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God's AgentsBiblical Publicity in Contemporary England$
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Matthew Engelke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520280465

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520280465.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Angels in Swindon

Angels in Swindon

On the Production of Ambient Faith

(p.37) Chapter 1 Angels in Swindon
God's Agents

Matthew Engelke

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on how the Bible Society tries to engage the general public, drawing from two examples. The first concerns Christmas decorations for a shopping center in Swindon: through the decorations, the arts officer at the Bible Society wanted to connect with people who might identify as “spiritual but not religious.” The second concerns a Bible reading group initiative designed to take place in coffee shops and pubs. The idea here was to have Christians “getting it out in public”; witnessing politely, if you will—not sitting down with strangers, but sitting among them, such that faith could shape the ambience of everyday life. The focus here is on what I call “ambient faith”—appealing to the sensual registers of social and commercial spaces to generate a biblical publicity.

Keywords:   public religion, secularism, spirituality, anthropology of the senses

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