The American religious scene in 1955 was a very tame and predictable world. It matched the tame, predictable world of women’s clothing, where most women going out shopping wore a dress with coordinating gloves, hat, and shoes. And it matched the tame, predictable world of children’s toys, where almost every young girl yearned for a baby doll that said Ma-Ma, and almost every boy needed a coonskin cap. Choices of fashions, toys, preachers, and churches were limited and domesticated. Fifty+ years later, the tame, predictable world of 1950s fashions and toys is long gone. Women go shopping in everything from sweatshirts and jeans to tube tops and short shorts. And both boys and girls want the latest Sponge Bob Square Pants video game. The same kind of transformation has gone on in the world of religion. It is no longer tame and predictable either. Welcome to the Wild World of Religion of the 21st Century. Explore some of its more unusual habitats, identify some of the inhabitants, and learn about their characteristics and customs in this Field Guide. Included is an extensive Religious Lingo Lexicon clarifying terms such as Hebrew Roots and Holy Ghost Glue, and a Who’s Who Digest that has brief profiles of over 125 movers and shakers in the Wild World of Religion. Originally published in 2005, as a companion book to the Field Guide to the Wild World of Religion website at www. isitso.org, this 2011 edition has been revised and updated to include the latest information on various groups, teachers, preachers, and movements.
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