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Featured Religion in the Modern World Titles
In this section, are a number of books. The call number for these books where you can find these items on the shelf is listed alongside the books. Physical books can be checked out with your student ID. Additionally, eBook titles are hyperlinked are hyperlinked below so that you can easily access these titles online.
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- GENERAL - BX8695 .S6 B385 2014
On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood. At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting his own religion and creating his own "Golden Bible"--the Book of Mormon--he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He'd led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for president. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women. InAmerican Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation--the doctrine of polygamy--created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride. Mormonism is America's largest and most enduring native religion, and the "martyrdom" of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith's brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history.American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.
There seems to be no end to our fascination with the Amish, a religious minority that has both placed itself outside the mainstream of American culture and flourished within it. Yet most people know very little about the nuanced relationship the Amish have with society or their own communities. Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork and collaborative research, Steven M. Nolt's The Amish: A Concise Introduction is a compact but richly detailed portrait of Amish life. In fewer than 150 pages, readers will come away with a clear understanding of the complexities of these simple people. Writing in engaging and accessible language, Nolt explains how the Amish at once operate within modern America and stand very much apart from the world. Arguing that Amish life is shaped equally by internal and external social, political, and economic contexts, Nolt explores Amish identity as emerging from a complex cultural negotiation with modernity. He takes on much-hyped topics such as Rumspringa and reveals the distinctive Amish approach to technology. He also explains how Amish principles stand in contrast to contemporary American values, including rational efficiency, large-scale organization, and Western notions of individuality. Authoritative, informative, and illustrated, this guide provides a vivid introduction to a way of life many find fascinating but few truly understand.
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- GENERAL - BQ7935 .B774 B85 2014
Explore the common ground underlying the diverse expressions of the Buddha's teachings with two of Tibetan Buddhism's bestselling authors. Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from Tibetan caves to Tokyo temples to redwood retreats. To an outside viewer, it might be hard to see what they all have in common. In Buddhism, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and American Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron map out with clarity the convergences and the divergences between the two major strains of Buddhism--the Sanskrit traditions of Tibet and East Asia and the Pali traditions of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Especially deep consideration is given to the foundational Indian traditions and their respective treatment of such central tenets as the four noble truths the practice of meditation the meaning of nirvana enlightenment. The authors seek harmony and greater understanding among Buddhist traditions worldwide, illuminating the rich benefits of respectful dialogue and the many ways that Buddhists of all stripes share a common heritage and common goals.
The Church of Scientology by Hugh B. Urban
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BP605 .S2 U73 2011
Scientology is one of the wealthiest and most powerful new religions to emerge in the past century. To its detractors, L. Ron Hubbard's space-age mysticism is a moneymaking scam and sinister brainwashing cult. But to its adherents, it is humanity's brightest hope. Few religious movements have been subject to public scrutiny like Scientology, yet much of what is written about the church is sensationalist and inaccurate. Here for the first time is the story of Scientology's protracted and turbulent journey to recognition as a religion in the postwar American landscape. Hugh Urban tells the real story of Scientology from its cold war-era beginnings in the 1950s to its prominence today as the religion of Hollywood's celebrity elite. Urban paints a vivid portrait of Hubbard, the enigmatic founder who once commanded his own private fleet and an intelligence apparatus rivaling that of the U.S. government. One FBI agent described him as "a mental case," but to his followers he is the man who "solved the riddle of the human mind." Urban details Scientology's decades-long war with the IRS, which ended with the church winning tax-exempt status as a religion; the rancorous cult wars of the 1970s and 1980s; as well as the latest challenges confronting Scientology, from attacks by the Internet group Anonymous to the church's efforts to suppress the online dissemination of its esoteric teachings. The Church of Scientology demonstrates how Scientology has reflected the broader anxieties and obsessions of postwar America, and raises profound questions about how religion is defined and who gets to define it.
