Drawing on a range of methodologies, editors George D. Chryssides and Stephen E. Gregg shift attention from normative textual and doctrinal matters to issues of materiality and everyday life in Christianity. This handbook is structured in four parts, which include coverage of the following aspects of Christianity: sacred space and objects, cyber-Christianity, food, prayer, education, family life, fundamentalism and sexuality. In addition, issues of gender, race and ethnicity are treated throughout. The international team of contributors provide in-depth analysis that highlight the current state of academic study in the field and explores areas in which future research might develop.
Clearly organised to help users quickly locate key information and analysis, the book includes an A to Z of key terms, extensive guides to further resources, a comprehensive bibliography and a chronology of landmark events, making it a unique resource to upper-level students and researchers.
The editors of this volume have gathered a formidable group of contributors who together describe what it is like to practice the Christian faith utilizing a "living religion" approach. The book is very strong on methodology and definitions, grounded in the field of religious studies. The book is an excellent tool for reflective academics and teachers, with its careful explanations of important and relevant theories related to studying Christians. * Religious Studies Review * [A]n ambitious project and perhaps one that will be eagerly awaited by the academic community involved. The resource pages include impressive bibliography and web page sections as well as a fascinating chronology. * Rural Theology * A world religion is generally defined by its sacred texts and its teachings but this wide-ranging study of Christianity as a living faith challenges that approach. By examining actual Christian communities, practices and attitudes, this Handbook demonstrates that "vernacular Christianity" is a richly-textured, multi-dimensional and diverse faith which defies simple categories. It is guaranteed to expand understanding. * Kirsteen Kim, Associate Dean for the Center for Missiological Research and Professor of Theology and World Christianity, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA * This book is a game-changer in Christian Studies, due to its emphasis on the lived religion of various kinds of Christians. The monolithic conception of this faith that was bolstered by the study of sacred texts and ecclesiastical history here gives way to complex, multi-stranded narratives of the practice of Christianity as it interacts with culture, politics, family structures, sexuality and a host of other life situations. The editors, George Chryssides and Stephen Gregg, have assembled a formidable team of scholars to produce a cutting-edge volume that will be indispensable to the study of Christianity for the next decade at least. * Carole M. Cusack, The University of Sydney, Australia * Scholars interested in Christians - the people, not just the institution - will find this new handbook indispensable. By taking their approach as 'studying' Christians, the editors have assembled an international team of authors turning to the 'how' as well as to the 'what', filling a gap that should have been more obvious years ago. The challenges and complexity posed by studying such disparate themes as the digital, laity, healing and war are just a few examples in this rich, engaging book, uncovering both methodological and epistemological techniques and approaches. Required reading for students, researchers and teachers. * Abby Day, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK * Studying Christianity is not just about theology. More and more, scholars are are invited to reflect upon the everyday implications of the Christianity that is lived out in our communities - the political, social, cultural and practical impact of faith. This Handbook engages comprehensively with the breadth of contexts and concerns which shape our understanding of the contemporary application of this great world faith and its lived realities for the everyday Christian, framing the research agenda in this space for many years to come. * Andrew Davies Reader in the Public Understanding of Religion Director, Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion School of Philosophy, Theology & Religion, University of Birmingham, UK *