Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Reviews Hollywood Faith ~ Praxis Habitus - On Race Religion & Culture

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Reviews Hollywood Faith

It's been about eight months since my book Hollywood Faithhas been out, and that means the academic reviews are only just beginning to appear.  

Today I am grateful to professor Kathleen Jenkins, sociologist at The College of William and Mary, whose articulate review of my book is available in this month's Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.  Jenkins authored her own fascinating book Awesome Families: The Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ.  

Here are snippets from her review. 

Book Review of Hollywood Faith
From Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion June 2009 

Hollywood Faith is an engaging ethnography that makes multiple contributions to the sociology of contemporary U.S. religion. 

Oasis is the epitome of what scholars have recently named "new paradigm" churches, especially in its creative use of contemporary culture. 

Drawing from current studies in work and occupations, Marti locates the majority of Oasis members as creative workers whose occupations leave their employment contingent and often exploitative. 

Members are offered a new purpose and fresh identity; through worship and church relationships, individuals come to believe that they are not alone as they engage in self promotion. Instead, personal fame takes a back seat to a common Christian moral purpose. 

We feel the power of collective worship, music especially, as rejuvenating ritual. 

Hollywood provocative in suggesting how contemporary religious organizations might help members negotiate and manage uncertain and exploitative labor markets. 

Additionally, the chapters on Hollywood and evangelicalism will certainly be of importance to anyone interested in media and religion. 

Finally, the careful attention to congregational dynamics and how they support a multiracial congregation make this a valuable addition to literature on religion, race, and ethnicity.
-- Kathleen E. Jenkins, The College of William and Mary

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