Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life

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OUP USA, Oct 3, 2013 - Religion - 376 pages
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Nancy Tatom Ammerman examines the stories Americans tell of their everyday lives, from dinner table to office and shopping mall to doctor's office, about the things that matter most to them and the routines they take for granted, and the times and places where the everyday and ordinary meet the spiritual. In addition to interviews and observation, Ammerman bases her findings on a photo elicitation exercise and oral diaries, offering a window into the presence and absence of religion and spirituality in ordinary lives and in ordinary physical and social spaces. The stories come from a diverse array of ninety-five Americans — both conservative and liberal Protestants, African American Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Wiccans, and people who claim no religious or spiritual proclivities — across a range that stretches from committed religious believers to the spiritually neutral. Ammerman surveys how these people talk about what spirituality is, how they seek and find experiences they deem spiritual, and whether and how religious traditions and institutions are part of their spiritual lives.
 

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Contents

1 In Search of Religion in Everyday Life
1
What Are We Talking About?
23
3 Spiritual Practices in Everyday Life
56
4 Religious Communities and Spiritual Conversations
91
5 Everyday Life at Home
128
Spiritual Presence at Work
171
Circles of Spiritual Presence and Absence
212
Health Illness and Mortality
250
Appendix 1 Participants and Their Religious Communities
305
Appendix 2 Coding and Analyzing Stories
309
Appendix 3 Research Protocols
313
Notes
323
Bibliography
341
Index of Participants By Pseudonym
367
General Index
369
Copyright

Toward a Sociology of Religion in Everyday Life
288

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About the author (2013)


Nancy Ammerman is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University, where she teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Theology. She has written award-winning books on America's conservative religious movements and on the role of religious organizations in community life.

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