Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life

ISBN : 9780199917365

Nancy Tatom Ammerman
400 Pages
155 x 235 mm
Pub date
Oct 2013
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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.


Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Tables
List of Illustrations and Captions
Chapter 1. In Search of Religion in Everyday Life
Chapter 2. "Spirituality" and "Religion": What Are We Talking About?
Chapter 3. Spiritual Practices in Everyday Life
Chapter 4. Religious Communities and Spiritual Conversations
Chapter 5. Everyday Life at Home
Chapter 6. Nine to Five: Spiritual Presence at Work
Chapter 7. Everyday Public Life: Circles of Spiritual Presence and Absence
Chapter 8. Bodies and Spirits: Health, Illness and Mortality
Chapter 9. Spiritual Tribes: Toward a Sociology of Religion in Everyday Life
Appendix 1. Participants and Their Religious Communities
Appendix 2. Coding and Analyzing Stories
Appendix 3. Research Protocols

About the author: 

Nancy Tatom Ammerman is Professor of Sociology of Religion in the School of Theology and Department of Sociology at Boston University.

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