Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World

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6.1 X 9.3 X 1.2 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author
Tara Isabella Burton is a contributing editor at the American Interest, a columnist at Religion News Service, and the former staff religion reporter at She has written on religion and secularism for National Geographic, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and more, and holds a doctorate in theology from Oxford. She is also the author of the novel Social Creature (Doubleday, 2018).
"Any good historian of religion knows that it's possible for a culture to become less and more religious at the same time--an insight that Tara Isabella Burton uses on an illuminating journey through the many unorthodox forms of faith emerging in post-religious America. With a novelist's knack for storytelling, Burton shows in scintillating detail how the unquenchable longing for connection and transcendence is merging with carnal desires and the capitalist marketplace to produce new sacred spaces and experiences of enchantment. Read Strange Rites. It's a revelation."--Damon Linker, Senior Correspondent at TheWeek
"A lesser writer and a colder intellect would have been content simply to mock the video-gaming, Soul-Cycling communicants of our "Remixed" Great Awakening. Yet in Strange Rites, Tara Isabella Burton grasps that strangeness entails ecstatic power as well as oddity, and that even folly in search of transcendent meaning merits empathy, not apathy--the difference between a merely lively read and a profound one."--Giselle Donnelley, Research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
"Rigorously researched and reported with scholarly curiosity and an eye on the zeitgeist, Tara Isabella Burton's Strange Rites takes a hard look at what's replacing traditional religious practice in American culture today and finds that the thirst for community and belonging has not gone away. As the discovers, today's religiously remixed subcultures could indeed be tomorrow's new religions. Her book is an adventure story through the new American religious landscapes."--Kaya Oakes, UC Berkeley, author of The Nones Are Alright
"With Strange Rites, Tara Isabella Burton establishes herself as her generation's foremost chronicler of American religious life. Her intelligence, her immersive reporting, and her vivid prose style illuminate with particular intensity the radical religious changes transforming post-Christian America. The religious center has not held; Burton is an essential guide to the mere spiritual anarchy now loosed upon the Western world. Strange Rites will doubtless be one of the most important books of the year."--Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option
"A revelatory survey of the increasingly transfigured American spiritual landscape."
--Publishers Weekly
"Burton's writing is challenging, educational, and electric, combining big-picture thinking with deep-dive immersion...Readers will come away with enlightened and altered thinking."