Christianity, Crashes, and Special Experiences
Good stuff over at Immanent Frame:
First, a little follow-up on Darren's post from yesterday: "Christianity and the Crash," collects a number of scholarly responses to Hanna Rosin's article "Did Christianity Cause the Crash," from the December 2009 Atlantic. Our friends Anthea Butler and Jon Walton weigh in, along with Mark Taylor, Harvey Cox, and several others. Most point to the longevity and durability of the "prosperity gospel," and explore the issue in deeper ways than is possible in a magazine piece. I like Jon Walton's take:
To assert the relationship as causal, as several articles have, grants way too much credit to a motley crew of preachers while shifting our attention away from destructive governmental deregulatory policies and the pernicious speculatory financial practices of Wall Street. The financial sophistication of most of the prosperity preachers still remains at the level of how to collect more crumbled dollar bills in the bucket on Sunday. And, like most Americans, I am pretty sure Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar have little understanding of a derivative bubble or the implications of repealing the Glass Steagall Act. . . . . It seems there is plenty of blame to go around here. And I would prefer to start at the top and not the bottom.
The Study of Special Experiences: An Interview with Ann Taves, Nathan Schneider's interview with AAR President Ann Taves, explores the intersections in Taves's work between "religion" and "experience," and more broadly between the humanistic study of religion and the biological study of human experience. A brief excerpt: