Description : 'Nature' and the 'city' have most often functioned as opposites within Western culture, a dichotomy that has been reinforced (and sometimes challenged) by religious images. Bohannon argues here that cities and natural environments, however, are both connected and continually affected by one another. He shows how such connections become overt during natural disasters, which disrupt the narratives people use to make sense of the world,including especially religious narratives, and make them more visible. This book offers both a theoretical exploration of the intersection of the city, nature, and religion, as well as a sociological analysis of the 1997 flood in Grand Forks, ND, USA. This case study shows how religious factors have influenced how the relationship between nature and the city is perceived, and in particular have helped to justify the urban control of nature. The narratives found in Grand Forks also reveal a broader understanding of the nature of Western cities, highlighting the potent and ethically-rich intersections between religion, cities and nature.
Description : American cities are in the midst of fundamental changes. De-industrialization of large, aging cities has been enormously disruptive for urban communities, which are being increasingly fragmented. Though often overlooked, religious organizations are important actors, both culturally and politically in the restructuring metropolis. Public Religion and Urban Transformation provides a sweeping view of urban religion in response to these transformations. Drawing on a massive study of over seventy-five congregations in urban neighborhoods, this volume provides the most comprehensive picture available of urban places of worship-from mosques and gurdwaras to churches and synagogues-within one city. Revisiting the primary site of research for the early members of the Chicago School of urban sociology, the volume focuses on Chicago, which provides an exceptionally clear lens on the ways in which religious organizations both reflect and contribute to changes in American pluralism. From the churches of a Mexican American neighborhood and of the Black middle class to communities shared by Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Muslims and the rise of "megachurches," Public Religion and Urban Transformation illuminates the complex interactions among religion, urban structure, and social change at this extraordinary episode in the history of urban America.
Description : Now in its second edition, Grounding Religion explores relationships between the environment and religious beliefs and practices. Established scholars introduce students to the ways in which religion shapes human–earth relations, surveying a series of questions about how the religious world influences and is influenced by ecological systems. Case studies, discussion questions, and further reading enrich students’ experience. This second edition features updated content, including revisions of every chapter and new material on natural disasters, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, climate change, food, technology, and hope and despair. An excellent text for undergraduates and graduates alike, it offers an expansive overview of the academic field of religion and ecology as it has emerged in the past fifty years.
Description : People are born in one place. Traditionally humans move around more than other animals, but in modernity the global mobility of persons and the factors of production increasingly disrupts the sense of place that is an intrinsic part of the human experience of being on earth. Industrial development and fossil fuelled mobility negatively impact the sense of place and help to foster a culture of placelessness where buildings, fields and houses increasingly display a monotonous aesthetic. At the same time ecological habitats, and diverse communities of species are degraded. Romantic resistance to the industrial evisceration of place and ecological diversity involved the setting aside of scenic or sublime landscapes as wilderness areas or parks. However the implication of this project is that human dwelling and ecological sustainability are intrinsically at odds. In this collection of essays Michael Northcott argues that the sense of the sacred which emanates from local communities of faith sustained a 'parochial ecology' which, over the centuries, shaped communities that were more socially just and ecologically sustainable than the kinds of exchange relationships and settlement patterns fostered by a global and place-blind economy. Hence Christian communities in medieval Europe fostered the distributed use and intergenerational care of common resources, such as alpine meadows, forests or river catchments. But contemporary political economists neglect the role of boundaried places, and spatial limits, in the welfare of human and ecological communities. Northcott argues that place-based forms of community, dwelling and exchange – such as a local food economy – more closely resemble evolved commons governance arrangements, and facilitate the revival of a sense of neighbourhood, and of reconnection between persons and the ecological places in which they dwell.
Description : This study of the religious landscape of Indianapolis -- the summative volume of the Lilly Endowment's Project on Religion and Urban Culture conducted by the Polis Center at IUPUI -- aims to understand religion's changing role in public life. The book examines the shaping of religious traditions by the changing city. It sheds light on issues such as social capital and faith-based welfare reform and explores the countervailing pressures of "decentering" -- the creation of multiple (sub)urban centers -- and civil religion's role in binding these centers into one metropolis. Polis Center Series on Religion and Urban Culture -- David J. Bodenhamer and Arthur E. Farnsley II, editors
Description : Increasingly, the religious practices people engage in and the ways they talk about what is meaningful or sacred take place in the context of media culture—in the realm of the so-called secular. Focusing on this intersection of the sacred and the secular, this volume gathers together the work of media experts, religious historians, sociologists of religion, and authorities on American studies and art history. Topics range from Islam on the Internet to the quasi-religious practices of Elvis fans, from the uses of popular culture by the Salvation Army in its early years to the uses of interactive media technologies at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Beit Hashoah Museum of Tolerance. The issues that the essays address include the public/private divide, the distinctions between the sacred and profane, and how to distinguish between the practices that may be termed "religious" and those that may not.
Description : A comprehensive introduction to the particular challenges and opportunities of congregational ministry in urban settings. Urban ministry has long been a part of seminary curricula, but a basic and definitive understanding of what students should know as they prepare for congregational ministry in the city has remained elusive. Too often it is assumed that the theological resources developed for ministry in other settings are adequate for urban ministry, but these resources fail to account for the unique challenges and opportunities of the urban setting. Ronald Peters clarifies the nature of urban ministry as a theological discipline by showing how its core values of love, justice, community, and reconciliation (among others) engage the issues of economics, education, family life, public health, ethnic relations, and religious life in the urban environment. Arguing that the city has always served as an arena of God's activity, Peters articulates a theological rationale for urban ministry that is both hopeful and yet realistic, affirming that God loves the city and its people and encouraging practitioners to do the same.
Description : African immigration to North America has been rapidly increasing. Yet, little has been written about this significant group of immigrants and the particular religious traditions that they are transplanting on our shores, as scholars continue largely to focus instead on immigrants from Europe and Asia. African Immigrant Religions in America focuses on new understandings and insights concerning the presence and relevance of African immigrant religious communities in the United States. It explores the profound significance of religion in the lives of immigrants and the relevance of these growing communities for U.S. social life. It describes key social and historical aspects of African immigrant religion in the U.S. and builds a conceptual framework for theory and analysis. The volume broadens our understandings of the ways in which new immigration is changing the face of Christianity in the U.S. and adds needed breadth to the study of the black church, incorporating the experiences of African immigrant religious communities in America.