The Postsuburban Transformation of American Evangelicalism
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright
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List of Figures
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List of Tables
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This book would not have happened without the many different kinds of help I received. My wife, Audra, provided me encouragement, criticism, inspiration, and resources from the beginning to the end of this project. I could not have written this book without her. At the University of California–Los Angeles, Nick Entrikin, John Agnew, Nick Howe, and Tristan Sturm ...
1. Introduction: Postdenominational Evangelicalism, Saddleback Church, and the Postsuburbs
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Orange County, California, has a contradictory reputation. It is known simultaneously as the home of insular, conservative retirees (Richard Nixon being the most famous) and also as the setting for the shallow, plastic libertines of the reality television series The Real Housewives of Orange County. It is considered to be a high-tech hub for computers, military technology, and industrial design while also a center for major global surf and ...
2. Sacred Archipelagos: Spaces of Secularization
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Incorporating secularization theory into an explanation of the popularity of American evangelicalism might seem counterintuitive and hopelessly out of fashion. It is an obviously odd choice because secularization is most commonly thought to refer to the decline of religious practice. In this present study of one of the most successful and influential religious movements in ...
3. Sacred Scenes: Postsuburbia and Evangelical Performance
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If secularization implies a de-fused and fragmented socio-spatial environment for religious action, then what sort of analytical advantage is gained by the concept of performance? For proponents of the religious market approach, performance tells us little more than do the concepts of “marketing,” “responsiveness,” or “adaptation.” In this latter view, the relationship between suppliers and consumers ...
4. Purpose Driven Pluralities: Variety, Consumption, and Choice in Postdenominational Evangelicalism
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Much has been made of Warren’s opening sentence in his mega-best-seller Purpose Driven Life. “It’s not about you,” he writes. “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.”1 It is one of the first things mentioned by journalists and academics alike when writing about the book and Warren’s rise to fame.2 ...
5. Purpose Driven Places: Small Performances in Big Churches
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To know Saddleback Church is to belong to a Saddleback small group. On a warm early evening in August, I idled my car in front of a well-kept, classical suburban “snout house.” I was parked across the street, directly opposite the house’s three-car garage. The front door was tucked well behind the garage and only slightly behind a modest living room window, curtains drawn. No ...
6. Purpose Driven Planet: The Globalization of Evangelical Postsuburbia
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The evangelical performance of postsuburban space is tied to the materiality and symbolism of the home, the individual body, the mall, the office park, the freeway, and the patchwork, differentiated postsuburban landscape. But it is also tied to the symbolic materialities that undergird identity-boundary distinctions such as us/them, suburb/city, south (Orange) county/north ...
7. Purpose Driven Politics: The Saddleback Civil Forum and the New Civility of Evangelism
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Given that the previous generation of American megachurch leaders included some famously political firebrands like Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, it is curious that Warren’s cohort is largely apolitical. The names Joel Osteen, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley have no resonance in American politics, yet are household names in American evangelicalism. How is it that, despite ...
8. Conclusion: Assembling Spaces of Fusion, De-fusion, and Diffusion in the Postsuburban Landscape
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My research project began with the assumption that the modern world has been undergoing a process of secularization for some time and that vibrant, growing and non-immigrant religious communities were bucking the trend by accessing some religious/affective energies that shrinking or stagnant religious communities could not or would not access. This is both implicitly ...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2012