream Believers, Metaphysical Believers and Seekers, Dogmatists, and Secularists. He then examines the impact of family structure on these subcultures and their impact on the public sphere as new moral visions emerge. Roof writes in a jargon-free, accessible style, often lucidly summarizing (and challenging) the arguments of other sociologists and cultural observers. Recommended for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. C. R. Piar; California State University, Long Beach
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A significant contribution to understanding trends in the lived religion of many Americans in their question for meaning."-- Jackson W. Carroll, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"Baffingly diverse and in a state of historic flux, American religion today defies easy generalization. Wade Clark Roof has tackled the challenge admirably, doing a yeoman's job at compiling vast amounts of often surprising information. . . ."-- Los Angeles Times
"Full of interesting findings and provocative interpretations."-- Sociology of Religion
"Roof's work thoughtfully articulates the introspective fluidity of the baby-boom generation he studies."-- Publishers Weekly
"Roof writes in a jargon-free, accessible style, often lucidly summarizing (and challenging) the arguments of other sociologists and cultural observers."-- Choice
"This book shows not only how the 76 million boomers have been shaped by such seeking but how they have remapped the spiritual landscape for all Americans; boomers have shifted attention from the institution to the individual, emphasized 'lived religion' (religion in practice) and created a 'quest culture'."-- Publishers Weekly
"This is a seminal study for the sociology of religion. It should be considered indispensable to anyone trying to take the spiritual pulse of America."-- John A. Coleman, S.J., Spiritus
"This is a terrific book . . . Roof clearly demonstrates the old saw that people create their gods, not vice versa."-- The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa
"What does it mean [to be] spiritual? That's what Roof has set out to ask and to answer: to track, capture, and name the current varieties of religious or spiritual experience in America. What he's come up with is a kind of metaphysical seed-catalog, a bewildering array of groups and sub-groups, beliefs and opinions, views and world-views, much of it mixed and matched."-- Mark Buchanan, Books & Culture
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, September 1999
Publishers Weekly, October 1999
Chicago Tribune, December 1999
Choice, May 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"This will be the book to consult for both a synthesis of what has been observed in the areas of American religion and spirituality and for some fresh observations about where American searchers are moving. Wade Clark Roof writes so clearly, is so jargon-free, and is so ready to share his insights with the public that I would think everyone from college-textbook users through mass ommunicators to humanistic and social scientific observers of the American scene would find it intelligible and useful."-- --Martin E. Marty, Professor Emeritus and Director of the Public Religion Project, University of Chicago "This is an engaging book that will easily be read by undergraduates and folks in the pews as well as by academics. One of its key arguments is that American religion can best be characterized by searching, rather than by stable identities or by preferences or affiliations with particular denominations or traditions. Spiritual Marketplace explores the social sources of this searching and how it affects Americans understandings of personal identity, their commitments to religious institutions, and their moral orientations. The book succeeds admirably in accomplishing its ambitious aims."-- Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University
Bowker Data Service Summary
What does the splintering of the religious perspective since the late 1970s say about Americans? This text charts the emergence of five subcultures: secularists; dogmatists; metaphysical believers and seekers; Christians; mainstream believers.
Main Description
In large chain bookstores the "religion" section is gone and in its place is an expanding number of topics including angels, Sufism, journey, recovery, meditation, magic, inspiration, Judaica, astrology, gurus, Bible, prophesy, evangelicalism, Mary, Buddhism, Catholicism, and esoterica. As Wade Clark Roof notes, such changes over the last two decades reflect a shift away from religion as traditionally understood to more diverse and creative approaches. But what does this splintering of the religious perspective say about Americans? Have we become more interested in spiritual concerns or have we become lost among trends? Do we value personal spirituality over traditional religion and no longer see ourselves united in a larger community of faith? Roof first credited this religious diversity to the baby boomers in his bestsellingA Generation of Seekers(1993). He returns to interview many of these people, now in mid-life, to reveal a generation with a unique set of spiritual values--a generation that has altered our historic interpretations of religious beliefs, practices, and symbols, and perhaps even our understanding of the sacred itself. The quest culture created by the baby boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs and practices and of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths and spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups and alternative communities; and still others create their own mix of values and metaphysical beliefs.Spiritual Marketplacecharts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, born-again Christians, mainstream believers, metaphysical believers and seekers, and secularists. Drawing on surveys and in-depth interviews for over a decade, Roof reports on the religious and spiritual styles, family patterns, and moral vision and values for each of these subcultures. The result is an innovative, engaging approach to understanding how religious life is being reshaped as we move into the next century.
