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All in sync : how music and art are revitalizing American religion /
Robert Wuthnow.
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2003.
description
xvi, 284 p.
ISBN
0520237692 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
geographic term
More Details
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2003.
isbn
0520237692 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4833377
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Robert Wuthnow is Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"All in Sync mounts a refreshingly thoughtful challenge to the conventional wisdom that contemporary art and religion are mutually hostile spheres. In this balanced and accessible work of scholarship, Professor Wuthnow shows why he is one of the most astute observers of religious trends in America today."--Gustav Niebuhr, former national religion correspondent for The New York Times "All in Sync is a compelling exploration of religion, spirituality, and the arts. With exquisite touch, Robert Wuthnow once again takesÊtheÊpulse of American religious culture--and this time he feels a new beat."--Mark Chaves, Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona
Flap Copy
"All in Syncmounts a refreshingly thoughtful challenge to the conventional wisdom that contemporary art and religion are mutually hostile spheres. In this balanced and accessible work of scholarship, Professor Wuthnow shows why he is one of the most astute observers of religious trends in America today."--Gustav Niebuhr, former national religion correspondent forThe New York Times "All in Syncis a compelling exploration of religion, spirituality, and the arts. With exquisite touch, Robert Wuthnow once again takes the pulse of American religious culture--and this time he feels a new beat."--Mark Chaves, Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona
Flap Copy
" All in Sync mounts a refreshingly thoughtful challenge to the conventional wisdom that contemporary art and religion are mutually hostile spheres. In this balanced and accessible work of scholarship, Professor Wuthnow shows why he is one of the most astute observers of religious trends in America today."--Gustav Niebuhr, former national religion correspondent for The New York Times " All in Sync is a compelling exploration of religion, spirituality, and the arts. With exquisite touch, Robert Wuthnow once again takes the pulse of American religious culture--and this time he feels a new beat."--Mark Chaves, Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-11-01:
Wuthnow (Princeton) delineates a revival in American religion through its use of music and art. Although religion and art have been traditionally linked, critics have argued that they have become disassociated in America. This study examines, through extensive use of over 400 interviews, the link that is invigorating the church. Wuthnow incorporates the opinions of clergy, church members, directors of art organizations, and data from national surveys in his investigation. The key to this link is the new emphasis on personal reflection and transcendent spirituality. Rather than standing in contrast to the church, these individual practices are enlivening it. The author's treatment of imagination and its use in church practices is especially compelling. Students of American religion, church history, and the interrelation of arts and culture should be intrigued. This book also sets a model of comparison for study in other societies. The layperson will find much to enjoy. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-level undergraduates through faculty. L. L. Lam-Easton California State University, Northridge
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-04-15:
Wuthnow (director, Ctr. for the Study of Religion, Princeton) has written numerous books on religion in America, including Creative Spirituality. Here he discusses the importance of the arts in spirituality, drawing on hundreds of interviews, extensive surveys, and anecdotal examples. He documents the importance of songs, rituals, and visual arts in the spiritual development of many Americans and notes that clergy, who see preaching and rational explanation as the key to growth, often overlook this phenomenon. He also sees what he calls a "profound cultural shift" in American religion: "It is a move away from cognitiontoward experience and toward a more complete integration of the senses into spirituality." Wuthnow calls for a more open approach to the arts in churches to allow spiritual self-expression in whatever artistic form it may take. He gives examples of churches that have experienced substantial growth by using this approach. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-04-28:
American religion should have suffered a significant decline in the last third of the 20th century, according to prolific Princeton sociologist Wuthnow (Loose Connections: Joining Together in America's Fragmented Communities; Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves; more than 20 others). Recent social changes-a rising divorce rate, the loss of "social capital," the increasing secularization of culture etc.-would suggest a dip in religious vitality. Yet the last few decades have seen no appreciable decline in organized religion. Wuthnow finds at least part of the answer to this puzzle in the close relationship between religion and the arts. Many religious communities have been revitalized by increased artistic engagement. Art speaks to the experience of the transcendent, and it offers avenues for personal reflection on the deep questions of life. Artistic endeavors are not, argues Wuthnow, incompatible with active church involvement and serious devotion to Christian practices. In fact, his studies show that "those with greater exposure to artistic activities are more likely than those with less exposure to be seriously committed to spiritual growth." Wuthnow's work breaks entirely new ground, making use of a recent national survey and more than 400 in-depth interviews. As always, he is clear, cogent and thorough. His writing doesn't snap off the page, but Wuthnow has the sense to give us the big picture, and then let his interviewees speak at length and sometimes beautifully about their spiritual experiences. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, April 2003
Library Journal, April 2003
Publishers Weekly, April 2003
Choice, November 2003
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
Bowker Data Service Summary
Examining how music and art are revitalizing churches and religious life across America, this text considers the relationship between religion and the arts. It argues that contemporary spirituality is encouraged by the arts because it emphasises transcendent experience and personal reflection.
