Book Culture and the Rise of LIberal Religion
Not too long ago, we ran a two-part interview with Matthew Hedstrom, whose book The Rise of Liberal Religion: Book Culture and American Spirituality in the Twentieth Century was recently published by Oxford
Aside from the interview, here's a great way to get a bite-sized taste of Matt's work: "Book Culture and the Rise of Liberal Religion," published yesterday at Religion and Politics. A little excerpt:
The pluralist turn of American religious print culture by the 1940s further enhanced the importance of these alternative spiritualities. This story, then, is an ironic tale of initial resistance yet ultimate complicity in the transformation of American religious culture from Protestant dominance, in spite of sizable and significant minority traditions, to a much more open, democratic, even chaotic spiritual environment. The psychologically and mystically rooted cosmopolitanism that came to characterize much of American religion and spirituality after World War II first emerged as a popular reality from the liberal Protestantism and book-buying consumerism of the interwar years—but ultimately took on a life all its own.
The whole piece is a great introduction to his book; highly recommended.