Rebecca F. Spurrier


Girl in poncho and hat looking down the road

Download PDF: Karst, Itineraries In 1978, Victor and Edith Turner published their groundbreaking work Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture. Grounded in Victor Turner’s theories of symbolic anthropology, this text offered one of the first comprehensive theories of Christian pilgrim practice.

Continue Reading

Christian Theology in Practice: Discovering a Discipline

Book Cover of Christian Theology in Practice

Download PDF: RV Daniels, Christian Theology in Practice Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012. 334 pages. $34.00 In Christian Theology in Practice: Discovering a Discipline, Bonnie Miller-McLemore offers a collection of her work in the fields of practical and pastoral

Continue Reading

Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action

Book Cover Just Spirituality

RV MacDonald, Just Spirituality By Mae Elise Cannon Downers Grove, IL, InterVarsity Press, 2013. 208 pages. $16.00 In Just Spirituality, Mae Elise Cannon examines the connection between reflective spiritual disciplines and activist movements for social change.  These two ways of

Continue Reading

From the Main Desk

Since the fall of 2014, the staff of Practical Matters has focused on two questions.  First, how can we make the scholarship of the journal accessible in more user-friendly ways?  Second, what can we do to make the content of

Continue Reading

Worshiping at Nature’s Shrine

Download PDF: Bremer, Worshiping at Natures Shrine Abstract Yellowstone National Park serves as a historical case study for considering the role of travel practices, sociocultural constructions of identity, discourses on authenticity, and consumerist orientations in the designation of particular places

Continue Reading

Theology and the Arts: Engaging Faith

Download PDF: RV Keefe-Perry, Theology and the Arts Ruth Illman and W. Alan Smith New York: Routledge, 2013. 230 pages. $125.00   In Theology and the Arts, Ruth Illman and W. Alan Smith have offered up a profoundly useful text which

Continue Reading

Practical Matters has a new website!

Practical Matters is pleased to present our new online platform for the journal. In addition to providing new mediums for displaying and organizing content, the new website has several new functions designed to improve the user experience: Explore our Content! Users

Continue Reading

From the Pulpit and the Pavement

Feet Standing on Pavement

The two issues on Worship, Ritual and Theory represent the first pass by this journal on ritual practices (particularly those labeled “worship”) as refracted through the methodological and theoretical lenses of multiple fields. Our first two articles, “What in God’s

Continue Reading

Sweating, Spitting, and Cursing: Intimations of the Sacred

pulpit shaped like giant fish

 Download PDF: McCray, Sweating Spitting Cursing Abstract Holiness does not always manifest itself in pristine ways. Sometimes profane vehicles open us to the holy. This essay explores three such occasions that surface in preaching. First, I consider the sweating preacher. Drawing

Continue Reading

“What in God’s Name is the Point?!”: Theorizing Ritual, Representation and Resistance in African American Religious Thought and Practice

Photo of Rev Sekou training young adults

Download PDF: McCormack, What in God’s Name is the Point Abstract This essay examines the relationship between worship and theory in African American religious thought and practice. It situates this inquiry within long-standing debates among black intellectuals concerning the contested relationships

Continue Reading

The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care

Download PDF: RV Dennis The Good Funeral By Thomas G. Long and Thomas Lynch Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013. 252 pages. $25.00. In their extraordinary collaborative effort to “redeem the funeral” from its “failed and falling ways” (28), acclaimed funeral

Continue Reading