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Sacred Matters: Celebrity Worship, Sexual Ecstasies, The Living Dead and Other Signs of Religious Life in the United States
by Gary Laderman
Binding: Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: New Press
Weight: 0.7 pound
Dimension: H: 0.9 x L: 8.3 x W: 5.8 inches
ISBN 10: 1595584374
ISBN 13: 9781595584373
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Book Description:
'From Snow White to the ghost cult of Tupac Shakur to the legend of Deep Throat, Gary Laderman reveals that though these living myths' of the American landscape lack God, they have everything else: rituals, relics, and the everyday work of meaning making. . . . Sacred Matters is a generous and hopeful book, an invaluable guide to a broader, more profound understanding of what religion' means and why it matters whether we believe in it or not.'
Jeff Sharlet, New York Times bestselling author of The Family and Killing the Buddha

It is commonplace to say that the United States is a religious country: references to God are as normal as proclaiming love of country, support for the military, or security for the nation's children. And a full 92 percent of Americans prefer to believe in God or a universal spirit. But in Sacred Matters, Gary Laderman casts his eye over our deeply hidden spiritual landscape, questioning whether our conventional views even begin to capture the rich and strange diversity of religious life in America.

Sacred Matters shows that genuinely religious practices and experiences can be found in the unlikeliest of places in science laboratories and movie theaters, at the Super Bowl and Star Trek conventions, and in Americans' obsession with prescription drugs and pornography. When devoted fans make a pilgrimage to Graceland because of their love for Elvis, Laderman argues, their behavior doesn't just seem religious, it is religious enacting a well known ritual pattern toward saints in the history of Christianity.

In a dramatic reframing of what is holy and secular, Sacred Matters makes a powerful and illuminating case that religion is everywhere and that we have barely begun to reckon with its hold on our cultural life.


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