The Johns Hopkins University Press

Lived Religions

David D. Hall and Robert A. Orsi, Series Editors

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

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Lived Religions

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Faith in the Great Physician

Suffering and Divine Healing in American Culture, 1860–1900

Heather D. Curtis

Faith in the Great Physician tells the story of how participants in the evangelical divine healing movement of the late nineteenth century transformed the ways Americans coped with physical affliction and pursued bodily health. Examining the politics of sickness, health, and healing during this period, Heather D. Curtis encourages critical reflection on the theological, cultural, and social forces that come into play when one questions the purpose of suffering and the possibility of healing. Curtis finds that advocates of divine healing worked to revise a deep-seated Christian ethic that linked physical suffering with spiritual holiness. By engaging in devotional disciplines and participating in social reform efforts, proponents of faith cure embraced a model of spiritual experience that endorsed active service, rather than passive endurance, as the proper Christian response to illness and pain. Emphasizing the centrality of religious practices to the enterprise of divine healing, Curtis sheds light on the relationship among Christian faith, medical science, and the changing meanings of suffering and healing in American culture.

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Holy Hills of the Ozarks

Religion and Tourism in Branson, Missouri

Aaron K. Ketchell

Over the past century, Branson, Missouri, has attracted tens of millions of tourists. Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, it offers a rare and refreshing combination of natural beauty and family-friendly recreation—from scenic lakes and rolling hills to theme parks and variety shows. It has boasted of big name celebrities, like Wayne Newton, Andy Williams, and Petula Clark, as well as family entertainers like Mickey Gilley, the Shanghai Magic Troupe, Jim Stafford, and Yakov Smirnoff. But there is more to Branson's fame than just recreation. As Aaron K. Ketchell discovers, a popular variant of Christianity underscores all Branson's tourist attractions and fortifies every consumer success. In this lively and engaging study, Ketchell explores Branson's unique blend of religion and recreation. He explains how the city became a mecca of conservative Christianity—a place for a "spiritual vacation"—and how, through conscious effort, its residents and businesses continuously reinforce its inextricable connection with the divine. Ketchell combines the study of lived religion, popular culture, evangelicalism, and contemporary American history to present an accurate and honest account of a distinctly American phenomenon.

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Practicing Protestants

Histories of Christian Life in America, 1630–1965

edited by Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Leigh E. Schmidt, and Mark Valeri

This collection of essays explores the significance of practice in understanding American Protestant life. The authors are historians of American religion, practical theologians, and pastors and were the twelve principal researchers in a three-year collaborative project sponsored by the Lilly Endowment. Profiling practices that range from Puritan devotional writing to twentieth-century prayer, from missionary tactics to African American ritual performance, these essays provide a unique historical perspective on how Protestants have lived their faith within and outside of the church and how practice has formed their identities and beliefs. Each chapter focuses on a different practice within a particular social and cultural context. The essays explore transformations in American religious culture from Puritan to Evangelical and Enlightenment sensibilities in New England, issues of mission, nationalism, and American empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, devotional practices in the flux of modern intellectual predicaments, and the claims of late-twentieth-century liberal Protestant pluralism. Breaking new ground in ritual studies and cultural history, Practicing Protestants offers a distinctive history of American Protestant practice.

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Women and Religion in the African Diaspora

Knowledge, Power, and Performance

edited by R. Marie Griffith and Barbara Dianne Savage

This landmark collection of newly commissioned essays explores how diverse women of African descent have practiced religion as part of the work of their ordinary and sometimes extraordinary lives. By examining women from North America, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Africa, the contributors identify the patterns that emerge as women, religion, and diaspora intersect, mapping fresh approaches to this emergent field of inquiry. The volume focuses on issues of history, tradition, and the authenticity of African-derived spiritual practices in a variety of contexts, including those where memories of suffering remain fresh and powerful. The contributors discuss matters of power and leadership and of religious expressions outside of institutional settings. The essays study women of Christian denominations, African and Afro-Caribbean traditions, and Islam, addressing their roles as spiritual leaders, artists and musicians, preachers, and participants in bible-study groups. This volume's transnational mixture, along with its use of creative analytical approaches, challenges existing paradigms and summons new models for studying women, religions, and diasporic shiftings across time and space.

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