Patrick Lee surveys the main philosophical arguments in favor of the moral permissibility of abortion and refutes them point by point. In a calm and philosophically sophisticated manner, he presents a powerful case for the pro-life position and a serious challenge to all of the main philosophical arguments on behalf of the pro-choice position.
Jimmy Creech, a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina, was visited one morning in 1984 by Adam, a longtime parishioner whom he liked and respected. Adam said that he was gay, and that he was leaving The United Methodist Church, which had just pronounced that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” could not be ordained. He would not be part of a community that excluded him. Creech found himself instinctively supporting Adam, telling him that he was sure that God loved and accepted him as he was. Adam’s Gift is Creech’s inspiring first-person account of how that conversation transformed his life and ministry.
Adam’s visit prompted Creech to re-evaluate his belief that homosexuality was a sin, and to research the scriptural basis for the church’s position. He determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been botched and dangerously distorted. As a Christian, Creech came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, which conflicted with church directives. Creech was tried twice by The United Methodist Church, and, after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked. Adam’s Gift is a moving story and an important chapter in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil and human rights.
What happens to us after we die? What is heaven like? How do angels live? In his classic work Heaven and Hell, Swedish visionary Emanuel Swedenborg gives readers a detailed road map to the afterlife, describing the process that our soul goes through after death, the nature of heaven and hell, angels and demons, all in meticulous detail. Afterlife is an abridged version of Heaven and Hell, with passages specially chosen to highlight the essence of Swedenborg's work.
“Citizenship is salvation,” preached Noble Drew Ali, leader of the Moorish Science Temple of America in the early twentieth century. Ali’s message was an aspirational call for black Americans to undertake a struggle for recognition from the state, one that would both ensure protection for all Americans through rights guaranteed by the law and correct the unjust implementation of law that prevailed in the racially segregated United States. Ali and his followers took on this mission of citizenship as a religious calling, working to carve out a place for themselves in American democracy and to bring about a society that lived up to what they considered the sacred purpose of the law.
In The Aliites, Spencer Dew traces the history and impact of Ali’s radical fusion of law and faith. Dew uncovers the influence of Ali’s teachings, including the many movements they inspired. As Dew shows, Ali’s teachings demonstrate an implicit yet critical component of the American approach to law: that it should express our highest ideals for society, even if it is rarely perfect in practice. Examining this robustly creative yet largely overlooked lineage of African American religious thought, Dew provides a window onto religion, race, citizenship, and law in America.
Fresh new perspectives on the study of religion, ranging from a church-architecture mecca of Southeast Indiana to what an atheist parent believes
American Examples: New Conversations about Religion, Volume One is the first in a series of annual anthologies published in partnership with the Department of Religious Studies at The University of Alabama. The American Examples initiative gathers scholars from around the world for a series of workshops designed to generate big questions about the study of religion in America. Bypassing traditional white Protestant narratives in favor of new perspectives on belief, social formation, and identity, American Examples fellows offer dynamic perspectives on American faith that challenge our understandings of both America and religion as categories.
In the first volume of this exciting academic project, five topically and methodologically diverse scholars vividly reimagine the potential applications of religious history. The five chapters of this inaugural volume use case studies from America, broadly conceived, to ask larger theoretical questions that are of interest to scholars beyond the subfield of American religious history.
Prea Persaud’s chapter explores the place of Hinduism among the “creole religions” of the Caribbean, while Hannah Scheidt captures what atheist parents say to each other about value systems. Travis Warren Cooper explains how the modernist church architecture of Columbus, Indiana, became central to that city’s identity. Samah Choudhury dissects how Muslim American comedians navigate Western ideas of knowledge and self to make their jokes, and their own selves legible, and Emily D. Crews uses ethnographic fieldwork to read the female reproductive body among Nigerian Pentecostal congregations. Editor Michael J. Altman also provides a brief, rich introduction assessing the state of the discipline of religious history and how the American Examples project can lead the field forward.
Visit americanexamples.ua.edu for more information on the group and news about upcoming projects.
From 1979 to 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was mired in conflict, with the biblicist and autonomist parties fighting openly for control. This highly polarizing struggle ended in a schism that created major changes within the SBC and also resulted in the formation of several new Baptist groups. Discussions of the schism, academic and otherwise, generally ignore the church’s clergywomen for the roles they played and the contributions they made to the fracturing of the largest Protestant group in the United States. Ordained women are typically treated as a contentious issue between the parties. Only recently are scholars beginning to take seriously these women’s contributions and interpretations as active participants in the struggle.
Anatomy of a Schism is the first book on the Southern Baptist split to place ordained women’s narratives at the center of interpretation. Author Eileen Campbell-Reed brings her unique perspective as a pastoral theologian in conducting qualitative interviews with five Baptist clergywomen and allowing their narratives to focus attention on both psychological and theological issues of the split. The stories she uncovers offer a compelling new structure for understanding the path of Southern Baptists at the close of the twentieth century. The narratives of Anna, Martha, Joanna, Rebecca, and Chloe reframe the story of Southern Baptists and reinterpret the rupture and realignment in broad and significant ways. Together they offer an understanding of the schism from three interdisciplinary perspectives—gendered, psychological, and theological—not previously available together. In conversation with other historical events and documents, the women’s narratives collaborate to provide specific perspectives with universal implications for understanding changes in Baptist life over the last four decades.
The schism’s outcomes held profound consequences for Baptist individuals and communities. Anatomy of Schism is an illuminating ethnographic and qualitative study sure to be indispensable to scholars of theology, history, and women’s studies alike.
How do mothers reconcile conflicting loyalties--to their religious traditions, and to the daughters whose freedoms are also constrained by those traditions? Searching for answers, Tova Hartman Halbertal interviewed mothers of teenage daughters in religious communities: Catholics in the United States, Orthodox Jews in Israel.
Sounding surprisingly alike, both groups described conscious struggles between their loyalties and talked about their attempts to make sense of and pass on their multiple commitments. They described accommodations and rationalizations and efforts to make small changes where they felt that their faith unjustly subordinated women. But often they did not feel they could tell their daughters how troubled they were. To keep their daughters safe within the protective culture of their ancestors, the mothers had to hide much of themselves in the hope that their daughters would know them more completely in the future.
Moving and unique, this book illuminates one of the moral questions of our time--how best to protect children and preserve community, without being imprisoned by tradition.
Denounced by some as a dangerous cult and lauded by others as a miraculous faith community, the International Churches of Christ was a conservative evangelical Christian movement that grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s.
Among its followers, promises to heal family relationships were central to the group's appeal. Members credit the church for helping them develop so-called "awesome families"-successful marriages and satisfying relationships with children, family of origin, and new church "brothers and sisters." The church engaged an elaborate array of services, including round-the-clock counseling, childcare, and Christian dating networks-all of which were said to lead to fulfilling relationships and exciting sex lives. Before the unified movement's demise in 2003-2004, the lure of blissful family-life led more than 100,000 individuals worldwide to be baptized into the church.
In Awesome Families, Kathleen Jenkins draws on four years of ethnographic research to explain how and why so many individuals-primarily from middle- to upper-middle-class backgrounds-were attracted to this religious group that was founded on principles of enforced community, explicit authoritative relationships, and therapeutic ideals. Weaving classical and contemporary social theory, she argues that members were commonly attracted to the structure and practice of family relationships advocated by the church, especially in the context of contemporary society where gender roles and family responsibilities are often ambiguous.
Tracing the rise and fall of this fast-growing religious movement, this timely study adds to our understanding of modern society and offers insight to the difficulties that revivalist movements have in sustaining growth.