Long Description
Robert Wuthnow shows how music and art are revitalizing churches and religious life across the nation in this first-ever consideration of the relationship between religion and the arts.All in Syncdraws on more than four hundred in-depth interviews with church members, clergy, and directors of leading arts organizations and a new national survey to document a strong positive relationship between participation in the arts and interest in spiritual growth. Wuthnow argues that contemporary spirituality is increasingly encouraged by the arts because of its emphasis on transcendent experience and personal reflection. This kind of spirituality, contrary to what many observers have imagined, is compatible with active involvement in churches and serious devotion to Christian practices. The absorbing narrative relates the story of a woman who overcame a severe personal crisis and went on to head a spiritual direction center where participants use the arts to gain clarity about their own spiritual journeys. Readers visit contemporary worship services in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston and listen to leaders and participants explain how music and art have contributed to the success of these services.All in Syncalso illustrates how music and art are integral parts of some Episcopal, African American, and Orthodox worship services, and how people of faith are using their artistic talents to serve others. Besides examining the role of the arts in personal spirituality and in congregational life, Wuthnow discusses how clergy and lay leaders are rethinking the role of the imagination, especially in connection with traditional theological virtues. He also shows how churches and arts organizations sometimes find themselves at odds over controversial moral questions and competing claims about spirituality. Accessible, relevant, and innovative, this book is essential for anyone searching for a better understanding of the dynamic relationships among religion, spirituality, and American culture.
Main Description
Robert Wuthnow shows how music and art are revitalizing churches and religious life across the nation in this first-ever consideration of the relationship between religion and the arts. "All in Sync" draws on more than four hundred in-depth interviews with church members, clergy, and directors of leading arts organizations and a new national survey to document a strong positive relationship between participation in the arts and interest in spiritual growth. Wuthnow argues that contemporary spirituality is increasingly encouraged by the arts because of its emphasis on transcendent experience and personal reflection. This kind of spirituality, contrary to what many observers have imagined, is compatible with active involvement in churches and serious devotion to Christian practices. The absorbing narrative relates the story of a woman who overcame a severe personal crisis and went on to head a spiritual direction center where participants use the arts to gain clarity about their own spiritual journeys. Readers visit contemporary worship services in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston and listen to leaders and participants explain how music and art have contributed to the success of these services. "All in Sync" also illustrates how music and art are integral parts of some Episcopal, African American, and Orthodox worship services, and how people of faith are using their artistic talents to serve others. Besides examining the role of the arts in personal spirituality and in congregational life, Wuthnow discusses how clergy and lay leaders are rethinking the role of the imagination, especially in connection with traditional theological virtues. He also shows how churches and arts organizations sometimes find themselves at odds over controversial moral questions and competing claims about spirituality. Accessible, relevant, and innovative, this book is essential for anyone searching for a better understanding of the dynamic relationships among religion, spirituality, and American culture.