God: A Human history by Reza Aslan
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - BL473 .A85 2017
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity's quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God. In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large. In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, "Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we're believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves." But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature--our compassion, our thirst for justice--but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments. More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives. Praise for God "Tantalizing . . . Driven by [Reza] Aslan's grace and curiosity, God . . . helps us pan out from our troubled times, while asking us to consider a more expansive view of the divine in contemporary life."--The Seattle Times "A fascinating exploration of the interaction of our humanity and God."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "[Aslan's] slim, yet ambitious book [is] the story of how humans have created God with a capital G, and it's thoroughly mind-blowing."--Los Angeles Review of Books "Aslan is a born storyteller, and there is much to enjoy in this intelligent survey."--San Francisco Chronicle "Extraordinary . . . clear, concise [and] lively."--The Spectator
On the surface, it appears that little has changed for Amish youth in the past decade: children learn to work hard early in life, they complete school by age fourteen or fifteen, and a year or two later they begin Rumspringa--that brief period during which they are free to date and explore the outside world before choosing whether to embrace a lifetime of Amish faith and culture. But the Internet and social media may be having a profound influence on significant numbers of the Youngie, according to Richard A. Stevick, who says that Amish teenagers are now exposed to a world that did not exist for them only a few years ago. Once hidden in physical mailboxes, announcements of weekend parties are now posted on Facebook. Today, thousands of Youngie in large Amish settlements are dedicated smartphone and Internet users, forcing them to navigate carefully between technology and religion. Updated photographs throughout this edition of Growing Up Amish include a screenshot from an Amish teenager's Facebook page. In the second edition of Growing Up Amish, Stevick draws on decades of experience working with and studying Amish adolescents across the United States to produce this well-rounded, definitive, and realistic view of contemporary Amish youth. Besides discussing the impact of smartphones and social media usage, he carefully examines work and leisure, rites of passage, the rise of supervised youth groups, courtship rituals, weddings, and the remarkable Amish retention rate. Finally, Stevick contemplates the potential of electronic media to significantly alter traditional Amish practices, culture, and staying power.
Modern Satanism by Chris Mathews
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BF1548 .M38 2009
Mathews offers a history and analysis of modern Satanism and its many derivations.
The Mormon Quest for Glory by Melvyn Hammarberg
Call Number: GCC Main -- Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - BX8635.3 .H36 2013
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has 6 million members in the United States today (and 13 million worldwide). Yet, while there has been extensive study of Mormon history, comparatively little scholarly attention has been paid to contemporary Mormons. The best sociological studyof Mormon life, Thomas O'Dea's The Mormons, is now over fifty years old. What is it like to be a Mormon in America today? Melvyn Hammarberg attempts to answer this question by offering an ethnography of contemporary Mormons. In The Mormon Quest for Glory Hammarberg examines Mormon history, rituals, social organization, family connections, gender roles, artistic traditions, use of media, and missionary work. He writes as a sympathetic outsider who has studied Mormon life for decades, and strives to explain the religiousworld of the Latter-Day Saints through the lens of their own spiritual understanding. Drawing on a survey, participant observation, interviews, focus groups, attendance at religious gatherings, diaries, church periodicals, lesson manuals, and other church literature, Hammarberg aims to present acomprehensive picture of the religious world of the Latter-Day Saints.
New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements by Hugh B. Urban
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- GENERAL - BL2525 .U73 2015
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements is the most extensive study to date of modern American alternative spiritual currents. Hugh B. Urban covers a range of emerging religions from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, including the Nation of Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, ISKCON, Wicca, the Church of Satan, Peoples Temple, and the Branch Davidians. This essential text engages students by addressing major theoretical and methodological issues in the study of new religions and is organized to guide students in their learning. Each chapter focuses on one important issue involving a particular faith group, providing readers with examples that illustrate larger issues in the study of religion and American culture. Urban addresses such questions as, Why has there been such a tremendous proliferation of new spiritual forms in the past 150 years, even as our society has become increasingly rational, scientific, technological, and secular? Why has the United States become the heartland for the explosion of new religious movements? How do we deal with complex legal debates, such as the use of peyote by the Native American Church or the practice of plural marriage by some Mormon communities? And how do we navigate issues of religious freedom and privacy in an age of religious violence, terrorism, and government surveillance?
