The Cascadia bioregion – British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon – has long been at the forefront of cultural shifts occurring throughout North America, in particular regarding religious institutions, ideas, and practices.
Religion at the Edge explores the rise of religious “nones,” the decline of mainstream Christian denominations, spiritual and environmental innovation, increasing religious pluralism, and the growth of smaller, more traditional faith groups in what is often called the Cascadia bioregion. This region is the site of extraordinary natural beauty that has long animated distinctive, even reverential approaches to the natural world. Additionally, the historical dynamics of settlement, economic and political competition, and physical and psychological distance from other population centres have proven fertile ground for religious communities to develop.
Religion at the Edge is the first research-driven book to address religion and spirituality in the Pacific Northwest, past and present. Employing surveys, archival sources, interviews, and focus groups, contributors address a spectrum of adherents from Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Baha’i, New Age, Indigenous, and irreligious communities. Ultimately, this book pursues empirical and theoretical debates about the nature, scale, and implications of socio-religious changes in North America, and the relevance of regionalism to that discussion.
Scholars and students of religious studies, sociology, anthropology, history, and Indigenous studies will undoubtedly want this work on their bookshelves, but so will faith and community leaders and readers interested in spiritual trends and Pacific Northwest history.
I deeply relate to the stories of the interviewees...By reading this book, I feel, as a pastor, the sense of getting an inside look at the religious mindset of our region.
I highly recommend [Religin at the Edge] as a tool for meeting Cascadian people at their spiritual heart.
With Religion at the Edge: Nature, Spirituality, and Secularity in the Pacific Northwest, Bramadat and his collaborators have given us a clutch of rich essays.
Readers seeking information about secularism, the spiritual-but-not-religious cohort, environmentalism and religion, and the future of religion across Canada and the United States will want to read Religion at the Edge... Highly recommend.
This is an important volume, not only to the literature on the Pacific Northwest, but to the question of religion and secularity in the North American context.
Paul Bramadat is a professor and the director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. He is a co-editor of numerous publications, among them Urban Religious Events: Public Spirituality in Contested Spaces, with Julia Martinez-Ariño, Mar Griera, and Marian Burchardt, and Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond, with Lorne Dawson. Patricia O’Connell Killen is a professor emerita and faculty fellow at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She is a co-editor of The Future of Catholicism in America and Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone, both with Mark Silk. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She is a co-author, with Joel Thiessen, of None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada.
Contributors: Tina Block, Rachel D. Brown, Katie E. Corcoran, Chelsea Horton, Lynne Marks, Susanna Morrill, Suzanne Crawford O’Brien, Mark Silk, James K. Wellman Jr., Michael Wilkinson
Introduction: Religion, Spirituality, and Irreligion in The Best Place on Earth / Paul Bramadat
1 Reverential Naturalism: From the Fancy to the Sublime / Paul Bramadat
2 On Religion, Irreligion, and Settler Colonialism in the Pacific Northwest: A Snapshot from the Field / Chelsea Horton
3 Border Crossings: Indigenous Spirituality and Culture in Cascadia / Suzanne Crawford O’Brien
4 But People Tend to Go the Way Their Families Go: Irreligion across the Generations in the Pacific Northwest / Tina Block and Lynne Marks
5 Second to None: Religious Nonaffiliation in the Pacific Northwest / Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme
6 From Outlier to Advance Guard: Cascadia in Its North American Context / Mark Silk
7 Questing for Home: Place, Spirit, and Religious Community in the Pacific Northwest / Patricia O’Connell Killen
8 The Precarious Nature of Cascadia’s Protestants: New Strategies for Evangelical and Liberal Christians in the Region / James K. Wellman Jr. and Katie E. Corcoran
9 Evangelicals in the Pacific Northwest: Navigating the “None Zone” / Michael Wilkinson
10 “To Be or Not to Be” Religious: Minority Religions in a Region of Nones / Rachel D. Brown
11 Everything Old is New Again: Reverential Naturalism in Cascadian Poetry / Susanna Morrill
12 Conclusion: Religion at the Edge of the Continent / Paul Bramadat and Patricia O’Connell Killen
List of Contributors; Index
Indigenous Encounters with Christianity in Canada
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