Synopses & Reviews
"This book is an important contribution. Written in an engaging style and filled with highly instructive material, it provides an impressive picture of what is arguably the most dynamic religious phenomenon of our time: the worldwide explosion of Pentecostalism. Miller and Yamamori deftly reveal how religion is effecting societies and cultures around the globe."Peter L. Berger, Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University
"Miller and Yamamori are explorers bringing word to the First World of a large Third World religious development that, until now, has barely broken the surface of our awareness. This book marks the beginning of what will be a large and significant discussion."Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize winner for God: A Biography
"Global Pentecostalism is immensely important, informative, and readable. The scope of the research is also amazingly impressive. The simultaneously wide-ranging and yet grass-rootsy empirical data collection provides a truly unique character for the book."Christian Smith, author of Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers
"Global Pentecostalism is beautifully written and friendly to an audience of practitioners as well as to academic and professional researchers. The empirical research is unprecedented, and the volume will stand alone in the marketplace."Doug Petersen, Margaret S. Smith Professor of Intercultural Studies, Vanguard University
“An informative and highly readable account that puts faces and names on what is quickly becoming the major expression of Christianity around the globe.”
“Offers scholarly precision and journalistic engagement, not a fast and easy series of happy stories—but it's worth the effort.”
“This book is a delight to read. The sense that you are discovering a new and exciting spiritual movement inhabits every page.”
“This is a highly recommended and readable book.”
“An elegant reimagining of the relationship between science and spirituality.. . . . Challenges the assumption that science and religion are implacable foes.”
“The most striking aspect . . . . is the passion that Adam Frank displays in writing about his experience as a scientist.”
“Franks book is most interesting; it is an easy read.”
Light years beyond the stale standoff between uninspired scientific materialism and unscientific intelligent design. “ (STARRED REVIEW)
How and why is Christianity's center of gravity shifting to the developing world? To understand this rapidly growing phenomenon, Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori spent four years traveling the globe conducting extensive on-the-ground research in twenty different countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. The result is this vividly detailed book and accompanying online material, which together contain the most comprehensive information available on Pentecostalism, the fastest-growing religion in the world. Rich with scenes from everyday life, Miller and Yamamori dispel many stereotypes about this religion as they build a wide-ranging, nuanced portrait of a major new social movement. The online ancillary material features footage of Pentecostal religious worship, testimony, and social activism, and includes interviews with Pentecostal pastors and leaders from around the world.
Finally, social scientists have begun to attempt to understand religious behavior rather than to discredit it as irrational, ignorant, or foolishand#151;and Rodney Stark and Roger Finke have played a major role in this new approach. Acknowledging that science cannot assess the supernatural side of religion (and therefore should not claim to do so), Stark and Finke analyze the observable, human side of faith. In clear and engaging prose, the authors combine explicit theorizing with animated discussions as they move from considering the religiousness of individuals to the dynamics of religious groups and then to the religious workings of entire societies as religious groups contend for support. The result is a comprehensive new paradigm for the social-scientific study of religion.
"Acts of Faith
is the single 'big book' in the sociology of religion in the past decade, a monumental effort that both demolishes old theories and creates brilliant new ones. Stark and Finke have mastered the literature in the field, gathered ingenious data analysis to sustain their positions, and presented their work with flair, imagination, and brilliance. Though it is quite impossible to turn around the social science profession completely with a single book, or indeed within a single decade, these two authors have achieved a powerful beginning in this task. This landmark publication marks a turning point."and#151;Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago
"This book is a major next step in developing the sociology of religion's 'new paradigm'--an important summary of the evolving 'religious economies' theory. Stark and Finke's spirited deconstruction of antireligious secularization theories and other theories of 'irrational' religion is simply delightful. And its own constructive theory offers a valuable resource for those friendly to the rational choice approach to religion, as well as a continuing challenge to its critics."and#151;Christian Smith, University of North Carolina
Eloquent, urgent, and inspiring, The Constant Fire tackles the acrimonious debate between science and religion, taking us beyond its stagnant parameters into the wider domain of human spiritual experience. From a Neolithic archaeological site in Ireland to modern theories of star formation, Adam Frank traverses a wide terrain, broadening our sights and allowing us to imagine an alternative perspective. Drawing from his experience as a practicing astrophysicist and from the writings of the great scholars of religion, philosophy, and mythology, Frank locates the connective tissue linking science and religiontheir commonality as sacred pursuitsand finds their shared aspiration in pursuit of "the True and the Real." Taking us from the burning of Giordano Bruno in 1600 to Einstein and on to today's pressing issues of global warming and resource depletion, The Constant Fire shows us how to move beyond this stale debate into a more profound experience of the world as sacreda world that embraces science without renouncing human spirituality.