The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism by Michael Jerryson (Editor)
Call Number: GCC Main - REF - BQ4055 .O94 2017
As an incredibly diverse religious system, Buddhism is constantly changing. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism offers a comprehensive collection of work by leading scholars in the field that tracks these changes up to the present day. Taken together, the book provides a blueprint to understanding Buddhism's past and uses it to explore the ways in which Buddhism has transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The volume contains 41 essays, divided into two sections. The essays in the first section examine the historical development of Buddhist traditions throughout the world. These chapters cover familiar settings like India, Japan, and Tibet as well as the less well-known countries of Vietnam, Bhutan, and the regions of Latin America, Africa, and Oceania. Focusing on changes within countries and transnationally, this section also contains chapters that focus explicitly on globalization, such as Buddhist international organizations and diasporic communities. The second section tracks the relationship between Buddhist traditions and particular themes. These chapters review Buddhist interactions with contemporary topics such as violence and peacebuilding, and ecology, as well as Buddhist influences in areas such as medicine and science. Offering coverage that is both expansive and detailed, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism delves into some of the most debated and contested areas within Buddhist Studies today.
The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements by James R. Lewis (Editor); Inga B. Tollefsen (Editor)
Call Number: GCC Main -- REF - BP603 .H36 2016
The study of New Religious Movements (NRMs) is one of the fastest-growing areas of religious studies, and since the release of the first edition of The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements in 2003, the field has continued to expand and break new ground. In this all-new volume, James R.Lewis and Inga B. Tollefsen bring together established and rising scholars to address an expanded range of topics, covering traditional religious studies topics such as "scripture," "charisma," and "ritual," while also applying new theoretical approaches to NRM topics. Other chapters coverunderstudied topics in the field, such as the developmental patterns of NRMs and subcultural considerations in the study of NRMs.The first part of this book examines NRMs from a social-scientific perspective, particularly that of sociology. In the second section, the primary factors that have put the study of NRMs on the map, controversy and conflict, are considered. The third section investigates common themes within thefield of NRMs, while the fourth examines the approaches that religious studies researchers have taken to NRMs. As NRM Studies has grown, subfields such as Esotericism, New Age Studies, and neo-Pagan Studies have grown as distinct and individual areas of study, and the final section of the bookinvestigates these emergent fields.
The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic by Owen Davies (Editor)
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- GENERAL - BF1566 .O94 2017
This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the extensive and complex story of witchcraft and magic. Telling the story from the dawn of writing in the ancient world to the globally successful Harry Potter films, the authors explore a wide range of magical beliefs and practices, the rise of the witch trials, and the depiction of the Devil-worshipping witch. The book also focuses on the more recent storyof witchcraft and magic, from the Enlightenment to the present, exploring the rise of modern magic, the anthropology of magic around the globe, and finally the cinematic portrayal of witches and magicians, fromThe Wizard of Oz to Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- GENERAL - BL65 .P7 W88 2014
No state has voted Republican more consistently or widely or for longer than Kansas. To understand red state politics, Kansas is the place. It is also the place to understand red state religion. The Kansas Board of Education has repeatedly challenged the teaching of evolution, Kansas voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, the state is a hotbed of antiabortion protest--and churches have been involved in all of these efforts. Yet in 1867 suffragist Lucy Stone could plausibly proclaim that, in the cause of universal suffrage, "Kansas leads the world!" How did Kansas go from being a progressive state to one of the most conservative? In Red State Religion, Robert Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders such as John Brown, Carrie Nation, William Allen White, and Dwight Eisenhower struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and Prohibition to populism and anti-communism. Beyond providing surprising new explanations of why Kansas became a conservative stronghold, the book sheds new light on the role of religion in red states across the Midwest and the United States. Contrary to recent influential accounts, Wuthnow argues that Kansas conservatism is largely pragmatic, not ideological, and that religion in the state has less to do with politics and contentious moral activism than with relationships between neighbors, friends, and fellow churchgoers. This is an important book for anyone who wants to understand the role of religion in American political conservatism.
