Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief

Bowman, Marion and Valk, Ülo eds. (2012). Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief. New York & London: Routledge.



Vernacular religion is religion as people experience, understand, and practice it. It shapes everyday culture and disrupts the traditional boundaries between ‘official’ and ‘folk’ religion. Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life examines how the concept of genres – notably written, performative and oral genres – can be applied to the study of vernacular belief to illuminate faith and practice. Genres are forms of expression and interpretive strategies which are developed through everyday communication and performance. They can come to express ways of seeing and of being which take the individual beyond traditional forms of religion. The book analyses vernacular religion in a range of Christian denominations as well as in indigenous and New Age religion from the nineteenth century to today. How these differing expressions of belief are shaped by their individual, communal and national contexts is also explored. What is revealed is the consistency of genres, the persistence of certain key issues, and how globalisation in all its cultural and technological forms is shaping contemporary faith practice.

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