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Strange Rites

Strange Rites

New Religions for a Godless World

A sparklingly strange odyssey through the kaleidoscope of America’s new spirituality: the cults, practices, high priests and prophets of our supposedly post-religion age.

In Strange Rites, Tara Isabella Burton takes a tour through contemporary American religiosity. As the once dominant totems of civic connection and civil discourse–traditional churches–continue to sink into obsolescence, people are looking elsewhere for the intensity and unity that religion once provided. We’re making our own personal faiths – theistic or not – mixing and matching our spiritual, ritualistic, personal, and political practices in order to create our own bespoke religious selves. We’re not just building new religions in 2019, we’re buying them, from Gwyneth Paltrow’s gospel of Goop, to the brilliantly cultish SoulCycle, to those who believe in their special destiny on Mars.

In so doing, we’re carrying on a longstanding American tradition of religious eclecticism, DIY-innovation and “unchurched” piety (and highly effective capitalism). Our era is not the dawn of American secularism, but rather a brand-bolstered resurgence of American pluralism, revved into overdrive by commerce and personalized algorithms, all to the tune of “Hallellujah”-America’s most popular and spectacularly misunderstood wedding song.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Social Science / Sociology Of Religion

On Sale: May 19th 2020

Price: $16.99 / $21.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 304

ISBN-13: 9781541762510

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Meet The Author: Tara Isabella Burton

Tara Isabella Burton is a contributing editor at The American Interest, a columnist at Religion News Service, and the former staff religion reporter at Vox.com. She has written on religion and secularism for National Geographic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and more, and holds a doctorate in theology from Oxford. She is also the author of the novel Social Creature (Doubleday, 2018)

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