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Prayer Is a Place: America's Religious Landscape Observedby Phyllis Tickle
Synopses & Reviews
A leading authority on religion and spirituality in America recounts the changes she witnessed from 1992-2004, a period she compares to the tumultuous years of the Reformation and Peri-Reformation in Europe.
As the founding editor of the religion department of Publishers Weekly, Phyllis Tickle was a key figure in bringing discussions about religion into the nations cultural and intellectual mainstream. Prayer Is a Place is her insightful first-person account of the people she has met and the trends she has observed over twelve crucial years of change in American religion.
Tickle writes about her face-to-face meetings with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Chief Mullah of Jerusalem; describes speeches and conferences that redefined traditional religions; and chronicles the birth of new approaches to religion and spirituality. The result is a fascinating overview of the reconfiguration of religion in America and its impact on our culture.
In charting the changes, passions and innovations that have occurred, Tickle remains a clear-eyed, unbiased and sympathetic observer. From her lively reminiscences of the 1003 Parliament of the Worlds Religions—a seminal gathering of Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists—to an intriguing look at the rise of Gnosticism in the country to a cogent analysis of the spirituality movements that swept through America during the last decades of the twentieth century, Prayer Is a Place reminds readers that reverence can be expressed in many different forms and in many different settings.
"With agility and amazing breadth, Tickle (The Divine Hours) recounts her journey as Publishers Weekly's founding religion editor. The book (whose title is perhaps inadequate) begins and ends with Tickle's own story — from her early days in academia to receiving the surprising call to head PW's new religion department to later physical trauma and illness that required a change of role. In between, Tickle gives readers a history of religion publishing since 1993, a decade which took the religion section from the 'ill-lighted, back left corner' of most bookstores to prominence as one of the fastest-growing industry segments. Religion, as seen through the lens of publishing, is traced through what Tickle deems a modern-day reformation made possible, in part, by the 'democratization of theology' — the availability and abundance of theological information. Tracking this reformation is a momentous undertaking, including myriad intellectual developments — gnosticism and New Age thinking, the spread of Buddhism, the mysticism and 'noncontrarianism' of Gen-Xers — as well as populist forces, such as critiques of church doctrine, academic movements, autobiographies, popular fiction and even film. However, the subject matter is lightened by intimate glimpses of Tickle's life and faith — of spinning with Sufi dervishes, of finding release in the song of a Jewish cantor, of a poignant 'ordination' moment in the Holocaust museum. In the end, the history of religion publishing and Tickle's own story intermingle, and readers may feel that neither tale is completely told. However, many are sure to embrace this often vulnerable recounting of the development of religion publishing from one of its most beloved figures. (June 21)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A leading authority on religion and spirituality in America, Tickle has been a key figure in bringing discussions about religion into the nation's cultural and intellectual mainstream. This is her first-person account of the people she's met and the trends she has observed over the last 12 years.
About the Author
PHYLLIS TICKLE was, until recently, religion editor and editor at large at Publishers Weekly, the leading trade publication in the publishing industry. The author of more than two dozen books, including The Shaping of a Life, The Divine Hours, Eastertide, and Christmastide, she lives on The Farm In Lucy, near Memphis, Tennessee.
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Religion » Comparative Religion » Scripture and Prayer
Religion » Spirituality » Prayer
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