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After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s

After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s
Author: Robert Wuthnow
ISBN 13: 9780520222281
ISBN 10: 520222288
Edition: Revised ed.
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 1998
Format: Paperback
Pages: 286
List Price: $31.95

"Robert Wuthnow has undoubtedly become the most informed and insightful commentator on religion in America today.
In this book he enlivens a comprehensive account of what has happened to us spiritually by including sparkling vignettes of real people and their stories. What he paints is a complex, sometimes confusing but hopeful picture of the changing soul of America."—Harvey Cox, author of Fire From Heaven

"A beautifully written, sensitive interpretation of contemporary American culture and its religious dimensions. This book will surely stir considerable interest, discussion, and debate. It is not only a penetrating analysis, but a very stimulating and challenging one as well."—Father Andrew Greeley, University of Chicago

"After Heaven occupies a rare and necessary place between sympathetic understanding and critical assessment. . . . Wuthnow has done a superb job examining the current state of religious practice in America."—Jacob Needleman, author of The New Religion

"For those of us who are both excited and bewildered by highly visible recent trends in spirituality, this is a must-read book. Robert Wuthnow has a firm grasp on the traditions of spiritual life, but he also probes with great sensitivity the popular quests of recent decades. His study combines solid research into the social realities with genuine spiritual insight."—Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Robert Wuthnow, one of the foremost interpreters of American society and its religious cultures, excels at describing and analyzing America's complex negotiation with a world of expanding but fragmentary knowledge, distracting materialism, and fleeting moments of grace. After Heaven, in its range and depth of analysis of spiritual trends since the 1950s, is a worthy and welcomed companion to the author's classic study of ideological change in postwar religious institutions, The Restructuring of American Religion."—R. Scott Appleby, Associate Professor of History, Director, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism

Library Journal

Analyzing the development of spirituality in the last half-century, Wuthnow (God and Mammon in America, LJ 9/1/94) uses in-depth interviews and opinion surveys--and a firm grasp of existing scholarly material on the subject--to effectively draw connections between individual experiences and wider cultural developments. Showing how the meaning of spirituality has grown and changed over the past 50 years, Wuthnow contrasts the more stable but comforting "dwelling-oriented" spirituality with the more dynamic but less secure "seeker-oriented" spirituality. After tracing the relationship between these two approaches from the early 1950s to the late 1990s, he then suggests what he calls "practice-oriented" spirituality as a way to give both "roots and wings" to spirituality in the future. Anyone interested in the field will definitely want to read this work, a scholarly and readable examination with some creative insights. Recommended for academic and public libraries.--C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, IN