Religious Innovation in a Global Age

Essays on the Construction of Spirituality


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About the Book

Certain timeless questions rise and fall through changing social conditions, scientific advances, and cultural variation—who am I? How should I live? What happens when I die? In modern society, traditions no longer integrate the individual into a larger spiritual community, and so movements have risen to address the crisis of meaning in a rapidly changing world. This collection of essays, while considering variables of work, class, race, and gender, theoretically and empirically examines how diverse groups are trying to restore a sense of meaning through religious innovation.

The first group of essays considers new developments in theory, framing critical inquiry into recent developments in religion and the larger quest for meaning. The second section examines grass roots emancipation movements, which seek an expanded role for the individual in both belief and practice. Topics addressed include the dialectic between religious and secular values and norms, anti–Semitism, new evangelism, Neopaganism on the internet, Max Horkheimer’s critical theory of religion, Christian speed/thrash metal music, Islamic fundamentalism, modernity and the role of women, French tourist destination Rocamadour’s competition between the Catholic shrine and secular attractions, developments within the Polish Roman Catholic Church, the Finnish Satanism scare of 1999, and Islam and politics in Turkey. A bibliography completes each essay.
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About the Author(s)

George N. Lundskow is an assistant professor of Sociology at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by George N. Lundskow

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 298
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1977-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0945-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      vii

Introduction      1


1. Surplus, Excess, Waste, Leftovers, and Remainders: The Dialectic of Productive Functions, Antisemitism, and the Vicissitudes of Social Forces      7

2. The Open Dialectic Between Religious and Secular Values and Norms: The Course of Civilization in the 21st Century      37

3. Spirituality and Social Character: The Case of New Evangelicalism and Neopaganism      69

4. A Critique of the Ambiguity of Bourgeois Religion: Max Horkheimer’s Critical Theory of Religion      97


5. Apocalyptic Unbound: An Interpretation of Christian Speed/Thrash Metal Music      117

6. Islamic Fundamentalism, Modernity, and the Role of Women      138

7. Legion of Small Knights: Informal Movements within the Polish Roman Catholic Church      160

8. Religionizing Crime: Ethos and Action in the Construction of the Finnish Satanism Scare      176

9. There’s No Place Like Home.html: Neopaganism on the Internet      199

10. Religious Conflict in the Periphery: Islam and Politics in Turkey      228

11. The Virgin Mary Versus the Monkeys      247

12. Martyrdom and Violence in Sikhism: The Transfer of Embodied Experience through Witnessing      258

13. Catholicism Recycled: The New Age in Poland      270

About the Contributors      283

Index      287