Religion of a Different Color by W. Paul Reeve
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BX8611 .R44 2015
Mormonism is one of the few homegrown religions in the United States, one that emerged out of the religious fervor of the early nineteenth century. Yet, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have struggled for status and recognition. In this book, W. Paul Reeve exploresthe ways in which nineteenth century Protestant white America made outsiders out of an inside religious group. Much of what has been written on Mormon otherness centers upon economic, cultural, doctrinal, marital, and political differences that set Mormons apart from mainstream America. Reeveinstead looks at how Protestants racialized Mormons, using physical differences in order to define Mormons as non-White to help justify their expulsion from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. He analyzes and contextualizes the rhetoric on Mormons as a race with period discussions of the Native American,African American, Oriental, Turk/Islam, and European immigrant races. He also examines how Mormon male, female, and child bodies were characterized in these racialized debates. For instance, while Mormons argued that polygamy was ordained by God, and so created angelic, celestial, and elevatedoffspring, their opponents suggested that the children were degenerate and deformed.The Protestant white majority was convinced that Mormonism represented a racial - not merely religious - departure from the mainstream and spent considerable effort attempting to deny Mormon whiteness. Being white brought access to political, social, and economic power, all aspects of citizenship inwhich outsiders sought to limit or prevent Mormon participation. At least a part of those efforts came through persistent attacks on the collective Mormon body, ways in which outsiders suggested that Mormons were physically different, racially more similar to marginalized groups than they werewhite. Medical doctors went so far as to suggest that Mormon polygamy was spawning a new race. Mormons responded with aspirations toward whiteness. It was a back and forth struggle between what outsiders imagined and what Mormons believed. Mormons ultimately emerged triumphant, but not unscathed.Mormon leaders moved away from universalistic ideals toward segregated priesthood and temples, policies firmly in place by the early twentieth century. So successful were Mormons at claiming whiteness for themselves that by the time Mormon Mitt Romney sought the White House in 2012, he was labeled"the whitest white man to run for office in recent memory." Ending with reflections on ongoing views of the Mormon body, this groundbreaking book brings together literatures on religion, whiteness studies, and nineteenth century racial history with the history of politics and migration.
The Satanic Bible and Satanic Rituals by Anton Szandor Anton Szandor LaVey
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BF1548 .L38 2014
Publication Date: 2014-12-09
On a winter's evening in 1967, I drove crosstown in San Fransisco to hear Anton Szandor LaVey lecture at an open meeting of the Sexual Freedom League. I was attracted by newspaper articles describing him as "the Black Pope" of a Satanic church in which baptism, wedding, and funeral ceremonies were dedicated to the Devil. I was a free-lance magazine writer, and I felt there might be a story in LaVey and his contemporary pagans; for the Devil has always made "good copy", as they say on the city desk.
Satanic Feminism by Per Faxneld
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BL458 .F39 2017
According to the Bible, Eve was the first to heed Satan's advice to eat the forbidden fruit and thus responsible for all of humanity's subsequent miseries. The notion of woman as the Devil's accomplice is prominent throughout Christian history and has been used to legitimize the subordinationof wives and daughters. In the nineteenth century, rebellious females performed counter-readings of this misogynist tradition. Lucifer was reconceptualized as a feminist liberator of womankind, and Eve became a heroine. In these reimaginings, Satan is an ally in the struggle against a tyrannicalpatriarchy supported by God the Father and his male priests. Per Faxneld shows how this Satanic feminism was expressed in a wide variety of nineteenth-century literary texts, autobiographies, pamphlets, newspaper articles, paintings, sculptures, and even artifacts of consumer culture like jewelry.He details how colorful figures like the suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton, gender-bending Theosophist H. P. Blavatsky, author Aino Kallas, actress Sarah Bernhardt, anti-clerical witch enthusiast Matilda Joslyn Gage, decadent marchioness Luisa Casati, and the Luciferian lesbian poetess Renee Vivienembraced these reimaginings. By exploring the connections between esotericism, literature, art and the political realm, Satanic Feminism sheds new light on neglected aspects of the intellectual history of feminism, Satanism, and revisionary mythmaking.
