Christianity For the Rest of Us
For decades the accepted wisdom has been that America's mainline Protestant churches are in decline, eclipsed by evangelical mega-churches. Church and religion expert Diana Butler Bass wondered if this was true, and this book is the result of her extensive,...
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For decades the accepted wisdom has been that America's mainline Protestant churches are in decline, eclipsed by evangelical mega-churches. Church and religion expert Diana Butler Bass wondered if this was true, and this book is the result of her extensive, three-year study of centrist and progressive churches across the country. Her surprising findings reveal just the opposite--that many of the churches are flourishing, and they are doing so without resorting to mimicking the mega-church, evangelical style. ^ "Christianity for the Rest of Us" describes this phenomenon and offers a how-to approach for Protestants eager to remain faithful to their tradition while becoming a vital spiritual community. As Butler Bass delved into the rich spiritual life of various Episcopal, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Lutheran churches, certain consistent practices--such as hospitality, contemplation, diversity, justice, discernment, and worship--e
Diana Butler Bass is senior research fellow and director of the Project on Congregations of Intentional Practice, a Lilly Endowment funded research study of vital mainline Protestant churches, at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Bass is an expert in American religion who works as an author, speaker, and independent scholar. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of six books on American religious practice including Christianity for the Rest of Us, scheduled for release by Harper San Francisco in September 2006. Her best-selling book, The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church (Alban, 2004), has been lauded as one of the most important books on mainline Protestantism in the last two decades and has been featured in The Christian Century, Sojourners, and The Door.Dianas other books include From Nomads to Pilgrims: Stories from Practicing Congregations (Alban, 2006), Broken We Kneel: Reflections on Faith and Citizenship (Jossey-Bass, 2004), Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (Jossey-Bass, 2002) which earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was named one of the best religion books of 2002 by the same publication, and her dissertation, Standing Against the Whirlwind: Evangelical Episcopalians in 19th Century America (Oxford University Press, 1995), which won the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer prize of the American Society of Church History. She is currently working on two more books, Pilgrimage, part of the Seven Ancient Practices series, to be published by W books in 2008, and Episcopalians in America.