New Book!

November 12, 2014

A knock on the door, followed by barking and the clatter of scurrying dog paws. Almost immediately, my two-and-a-half-year-old son started running toward the door and repeatedly offering his impersonation of a dog barking. I heard the UPS truck gurgling back to life as I opened the door. I quickly grabbed the box and ran inside.

"I want that," my son instinctively said without even knowing what was in the box.

"It's daddy's book," I barked excitedly. "It's daddy's book!"

"I want daddy book," he answered, though I assume he thought it was just a book I wanted to read.

I already knew what I would find inside, but that was precisely what made it exciting. Even though this was the third time I have received such a package, it remains thrilling. 

I ripped open the box and found it - the first copies of my newest book! 

"See, it's daddy's book," I told my son as I showed him the front cover. 

He looked unimpressed. I flipped it over and showed him the back cover that includes my photo (the first of my books to do so). He shook with excitement that started in his eyes and rippled across his face. 

"Daddy!" he squealed. "Daddy book!" 

I suspect the news of my latest book's forthcoming release will not excite anyone else quite like it did me and my easily-excitable son. But I hope you will check it out once it is available. The book is Sacramental Politics: Religious Worship as Political Action. Here is the back cover description: 
Religion and politics have often been called taboo topics for polite dinner conversation, but in political campaigns and religious services, the two often mix. This book looks at how religious worship remains embedded with inherent political messages and behaviors, showing that conflicts between church and state exist not just in the public arena, but in each sanctuary and house of worship. To explore this religious-political tension, the book first examines more obvious examples of worship as political action, such as when candidates speak during church services or when political parties hold prayer services at party events. The initial analysis acts as a foundation for the idea of worship serving a political purpose, and is followed by analysis of non-partisan and less obvious political worship services. Religious sacraments (such as baptism, confirmation, communion/mass, and confession) function as key moments in which religious participants pledge allegiance to a power that resides outside Washington, D.C. or statehouses, thus highlighting the alternative political messages and space carved out through worship.
Amazon lists it but it is not yet for sale (hint: you could add it to your wishlist). Barnes&Noble has it for pre-order and says it will be available December 15. My publisher, Peter Lang, also lists the book for sale.

I will share more information as it becomes available. Until then, I will keep celebrating with my biggest fan (sure am glad they put my photo on that cover or else he likely would not care). And I added the book to its growing family.