Witches of America by Alex Mar
Call Number: GCC North -- GENERAL - BP605.N46 M325 2015
"Witches are gathering." When most people hear the word "witches," they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature-worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic. Witches of Americafollows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area; from a gathering of more than a thousand witches in the Illinois woods to the New Orleans branch of one of the world's most influential magical societies. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters: a government employee who founds a California priesthood dedicated to a Celtic goddess of war; American disciples of Aleister Crowley, whose elaborate ceremonies turn the Catholic mass on its head; second-wave feminist Wiccans who practice a radical separatist witchcraft; a growing "mystery cult" whose initiates trace their rites back to a blind shaman in rural Oregon. This sprawling magical community compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible-or hopes might be. With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all? Whether evangelical Christian, Pagan priestess, or atheist, each of us craves a system of meaning to give structure to our lives. Sometimes we just find it in unexpected places.
Women in New Religions by Laura Lee Vance
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BL458 .V36 2015
Women in New Religions offers an engaging look at women's evolving place in the birth and development of new religious movements. It focuses on four disparate new religions--Mormonism, Seventh-day Adventism, The Family International, and Wicca--to illuminate their implications for gender socialization, religious leadership and participation, sexuality, and family ideals. Religious worldviews and gender roles interact with one another in complicated ways. This is especially true within new religions, which frequently set roles for women in ways that help the movements to define their boundaries in relation to the wider society. As new religious movements emerge, they often position themselves in opposition to dominant society and concomitantly assert alternative roles for women. But these religions are not monolithic: rather than defining gender in rigid and repressive terms, new religions sometimes offer possibilities to women that are not otherwise available. Vance traces expectations for women as the religions emerge, and transformation of possibilities and responsibilities for women as they mature. Weaving theory with examination of each movement's origins, history, and beliefs and practices, this text contextualizes and situates ideals for women in new religions. The book offers an accessible analysis of the complex factors that influence gender ideology and its evolution in new religious movements, including the movements' origins, charismatic leadership and routinization, theology and doctrine, and socio-historical contexts. It shows how religions shape definitions of women's place in a way that is informed by response to social context, group boundaries, and identity. Additional Resources
The Yezidis by Birgül Açikyildiz
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BL1595 .A25 2014
The minority communities of northern Iraq are under increasingly severe threat from Islamic State jihadists. Among these minorities, the Yezidis have one of the most remarkable legacies of any tradition in the Middle East. Yet not just their religious and material culture but now their entire existence is in peril as entire populations seek refuge from their violent oppressors. But who are the Yezidis (or 'Yazidis' as in much of the Western media)? The community has been misunderstood and oppressed for centuries. Predominantly ethnic Kurds, and the target of persecution over many centuries, until now they have succeeded in keeping their ancient religion alive despite the claim that they are 'devil worshippers.' This is the essential guide to a threatened tradition. It reveals an intricate system of belief influenced by Zoroastrianism and Sufism and regional paganism like Mithraism. It explores the origins of the Yezidis, their art and architecture and the often misunderstood (and now progressively life-threatening) connections between Yezidism and the Satan/Sheitan of Christian and Muslim tradition. Extensively illustrated, with maps, photographs and illustrations, this pioneering book is a testimonial to one of the region's most extraordinary and ancient peoples.