Theravada is one of the three main branches of Buddhism. In Asia it is practiced widely in Thailand, Laos, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. This fascinating ethnography opens a window onto two communities of Theravada Buddhists in contemporary America: one outside Philadelphia that is composed largely of Thai immigrants and one outside Boston that consists mainly of white converts.
Wendy Cadge first provides a historical overview of Theravada Buddhism and considers its specific origins here in the United States. She then brings her findings to bear on issues of personal identity, immigration, cultural assimilation, and the nature of religion in everyday life. Her work is the first systematic comparison of the ways in which immigrant and convert Buddhists understand, practice, and adapt the Buddhist tradition in America. The men and women whom Cadge meets and observes speak directly to us in this work, both in their personal testimonials and as they meditate, pray, and practice Buddhism.
Creative and insightful, Heartwood will be of enormous value to sociologists of religion and anyone wishing to understand the rise of Buddhism in the Western world.
How do people practice religion in their everyday lives? How do our daily encounters with people who hold different religious beliefs shape the way we understand our own moral and spiritual selves? In Heaven's Kitchen, Courtney Bender takes a highly original approach to answering these questions. For more than a year she worked in New York City as a volunteer for a nonprofit, nonreligious organization called God's Love We Deliver, helping to prepare home-cooked meals for people with AIDS. Paying close attention to what was said and not said, Bender traces how the volunteers gave voice to their moral positions and religious values. She also examines how they invested their conversations, and mundane activities such as cooking, with personal meaning that in turn affected how they saw their own spiritual lives. Filled with vibrant storytelling and rich theoretical insights, Heaven's Kitchen shows faith as a living practice, reshaping our understanding of the role of religion in contemporary American life.
The High Middle Ages
Kari Elisabeth Børresen SBL Press, 2015 Library of Congress BS521.4.H54 2015 | Dewey Decimal 220.0820902
An international collection of ecumenical, gender-sensitive interpretations
The latest volume in the Bible and Women series examines the relationship between women and the Bible's reception in the centuries of the High and Late Middle Ages in Europe. Contributors bring a variety of new insights to questions of how women of the Bible were treated in literary, mystical, and doctrinal texts as well as in art and music. Though the Bible was used to legitimize the subordination of women to men and to exclude them from power, during this period women produced works of theology and biblical interpretation. Contributors include Gemma Avenoza, Marina Benedetti, Dinora Corsi, Maria Laura Giordano, Elisabeth Gössmann, Maria Leticia Sánchez Hernández, Hildegund Keul, Linda Maria Koldau, Martina Kreidler-Kos, Rita Librandi, Gary Macy, Constant J. Mews, Magda Motté, Rosa María Parrinello, María Isabel Toro Pascua, Claudia Poggi, Carmel Posa, Marina Santini, Valeria Ferrari Schiefer, Andrea Taschl-Erber, Adriana Valerio, and Paola Vitolo.
Essays on the treatment of women in commentaries and didactic moral literature written by men
Close study of women as scholars and interpreters of the Bible from the twelfth through the fifteen centuries
Twenty-one essays from twenty-three scholars from around the world
This book provides the very first in-depth analysis of the founding decades of a major Hillel chapter in the United States. Hillel at the University of Michigan was founded in 1926 as the fourth such chapter in the United States following its establishment at three other public universities in the Midwest: Illinois (1923); Wisconsin (1924); Ohio State (1925).
The study analyzes Hillel's challenges as a big-tent, catch-all institution trying to represent all Jewish students on campus regardless of their religious orientation, cultural preferences, and ideological predilections. It looks at Hillel's interactions with the then powerful Jewish fraternities and sororities that provided the main locus of Jewish life on campus at the time, as well as its relations with the University's leadership and many of its cultural and political constituencies. Most of these activities occurred at a time when anti-Semitism was rife in the United States, particularly in the larger Detroit area, home to Henry Ford and Father Charles Edward Coughlin.
History and Presence
Robert A. Orsi Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress BV825.3.O76 2016 | Dewey Decimal 234.163
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year
Beginning with metaphysical debates in the sixteenth century over the nature of Christ’s presence in the host, the distinguished historian and scholar of religion Robert Orsi imagines an alternative to the future of religion that early moderns proclaimed was inevitable.
“Orsi’s evoking of the full reality of the holy in the world is extremely moving, shot through with wonder and horror.” —Caroline Walker Bynum, Common Knowledge
“This is a meticulously researched, humane, and deeply challenging book. The men and women studied in this book do not belong to ‘a world we have lost.’ They belong to a world we have lost sight of.” —Peter Brown, Princeton University
“[A] brilliant, theologically sophisticated exploration of the Catholic experience of God’s presence through the material world… On every level—from its sympathetic, honest, and sometimes moving ethnography to its astute analytical observations—this book is a scholarly masterpiece.” —A. W. Klink, Choice
“Orsi recaptures God’s breaking into the world … The book does an excellent job of explaining both the difficulties and values inherent in recognizing God in the world.” —Publishers Weekly
“This book is classic Orsi: careful, layered, humane, and subtle…a thought-provoking, expertly arranged tour of precisely those abundant, excessive phenomena which scholars have historically found so difficult to think.” —Sonja Anderson, Reading Religion