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Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace Paperback – April 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"A fascinating journey into the worlds of five of the most influential religious leaders in the United States. Holy Mavericks provides an open window to view change both in American religion and American culture. In reading this book, you will find that these five religious giants do not practice old time religion, and yet, ironically, they do. Holy Mavericks shows us how."
-Michael O. Emerson,co-author of People of the Dream: Multiracial Congregations in the United States

"Introduces us to some of the most prominent religious innovators in the United States today—‘savvy spiritual suppliers,’ as the authors say—who are skilled at recalibrating their messages and ministries to fit particular audiences. Religious scholars will welcome the attention given to cultural themes in the analysis, and the emphasis on more than just individual choice; general readers will be enthralled by the creativity of the producers but also appalled at the captivity of religious faith to contemporary culture."
-Wade Clark Roof,University of California at Santa Barbara

“The new book Holy Mavericks casts a wide net in its study of evangelical innovators . . . Co-authors Shayne Lee and Phillip Luke Sinitiere see [them] as helping to create the competition and vitality of America’s religious marketplace.”
-Religion Watch

"These evangelical innovators are household names, thanks in large part to their multimedia know-how, but they preach a conservative message—often regarded as antiquated. Most important, their ministries supply existential fulfillment to existential demands. This book (especially the bibliographic essay "Theory of Religious Economy") will most appeal to scholars and students. However, curious readers will enjoy it as well. Highly recommended."
-Library Journal

"Takes us beyond the scandal-mongering and speculation so common in popular media coverage of religion to provide a deeper level of insight into some of the most influential ministries in the spiritual marketplace of American religion today. Combining keen sociological analysis with crucial historical contextualization, Lee and Sinitiere explain what have been the keys to the relative successes of these ministries' leaders as individuals willing to ‘do business’ outside of traditional ministerial boundaries in a variety of ways. . . . A must-read for those seeking to understand this intersection of faith, commerce, and politics."
-Milmon F. Harrison,author of Righteous Riches: The Word of Faith Movement in Contemporary African American Religion

About the Author

Phillip Luke Sinitiere is Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Sam Houston State University (TX).

Shayne Lee is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Houston. He is the author of T. D. Jakes and Holy Mavericks.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814752357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814752357
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chad Oberholtzer on June 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was intrigued by the premise of this book, an analysis of the remarkable success stories of five preacher celebrities of the American contemporary evangelical church world of various theological inclinations: Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Brian McLaren, Paula White, and Rick Warren. And the authors quickly acknowledge that they will be focusing on the marketplace factors that have allowed each of these five preachers to grow large churches and amass international followings and much acclaim (and corresponding disdain). This marketplace focus derives from the authors' academic fields of sociology and history. They specifically state that the book does not cover theological terrain and does not critique the spiritual nature of the five subjects because the authors are not theologians. And from that perspective, what follows is a simple discussion of each of these Holy Mavericks and the various innovations and unorthodox approaches to ministry that has allowed them to thrive. The authors are careful not to be critical but simply state the facts of what these five pastors have been doing and how those methodologies have led to such outwardly success. The discussion all falls within the framework of this analytical model (p. 160): "The theory of religious economy views churches as firms, pastors are marketers and producers, and church members as consumers whose tastes and preferences shape the goods and services ministers and firms offer."

And that direct quote very succinctly explains the limitations inherent in this approach to analyzing pastoral ministry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregooo on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great insight into the subject matter. Affirms some stereotypes and enlightens the read on new points. Laid out in short chapters for a quit, yet informative read. You won't be disappointed.
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