Spiritual Marketplace by Wade Clark Roof
Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion

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Synopsis

In large chain bookstores the "religion" section is gone and in its place is an expanding number of topics including angels, Sufism, journey, recovery, meditation, magic, inspiration, Judaica, astrology, gurus, Bible, prophesy, evangelicalism, Mary, Buddhism, Catholicism, and esoterica. As Wade Clark Roof notes, such changes over the last two decades reflect a shift away from religion as traditionally understood to more diverse and creative approaches. But what does this splintering of the religious perspective say about Americans? Have we become more interested in spiritual concerns or have we become lost among trends? Do we value personal spirituality over traditional religion and no longer see ourselves united in a larger community of faith? Roof first credited this religious diversity to the baby boomers in his bestselling A Generation of Seekers (1993). He returns to interview many of these people, now in mid-life, to reveal a generation with a unique set of spiritual values--a generation that has altered our historic interpretations of religious beliefs, practices, and symbols, and perhaps even our understanding of the sacred itself.

The quest culture created by the baby boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs and practices and of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths and spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups and alternative communities; and still others create their own mix of values and metaphysical beliefs. Spiritual Marketplace charts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, born-again Christians, mainstream believers, metaphysical believers and seekers, and secularists. Drawing on surveys and in-depth interviews for over a decade, Roof reports on the religious and spiritual styles, family patterns, and moral vision and values for each of these subcultures. The result is an innovative, engaging approach to understanding how religious life is being reshaped as we move into the next century.

 

About Wade Clark Roof

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Wade Clark Roof holds a PhD in the sociology and psychology of religion from the University of North Carolina. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at UCSB. His main areas of research interest are sociology of religion and American religious trends, and he has published widely in both fields, most recently serving as editor in chief for Macmillan Reference s "Contemporary American Religion "(2000). He also teaches a range of both undergraduate and graduate courses on religion and society.
 
Published September 22, 1999 by Princeton University Press. 378 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, History. Non-fiction

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Another dose of Baby Boomer religion from Roof (Dept. of Religious Studies/UC-Santa Barbara), once again arguing that boomers are, as the title of one of his earlier books puts it, A Generation of Seekers.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Spiritual Marketplace: Baby B...

Publishers Weekly

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This sociological study tackles the same subject matter (baby boomers and their self-styled spiritual quests) as Roof's 1993 book, A Generation of Seekers. Roof organizes the book almost identically,

Oct 04 1999 | Read Full Review of Spiritual Marketplace: Baby B...

Publishers Weekly

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Exploring religious values has helped the baby boomers to define themselves, according to Roof, a professor of religion at UC Santa Barbara.

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Publishers Weekly

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This sociological study tackles the same subject matter (baby boomers and their self-styled spiritual quests) as Roof's 1993 book, A Generation of Seekers.

| Read Full Review of Spiritual Marketplace: Baby B...

Spirituality & Practice

A broad and eclectic group of suppliers has arisen to serve their needs and interests: self-help groups, retreat centers, spiritual seminars, New Age workshops, meditation cassettes and videos, and an unending stream of books about spirituality and the world's religions.

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