The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, follows up her acclaimed book Christianity After Religion by arguing that...
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The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, follows up her acclaimed book Christianity After Religion by arguing that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us - and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.
Grounded explores this cultural turn as Bass unpacks how people are finding new spiritual ground by discovering and embracing God everywhere in the world around us-in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighborhoods, and in the global commons. Faith is no longer a matter of mountaintop experience or institutional practice; instead, people are connecting with God through the environment in which we live. Grounded guides readers through our contemporary spiritual habitat as it points out and pays attention to the ways in which people experience a God who animates creation and community.
Bass brings her understanding of the latest research and studies and her deep knowledge of history and theology to Grounded. She cites news, trends, data, and pop culture, weaves in spiritual texts and ancient traditions, and pulls it all together through stories of her own and others' spiritual journeys. Grounded observes and reports a radical change in the way many people understand God and how they practice faith. In doing so, Bass invites readers to join this emerging spiritual revolution, find a revitalized expression of faith, and change the world.
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.