Religion out Loud: Religious Sound, Public Space, and American Pluralism

By Isaac Weiner | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

It turns out that when you write a book about noise, everyone has a story for you. Over the several years that I worked on this project, I gathered anecdotes from what seemed like nearly everyone I met. At conferences and weddings, reunions and dinner parties, family gatherings and children’s birthday celebrations, I listened as old friends and new acquaintances told me about sounds they loved or hated, things they heard while traveling, or disputes that had transpired in the towns where they grew up. Everyone seemed to have a story, and that turned out to be one of the most unexpected joys of writing this book. When it came to religion, sound, and public space, everyone had something to say. Some of these stories made it into the book. Others did not. But each of them shaped my thinking in important ways, and I am grateful to everyone who took the time to speak with me.

Above all, I must express my deep appreciation to Thomas Tweed and Randall Styers, who nurtured this project during its initial stages at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). All students should feel as fortunate as I do to have had such wonderful mentors. Tom and Randall cared for me as a scholar and as a person. They encouraged me, they taught me, they pushed me, and they inspired me. They gave me space to explore and to pursue ideas wherever they led while always knowing just when to rein me back in. They believed in my work, and they believed in me. Since my departure from UNC, they have continued to offer invaluable guidance and support. This book would not have been possible without them.

I also want to thank Jason Bivins, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, and Grant Wacker, whose critical feedback helped me to reimagine this project in crucial ways. Jason has been both mentor and friend, and I continue to value our conversations about scholarship, music, and football. Wini has always been extraordinarily generous with her time, and she taught me to think differently about religion and law. Grant always knew just when to offer criticism and when to offer compassion. I particularly appreciated the latter.

-ix-

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Religion out Loud: Religious Sound, Public Space, and American Pluralism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • North American Religions ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - The Sounds of Power 17
  • 1 - From Sacred Noise to Public Nuisance 19
  • 2 - Church Bells in the Industrial City 40
  • Part II - The Sounds of Dissent 77
  • 3 - A New Regulatory Regime 79
  • 4 - Sound Car Religion and the Right to Be Left Alone 98
  • Part III - The Sounds of Difference 137
  • 5 - A New Constitutional World and the Illusory Ideal of Neutrality 139
  • 6 - Calling Muslims—And Christians—To Pray 158
  • Conclusion 195
  • Notes 209
  • Index 245
  • About the Author 251
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