Thursday, March 2, 2006
Getting ready to talk about counterculture.
Wouldn't you like to read a short, vigorously argued, engaging book of contemporary religious and cultural history so we can discuss it in a few weeks? Sure you would! I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Oppenheimer's Knocking on Heaven's Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture, which I reviewed for the current issue of UU World, but I didn't have enough space in that review to say nearly as much about the book as I would have liked. Rather than just launch a series of responses to the book here, I'd love to engage the book with you.
Unitarian Universalist readers should read at least the introduction, the first chapter (which describes Unitarian Universalists' embrace of gay rights in the early 1970s), and the conclusion — but the chapter on Southern Baptists will intrigue congregational polity-watchers, too.
Oppenheimer argues that the counterculture of the sixties was characterized by a style more than any particular ideology. UUs interested in the legacy of the black empowerment controversy in the UUA will find his conclusion about the nature of this countercultural style especially provocative, but his arguments helped me understand denominational (rather than congregational) behavior in all sorts of new ways. But let's not get ahead of ourselves: Get a copy of the book, read it, and sometime near the end of March or beginning of April I'll start posting some questions and additional thoughts about the book.
The publisher hasn't released a paperbook edition, unfortunately, even though the book is a couple years old, but public and university libraries are likely to have a copy. Amazon has hardcovers at a discount if you don't mind spending $30 or so for a book; you can click the book's cover over in the sidebar, or click here.
Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 2 March 2006 at 10:24 PM