Cover of Golden States of Grace

Golden States of Grace

Prayers of the Disinherited

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University of New Mexico Press


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Taking California as a window into the diversity of religion in America, <i>Golden States of Grace</i> documents marginalized communities at prayer in their own faith traditions. The collection is thoroughly interfaith, introducing us to the nation's only halfway house for addicts self-identified as Jewish, a transsexual gospel choir, a Buddhist community in San Quentin, a Mormon congregation organized by the deaf for the deaf, Latina sex workers worshipping the female folk deity Santsima Muerte, and more. Depictions of conventional middle-class religion are widely visible in the media, but the American public rarely sees the sacred worlds of society's marginalized: the outcasts, the fallen, those that have been labeled other - ironically, those whom religion aims to serve. The poignant stories Nahmias has gathered here cross numerous boundaries and ask difficult questions few outsiders have been willing to pose.

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