"The Constant Fire
is brave and worthy. It takes great courage to write this book; not many scientists, at least the serious, research-active ones like Frank, would reveal their deep spiritual connection to their work. I believe this is an important and timely book."Marcelo Gleiser, author of The Prophet and the Astronomer: A Scientific Journey to the End of Time
"The dialogue between religion and science has never been as important as it is today, and Adam Frank's The Constant Fire takes that dialogue in new directions. This is a unique contribution to our understanding human creativity in both science and religion."Richard D. Hecht, University of California, Santa Barbara
"In the midst of increasing polarization in discussions about science and religion, as well as political aspects of both, it is a relief to encounter a voice of reason that at the same time articulates a sensitivity and sensibility sorely lacking in so many discussions nowadays."Piet Hut, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Why do religion and science often appear in conflict in Americaandrsquo;s public sphere? Inand#160;Seeking Good Debate, Michael S. Evans examines the results from the first-ever study to combine large-scale empirical analysis of some of our foremost religion and science debates with in-depth research into what Americans actually want in the public sphere. The surprising finding is that apparent conflicts involving religion and science reflect a more fundamental conflict between media elites and ordinary Americans over what is good debate. For elite representatives, good debate advances an agenda, but, as Evans shows, for many Americans it is defined by engagement and deliberation. This hidden conflict over what constitutes debateandrsquo;s proper role diminishes the possibility for science and religion to be discussed meaningfully in public life. Challenging our understanding of science, religion, and conflict, Seeking Good Debate raises profound questions about the future of the public sphere and American democracy.
About the Author
Donald Miller, Professor of Religion and Executive Director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, is the author of Reinventing American Protestantism (UC Press) and editor of Gen X Religion, among other books. Tetsunao Yamamori, President Emeritus of Food for the Hungry International and Senior Fellow of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, is the author and editor of two dozen books including Exploring Religious Meaning and Penetrating Missions' Final Frontier.
Table of Contents
Prologue: House of the Rising Sun
PART I. THE MAP: REIMAGINING SCIENCE, MYTH, AND THE SACRED
Chapter 1. The Roots of Conflict: Science and Religion before Divorce
Chapter 2. The Conflict We Know: Religion, Science, and the Modern World
Chapter 3. Science and the Sacred: Telescopes, Microscopes, and Hierophanies
Chapter 4. Not the God You Pray To: The Varieties of Scientists' Religious Experience
Chapter 5. Science, Myth, and Sacred Narratives: The Universe as Story
PART II. THE TERRAIN: SACRED NARRATIVES IN SCIENCE AND MYTH
Chapter 6. The Origin of Everything: Big Bangs, the Multiverse, and the Parade of Ants
Chapter 7. The Deluge This Time: Climate Change and Flood Myths
PART III. A NEW PATH TO THE WATERFALL: SCIENCE, MYTH, TRUTH, AND THE FUTURE
Chapter 8. Music of the Spheres: Truth, Myth, and Science
Chapter 9. A Need Born of Fire: Mythos, Ethos, and Humanity's Most Dangerous Century
Epilogue: Fire in the Open Mind