Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
What Would Jesus Read?Popular Religious Books and Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erin A. Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621326

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621326.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 February 2020

Books for the Seeker

Books for the Seeker

Liberal Religion and the Literary Marketplace in the 1990s

(p.249) Nine Books for the Seeker
What Would Jesus Read?

Erin A. Smith

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines some of the best-selling mainstream religion/spirituality titles of the 1990s in light of increasing numbers of self-reported “spiritual seekers”—individuals with fluid, dynamic religious styles who move freely in and out of congregations across the life course, cobbling together a set of spiritual practices by combining elements of various traditions. In particular, it looks at Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul (1992), Karen Armstrong's A History of God (1993), Kathleen Norris's The Cloister Walk (1996), and Jack Miles's God: A Biography (1996), along with reviews by their readers on Amazon. These religious books have served as resources for spiritual seekers crafting their own religious identity narratives by modeling the formation of alternative spiritual faiths outside formal religious institutions, responding to the ills of consumer culture and consumer capitalism, and celebrating literary or poetic ways of being in the world.

Keywords:   religion, spirituality, spiritual seekers, Care of the Soul, A History of God, The Cloister Walk, religious books, religious identity, consumer culture, consumer capitalism

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .