Back from Atlanta: More Books and Better Relationships ~ Praxis Habitus - On Race Religion & Culture

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back from Atlanta: More Books and Better Relationships

Just returned from the annual meetings of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the American Sociological Association in Atlanta, a "two-fer" that gives the meetings a turbocharged schedule.
Midtown Atlanta, Peachtree Street.Ray Devlin via Flickr
This year's meetings were once again full of wonderful experiences including sessions on theory, race, and ethnography, and plenty of interaction on a range of issues in religion both domestic and international. An author-meets-critics session with Christian Smith over his new book Souls in Transition was a wonderful highlight, as well as a nice exchange between emerging church leaders Doug Pagitt, Tim Hartman, and Troy Bronsink, along with anthropologist James Bielo who is currently writing a book on the emerging church to be published with New York University Press.

I was part of several other sessions including an "Engaged Scholars" panel that included Margarita Mooney (UNC Chapel Hill), Kathleen Jenkins (William and Mary), and Sascha Goluboff (Washington and Lee) talking about aspects of opportunity and challenge for faculty working among religious communities as well as a fascinating session that combined reflections on citizenship, place, bodies, and religious identity with Lynn Davidman, Nurit Stadler, and Kevin McElmurry with Mary Jo Neitz offering brief commentary.

Besides sessions, the book exhibit was rich for me. William Roy's new book Reds, Whites, and Blues provides an important reflection on music and race that will be required reading in the coming weeks for the book I'm writing. Add The Entrepreneurial Group, also from Princeton University Press, which fits into new research I'm preparing with the oh-so-smart Kevin Dougherty at Baylor that emphasizes that entrepreneurs are not lone actors accomplishing brilliant strategic vision but rather are immersed in social relationships that allow their entrepreneurialism to flourish. (No inclusion of religion there -- Stay tuned as our project focused on innovation and entreprenuership among church leaders develops).

books in a stack (a stack of books)austinevan via FlickrAdd to that a stack of wonderful new books including several I recommend to you: Jesus, Jobs, and Justice; The History of White People; When a Heart Turns Rock Solid; The Word of the Lord is Upon Me: The Righteous Performance of Martin Luther King Jr.; a new set of lectures on Social Theory by Hans Joas; and Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond. Those are some that I took home, but more are coming in the mail including Max Weber in America; Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School; and a rich little book by Martha Nussbaum titled, From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law (the actual book info here). Yep - the annual book haul was awesome this year!

Finally, great chance to meet up with friends, charming and bright to a person. And I appreciate several new friends I met along the way. The next big meeting is the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion being held in Baltimore this year. I'm already looking forward to it.

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