Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Highly Recommended" - CHOICE Reviews - Worship across the Racial Divide

More feedback continues to come from Worship across the Racial Divide. This one comes from CHOICE Reviews:

49-5448ML39212011-18782 CIP
Humanities \ General

Marti, Gerardo.  Worship across the racial divide: religious music and the multiracial congregation.  Oxford, 2012.  266p bibl index afp ISBN 0-19-539297-3, $29.95; ISBN9780195392975, $29.95. Reviewed in 2012jun CHOICE.

This book is more scientifically grounded in research and study than the title suggests. Marti (sociology, Davidson College) spent more than two years studying the hypothesis that music and worship play an essential role in stimulating diversity in congregations. He found that the hypothesis is incorrect, and that though music and worship are important in multiethnic/multiracial congregations, what is important is not the performance of the service but rather the practices that surround the congregation in the absorption and production of the music. The author devotes a great deal of space to examining the sociological perspective of worship from a practice-based application. He tears down preconceived notions in contemporary worship scholarship about achieving racial diversity and a universal worship experience and about how churches need to focus on their structural practices if they wish to achieve diversity and ethnicity in their congregations. A scholarly, thought-provoking examination of this topic.

Summing Up:
 Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.
 -- B. L. Eden, Valparaiso University

Monday, June 25, 2012

5 Stars for "Worship across the Racial Divide" from Christianity Today

Christianity Today has chosen to review my newest book Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation.  In addition to the enthusiastic review from Michael Emerson, a leading scholar of race and religion, the CT editors gave the book a full 5 stars. 

The review (and comments from readers) can be found here

Friday, April 20, 2012

Research on Multiracial Congregations that Does Not Yet Exist

I recently revisited an article I wrote published in 2010.  It struck me that the title of this brief article does not anticipate that nearly one-third describes the type of research we need on multiracial congregations that does not yet exist

Research on Multiracial Congregations that Does Not Yet Exist

First, we should expand more widely the scope of “diversity” examined in diverse congregations to more actively incorporate a broader scope of cultural experiences and ancestral backgrounds.
Second, we should pursue a more inclusive range of diverse congregations and avoid treating “multiracial churches” as a homogenous category; clearly, they are not.
Third, we should focus more attention on non-Christian congregations. 
St. Martin's Episcopal ChurchSt. Martin's Episcopal Church (Photo credit: joseph a)
Fourth, we should isolate significant arenas of diversification and investigate contemporary initiatives for diversification (and rigorous research will likely identify intriguing ironies and contradictions).
Fifth, we should exercise greater caution in our use of racial and ethnic categories as well as become better prepared for working through new and changing “multiracial identities.”
Finally, we should expand the use of multiracial churches as strategic arenas for data collection to address other interesting and important social dynamics.   

These suggestions--with expanded discussion and a number of relevant citations from research research--can be found here.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

The Diverse Church as Musical Production

Reviews are beginning to come in for my new book Worship across the Racial Divide. The latest one is right here.

Review of Worship across the Racial Divide by Franklin Golden

A very special thanks to Franklin Golden, co-pastor of Durham Presbyterian Church who posted a very nice, very concise summary and response to my new book at the Faith and Leadership Blog at Duke Divinity.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Author Reading: Worship across the Racial Divide ~ Ch 3

Continuing a series of readings from my new book "Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation" published with Oxford University Press. These feature short previews of each chapter and introduce you to some of the insights from the book.

From Part 1 "Confronting Popular Notions of Race and Worship", here's the beginning of Chapter 3 on African Americans as the Icon of "True Worship" in diverse churches.

The reading from the beginning of the book, Chapter 1, is here. Chapter 2 is here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hunger Games & Worship across the Racial Divide

Thanks to Sojourner's Magazine, I'm cool again. My book Worship across the Racial Divide is featured as "New and Noteworthy" on the same page as an article on the blockbuster Hunger Games.

New & Noteworthy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Author Reading: Worship across the Racial Divide ~ Ch 2

I'm continuing a series of readings from my new book "Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation." These feature short previews of each chapter and introduce you to some of the insights from the book.

From Part 1 "Confronting Popular Notions of Race and Worship", here's the beginning of Chapter 2.

The reading from the beginning of the book, Chapter 1, is here.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Worship across the Racial Divide: An Interview with Gerardo Marti

Historian and friend Paul Harvey posted at the Religion and American History blog a nice little interview with me about my book Worship across the Racial Divide.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, it will be divided into a set of two posts.