Main Description
Robert Wuthnow shows how music and art are revitalizing churches and religious life across the nation in this first-ever consideration of the relationship between religion and the arts. All in Sync draws on more than four hundred in-depth interviews with church members, clergy, and directors of leading arts organizations and a new national survey to document a strong positive relationship between participation in the arts and interest in spiritual growth. Wuthnow argues that contemporary spirituality is increasingly encouraged by the arts because of its emphasis on transcendent experience and personal reflection. This kind of spirituality, contrary to what many observers have imagined, is compatible with active involvement in churches and serious devotion to Christian practices. The absorbing narrative relates the story of a woman who overcame a severe personal crisis and went on to head a spiritual direction center where participants use the arts to gain clarity about their own spiritual journeys. Readers visit contemporary worship services in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston and listen to leaders and participants explain how music and art have contributed to the success of these services. All in Sync also illustrates how music and art are integral parts of some Episcopal, African American, and Orthodox worship services, and how people of faith are using their artistic talents to serve others. Besides examining the role of the arts in personal spirituality and in congregational life, Wuthnow discusses how clergy and lay leaders are rethinking the role of the imagination, especially in connection with traditional theological virtues. He also shows how churches and arts organizations sometimes find themselves at odds over controversial moral questions and competing claims about spirituality. Accessible, relevant, and innovative, this book is essential for anyone searching for a better understanding of the dynamic relationships among religion, spirituality, and American culture.
Unpaid Annotation
Nationally-known sociologist Robert Wuthnow studies the relationship between art and American religion, documenting the strong, positive relationship between participation in the arts and the burgeoning interest in spiritual growth.
Table of Contents
List of Tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
A Puzzle: The Question of Religious Vitalityp. 1
Explaining Religious Vitalityp. 8
Rethinking the Conventional Wisdomp. 12
Are the Arts a Factor?p. 16
Contemporary Spirituality: Seeking the Sacred in an Era of Uncertaintyp. 21
The Search for Spiritualityp. 23
Practices with Rootsp. 27
Involvement in a Religious Communityp. 32
Devotion to a Traditionp. 39
Effort Devoted to Spiritual Growthp. 43
Practices with Resultsp. 47
Evangelicals, Mainliners, and Catholicsp. 49
Summing Upp. 52
A Blending of Cultures: The Arts and Spiritualityp. 56
Childhood Exposure to the Artsp. 59
Adult Participation in the Artsp. 60
Expressing Creativityp. 64
Self-Definition and Valuing the Artsp. 65
A Summary Measurep. 66
The Arts and Spiritualityp. 68
Social Factorsp. 72
Making the Connectionsp. 75
Personal Spirituality: Art and the Practice of Spiritual Disciplinep. 79
Rediscovering Prayerp. 83
Spiritual Directionp. 93
Art and Disciplinep. 103
Times of Trialp. 109
The Role of Groupsp. 113
From Self to Servicep. 122
The Arts and Devotional Lifep. 130
The Joy of Worship: Expression and Tradition in Congregational Lifep. 134
The Artistic Involvement of Church Membersp. 137
What Churches Are Doingp. 142
Contemporary Worshipp. 151
Liturgical Renewalp. 168
The Difference It Makesp. 179
Redeeming the Imagination: The Arts and Spiritual Virtuep. 183
What Americans Try to Imaginep. 185
Changing Meanings of the Imaginationp. 189
The Imagination and Faithp. 192
The Imagination and Hopep. 198
The Imagination and Communityp. 203
Encouraging the Imaginationp. 209
The Morality Problem: Why Churches and Artists Disagreep. 213
Public Perceptions of the Artsp. 214
What Arts Leaders Thinkp. 224
Church Leaders' Viewsp. 228
Evangelicals Talk about the Artsp. 230
Working Together?p. 234
The Artist in Everyone: Faithful Living in a Spiritual Democracyp. 236
The Arts as a Resourcep. 236
A Spiritual Democracy?p. 238
Spiritual Formationp. 240
The Role of Leadershipp. 244
Methodologyp. 249
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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