Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening Hardcover – Jan 27 2012
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“Bass has done it again! She’s spot on-prophetic, compelling, and most importantly, hopeful.” (Rob Bell, author of Love Wins)
“Refreshing, evocative, well informed and original.” (Harvey Cox, author of The Future of Faith)
“Bass explains how experience, connection, and service are replacing theology as keys to the next Great Awakening. It’s a fascinating story.” (Bill McKibben, author of Earth and founder of 360.org)
“Interesting, insightful, impressive and important.” (Marcus Borg, author of Speaking Christian)
“…an important and life-giving book, written by … one of our finest religious writers.” (Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak)
“Join Bass in rebuilding religion from the bottom up!” (Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation and author of Falling Upward)
“It is one blockbuster of an analysis that is also a delight to read.” (Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence)
“Diana reminds us here that, before every great awakening, folks say it is impossible... and after every great awakening, folks say it was inevitable.” (Shane Claiborne, author and activist)
“Of Bass’s many excellent books, this is the most substantive, provocative, and inspiring yet. . . . it leads to a powerful finale of sage guidance for the future.” (Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity)
“Bass ably analyzes the struggle for awareness and change that defines spiritual awakening.” (Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline (starred review))
From the Back Cover
The data is clear: religious affiliation is plummeting across the breadth of Christian denominations. And yet interest in "spirituality" is on the rise. So what is behind the sea change in American religion? With the same comprehensive research and insider reporting that made Christianity for the Rest of Us an indispensable guide to cultivating thriving churches, Diana Butler Bass offers a fresh interpretation of the "spiritual but not religious" trend.
Bass—who has spent her career teaching the history, culture, and politics of religion, and engaging church communities across the nation—brings forth her deep knowledge of the latest national studies and polls, along with her own groundbreaking analysis, as she seeks to fully comprehend the decline in Christian attendance and affiliation that started decades ago—and has increased exponentially in recent years.
Some contend that we're undergoing yet another evangelical revival; others suggest that Christian belief and practice is eroding entirely as traditional forms of faith are replaced by new ethical, and areligious, choices. But Bass argues compellingly that we are, instead, at a critical stage in a completely new spiritual awakening, a vast interreligious progression toward individual and cultural transformation, and a wholly new kind of postreligious faith.
Offering direction and hope to individuals and churches, Christianity After Religion is Bass's call to approach faith with a newfound freedom that is both life-giving and service driven. And it is a hope-filled plea to see and participate in creating a fresh, vital, contemporary way of faith that stays true to the real message of Jesus.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
She says we have got the order of belief, behaving and belonging wrong. Butler Bass claims that in the early church it was the other way around, first you joined, then you learned how this group behaved, liturgically, socially, morally and in community. Then you decided if what they believed was what you believed too. But being there and showing love to both the community and the world outside was far more important than belief.
Yes it does matter what we believe but today what we believe simply has to make sense with what we know about the world through science and our own personal experience. The middle part of the book I found deeply moving as she challenged us to "know ourselves" and to seek a personal experience of God not just a "theological" one.
I hope to use this next Fall with a study group that I lead that hopefully will lead us into both a spiritual and religious renewal of our Christian faith.
My residual big question is whether she would invite atheists and agnostics to come to her participatory celebrations of life an community - generally recognizing that they are just people with a belief system like the rest of us. Seems to me that one could easily recognize that the Gods of the religious groups are hardly going to be threatened by the limited type of belief system to which these folks subscribe.
This is the first book from Diana Bass that I read. I was oo-ing and ahh-ing through most of it. I had to mark it up and put post-it flags on many pages. That's why I had to buy my own.
Diana takes a social look at what has happened to Christianity in the past decades. What she writes explains many observations that I have made, having trusted Christ for my life in 1978. I watched the church losing her relevancy to many people fifty and under and was saddened by it. Diana takes us through the trend of change in spirituality in the Christian context and explains to me why being "religious" is no longer a term appreciated by many. We need to be "spiritual" and she goes on to explain what it means to the late-twentieth and twenty-first century.
On the one hand, Diana makes me feel sad how so many feels out of touch with church--the body of Christ. On the other hand, she gives me hope that people are not rejecting Christ; they are finding the projection of Christ by religious Christian irrelevant to their lives. People are still spiritual and the expression of the ageless gospel of Christ has to align with the changes in perception and expectation of the society.
Diana feels that there is a great awakening to spirituality. People want and seek more spirituality but it may not be the way the traditional churchgoers used to perceive and express it. This awakening is not limited to Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, or other major religions. Christians need to be aware of this spiritual awakening and respond positively to it.
There are negative responses ("backlashes") to spiritual awakening and some are disheartened by the backlashes.Read more ›