Main Description
In large chain bookstores the "religion" section is gone and in its place is an expanding number of topics including angels, Sufism, journey, recovery, meditation, magic, inspiration, Judaica, astrology, gurus, Bible, prophesy, evangelicalism, Mary, Buddhism, Catholicism, and esoterica. As Wade Clark Roof notes, such changes over the last two decades reflect a shift away from religion as traditionally understood to more diverse and creative approaches. But what does this splintering of the religious perspective say about Americans? Have we become more interested in spiritual concerns or have we become lost among trends? Do we value personal spirituality over traditional religion and no longer see ourselves united in a larger community of faith? Roof first credited this religious diversity to the baby boomers in his bestselling A Generation of Seekers (1993). He returns to interview many of these people, now in mid-life, to reveal a generation with a unique set of spiritual values--a generation that has altered our historic interpretations of religious beliefs, practices, and symbols, and perhaps even our understanding of the sacred itself. The quest culture created by the baby boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs and practices and of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths and spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups and alternative communities; and still others create their own mix of values and metaphysical beliefs. Spiritual Marketplace charts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, born-again Christians, mainstream believers, metaphysical believers and seekers, and secularists. Drawing on surveys and in-depth interviews for over a decade, Roof reports on the religious and spiritual styles, family patterns, and moral vision and values for each of these subcultures. The result is an innovative, engaging approach to understanding how religious life is being reshaped as we move into the next century.
Publisher Fact Sheet
This book offers an approach to understanding how religious life is being reshaped as we move into the next century.
Unpaid Annotation
In large chain bookstores the "religion" section is gone and in its place is an expanding number of topics including angels, Sufism, journey, recovery, meditation, magic, inspiration, Judaica, astrology, gurus, Bible, prophesy, evangelicalism, Mary, Buddhism, Catholicism, and esoterica. As Wade Clark Roof notes, such changes over the last two decades reflect a shift away from religion as traditionally understood to more diverse and creative approaches. But what does this splintering of the religious perspective say about Americans? Have we become more interested in spiritual concerns or have we become lost among trends? Do we value personal spirituality over traditional religion and no longer see ourselves united in a larger community of faith? Roof first credited this religious diversity to the baby boomers in his bestselling "A Generation of Seekers (1993). He returns to interview many of these people, now in mid-life, to reveal a generation with a unique set of spiritual values--a generation that has altered our historic interpretations of religious beliefs, practices, and symbols, and perhaps even our understanding of the sacred i
Unpaid Annotation
In large chain bookstores the "religion" section is gone & in its place is an expanding number of topics including angels, Sufism, journey, recovery, meditation, magic, inspiration, Judaica, astrology, gurus, Bible, prophesy, evangelicalism, Mary, Buddhism, Catholicism, & esoterica. As Wade Clark Roof notes, such changes over the last two decades reflect a shift away from religion as traditionally understood to more diverse & creative approaches. But what does this splintering of the religious perspective say about Americans? Have we become more interested in spiritual concerns or have we become lost among trends? Do we value personal spirituality over traditional religion & no longer see ourselves united in a larger community of faith? Roof first credited this religious diversity to the baby boomers in his bestselling A Generation of Seekers (1993). He returns to interview many of these people, now in mid-life, to reveal a generation with a unique set of spiritual values--a generation that has altered our historic interpretations of religious beliefs, practices, & symbols, & perhaps even our understanding of the sacred itself. The quest culture created by the baby boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs & practices & of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths & spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups & alternative communities; & still others create their own mix of values & metaphysical beliefs. Spiritual Marketplace charts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, born-again Christians, mainstream believers, metaphysical believers & seekers, & secularists. Drawing on surveys & in-depth interviews for over a decade, Roof reports on the religious & spiritual styles, family patterns, & moral vision & values for each of these subcultures. The result is an innovative, engaging approach to understanding how religious life is being reshaped as we move into the next century.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: On Maps and Terrainsp. 3
Varieties of Spiritual Questp. 16
The Making of a Quest Culturep. 46
Spiritual Marketplacep. 77
On Being Fluid and Groundedp. 111
A Quest for What?p. 145
Redrawing the Boundariesp. 180
Realigning Family and Religionp. 217
Moral Vision and Valuesp. 254
Conclusion: "Whirl Is King, Having Driven Out Zeus"p. 294
Methodologyp. 315
Notesp. 325
Indexp. 361
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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