Drawing on a new survey of more than two thousand working Americans, the author of Christianity in the 21st Century explores the relationship between religious faith and attitudes toward work and money to examine Americans' ambivalence toward materialism and consumerism.
Recognizing the paucity of higher education texts relating economics and religion, Wuthnow (social sciences, Princeton Univ.) interprets the results of The Economic Values Survey (included), administered in 1992 to over 2000 working Americans. The survey was constructed after 175 in-depth interviews with the advice of clergy, social scientists, historians, and students of American religion according to standard sampling procedures. Illustrative case studies make complex issues such as materialism, work ethics, economic justice, and charitable behaviors in American society clearer and should prompt serious class discussions. Numerous tables (but no graphs) document both the choices and the ambivalence of respondents in integrating their faith and their economic behavior. The results will challenge religious organizations to address economic matters more directly and individuals to reconsider the implications of their values and religious commitments. Recommended especially for academic libraries.-Anna Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
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September 29, 1998
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