The exchange includes a brief reflection on the relationship between the disciplines of history and sociology. Even more, these brief exchanges provide a glimpse into the core arguments of the book.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Author Reading: Worship across the Racial Divide

Starting today, I'm going to do a series of readings from my new book "Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation." These will feature short previews of each chapter and introduce you to some of the insights from the book.

So, here's the beginning of the book, from Chapter 1.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kony 2012 Tells Us What We Care About

By now, most of you know about Kony 2012, the 30 minute video gone viral. So many people have seen it, and the commentaries are multiplying.

But what does this massive sharing of links tell us about Americans?

Over at the Patheos blog Black, White, and Gray, I wrote a brief post -- Here’s my conclusion:
The campaign to “Stop Kony” is less about removing a brutal military overlord and more about what Americans showcase as their sacred values.
Read more here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Worship across the Racial Divide: A Response from Three Practitioners

My new book on the dynamics of worship and music in diverse congregations has been out for just a few short weeks, but thanks to Art Lucero the first reviews are now in.

Last week, three Christian music leaders, Josh Davis, Nikki Lerner, and Jeff McCourt, took time to write their own reactions to the book. I am so pleased with how carefully they read the book and the responses they gave:

Josh Davis wrote, "Marti clearly states that no one knows 'what manner of worship is best for stimulating and accelerating racial and ethnic diversity in churches.' Absolutely. There is no one-size-fits-all method or approach to multicultural worship."

Nikki Lerner wrote, "I could not agree more with his conclusions at the end of this book: As I continued to pursue my research, I came to understand that it is not the acoustics of musical style but rather the visible presence of diversity—a racialized ritual inclusion—that stimulates integration of different racial and ethnic groups into their churches [pg. 198]."

Jeff McCourt wrote, "Honestly, I argued with Dr. Marti most of the way through the book but was beginning to feel an openness to his perspective due to the thoroughness of his research..."

Each of them wrote much more, and they're worth reading for yourself. I also provided a brief response that you can see at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lilly Endowment ~ Congregational Studies Fellowship ~ Deadline Extended to February 1st

As a member of the Congregational Studies Team, I'm happy to pass along this opportunity for research and mentoring in the study of congregations (church, temple, mosque, etc.) -- 

Engaged Scholars Studying Congregations is a program of mentoring, networking, and study support funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. The Congregational Studies Team is pleased to announce the availability of Fellowships* to support scholars who are interested in disciplined inquiry into the life of local communities of faith. These 18-month fellowships include $18,000 in research support, plus $2000 for related travel. In addition, Fellowships include a program of mentoring by a senior-scholar coach and participation in two summer consultations that bring together the Fellows and coaches with the Team.

Applications are encouraged from scholars in a variety of disciplines — from practical theology to the social sciences, from history to biblical studies and contextual education — for projects that involve learning from and about living communities of faith. Fellows will explore avenues for making that knowledge available for the sake of those communities’ wellbeing, as well as developing strong academic contributions appropriate to their disciplines. Applicants should have completed their graduate work and be placed in a professional position at the time of application. We especially encourage early-career scholars to apply, but will consider applications from persons who have recently been tenured.

Note that the application deadline has been extended to 1 February 2012. For application information and instructions, visit www.hirr.hartsem.edu or contact the Engaged Scholars project office at Hartford Seminary (engagedscholars@hartsem.edu).

*This program is supported by a major grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. and is administered by the Congregational Studies Team: Nancy Ammerman, Anthea Butler, Bill McKinney, Omar McRoberts, Larry Mamiya, Gerardo Marti, Joyce Mercer, James Nieman (project director), Bob Schreiter, Steve Warner, and Jack Wertheimer.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Launch: Worship across the Racial Divide

Last year was great -- this year looks to be even better! The new year begins with the launch of my newest book, Worship across the Racial Divide (Oxford University Press).

A few highlights in January:

  1. For now, the Kindle version of Worship across the Racial Divide is on sale, reduced to just $9.99. Download your copy here!
  2. I'll be doing a video interview with Eric Bryant on January 11th. To sign up, you can either email Eric directly at eric.bryant@gatewaychurch.com with "Gerardo Interview" in the subject or simply visit us here at 4pm Wed., 1/11.
  3. On Tuesday January 17th, I will be a guest on NPR's Charlotte Talks radio show with Mike Collins. Joining me will be Naeem Fazal of Mosaic Church and Howard Brown of  Christ Central Church. You can listen online, or catch the show later.
  4. Thanks to a kind invitation from the Department of Sociology at Baylor University, on Thursday January 26th, I will be giving a public lecture with a presentation on some key findings from my research. Come say hello!
  5. Planning for Spring and Summer 2012 will continue including visits to Indiana University and University of California, Los Angeles. Hope to meet up with more people this coming year.