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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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Angels in Swindon

Angels in Swindon

On the Production of Ambient Faith

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

Matthew Engelke

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520280465.003.0002

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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