PERSONAL: Male. Education: Villa Maria College, A.A.; Oral Roberts University, B.A.; Regent University, M.A. (biblical studies); Trinity International University, M.A. (religion); Northwestern University, Ph.D., 2002.
ADDRESSES: Office—University of Houston, Department of Sociology, 450 Philip G. Hoffman Hall, Houston, TX 77204-3012.
CAREER: University of Houston, Houston, TX, assistant professor of sociology, 2002–.
Contributor to professional journals, including Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.
SIDELIGHTS: Shayne Lee is a professor of sociology with a strong background in religious studies. His recent research and writings have combined these disciplines, along with racial studies, to comment on trends in American black churches, as well as the interplay of religion, politics, and race in American society. His debut book, T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher, is about the popular Protestant preacher who rose from a poor West Virginian family to build one of the most successful ministries in the country. Jakes, who heads a large congregation and appears on television nationally, has created this success by blending Christian tenets with psychology and an unapologetic message that God wants His followers to be prosperous here on earth. Catering to the capitalist underpinnings in the United States, Jakes's success is indicative of a church heading in the wrong direction, according to Lee. Despite the assertion that Jakes is leading his flock astray toward secularism, a Publishers Weekly critic called the book a "well-balanced" portrait that is free of "heavy jargon" and "accessible" to the average reader.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2005, Vanessa Bush, review of T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher, p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, August 29, 2005, review of T.D. Jakes, p. S13.
University of Houston Department of Sociology Web site, http://www.sociology.uh.edu/ (November 26, 2005), brief profile of Shayne Lee.