Chapter

The Religious Book Club

Matthew S. Hedstrom

in The Rise of Liberal Religion

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195374490
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979141 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374490.003.0003
The Religious Book Club

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The Religious Book Club, founded in 1927, was a major institution of religious middlebrow culture through the middle decades of the twentieth century. It exemplified the importance of book clubs to the wider middlebrow culture, and illustrates the reading and consuming practices that shaped encounters with religious books in this period. In addition to book clubs, a variety of reading programs based on book lists, such as the Hazen Books in Religion series, and the lists produced by the Religious Books Round Table of the American Library Association, brought religious middlebrow reading practices to the American middle class. Religious middlebrow culture most specifically introduced readers to forms of liberal religion rooted in psychology and mysticism, and thereby shaped middle class spirituality for decades to come.

Keywords: religious book; club book clubs; religious middlebrow culture; Hazen Books in Religion; middlebrow american library association; religious books round table; psychology; mysticism; spirituality

Chapter.  13315 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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