Prayer Is a Place
America's Religious Landscape Observed
By Phyllis Tickle
(Doubleday Religion, Hardcover, 9780385504409, 352pp.)
Publication Date: June 21, 2005
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A leading authority on religion and spirituality in America recounts the changes she witnessed from 1992–2004, a period she compares to the tumultuous years of the Reformation and Peri-Reformation in Europe.
As the founding editor of the religion department of Publishers Weekly, Phyllis Tickle was a key figure in bringing discussions about religion into the nation’s cultural and intellectual mainstream. Prayer Is a Place is her insightful first-person account of the people she has met and the trends she has observed over twelve crucial years of change in American religion.
Tickle writes about her face-to-face meetings with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Chief Mullah of Jerusalem; describes speeches and conferences that redefined traditional religions; and chronicles the birth of new approaches to religion and spirituality. The result is a fascinating overview of the reconfiguration of religion in America and its impact on our culture.
In charting the changes, passions and innovations that have occurred, Tickle remains a clear-eyed, unbiased and sympathetic observer. From her lively reminiscences of the 1003 Parliament of the World’s Religions—a seminal gathering of Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists—to an intriguing look at the rise of Gnosticism in the country to a cogent analysis of the spirituality movements that swept through America during the last decades of the twentieth century, Prayer Is a Place reminds readers that reverence can be expressed in many different forms and in many different settings.
PHYLLIS TICKLE was, until recently, religion editor and editor at large at Publishers Weekly, the leading trade publication in the publishing industry. The author of more than two dozen books, including The Shaping of a Life, The Divine Hours, Eastertide, and Christmastide, she lives on The Farm In Lucy, near Memphis, Tennessee.
Advance Praise for Prayer Is a Place
“I can think of no better guide through the changing religious landscape—“messy and highly flammable”—than Phyllis Tickle . . . . She manages to make her description of the raucous parade of contemporary American religion into a journey of gracious personal freedom where mercy and inclusion push the reader into prayer and amazement. This book is a wake-up call to embrace a generous view of religion and, above all, it provides a much needed antidote to religion’s exclusive and violent manifestations.”
—Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral San Francisco
Author of Reimagining Christianity
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