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ix Acknowledgments I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to all those institutions , scholars, and friends without whom I would not have had the wherewithal to complete this study. Much of my early research was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, a summer research stipend from the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a research grant from the American Academy of Religion. I am grateful to colleagues and friends who were so generous with their time and support over the years: Drs. William E. Arnal, Willi Braun, Walt Conser, Matt Eshleman, Russell McCutcheon, Diana Pasulka, and Tom Schmid. Although they may not realize it and may even deny it, some of them have shaped me as a scholar and some have given me advice and encouragement at just the right time. Thank you also to Jennifer Hammer (my editor at NYU Press), Stephanie Smith, and the two anonymous readers who read the manuscript and whose valuable suggestions significantly improved this book. Finally, I would like to thank my friends Steve, Bill, Darlene, Willi, Johannes , Helen May, Stephanie, Josh, and Sarah. Without their love and friendship this study and much else would not have been possible or worth it. ...


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