The first guide to American religious history from colonial times to the present, this anthology features twenty-two leading scholars speaking on major themes and topics in the development of the diverse religious traditions of the United States. These include the growth and spread of evangelical culture, the mutual influence of religion and politics, the rise of fundamentalism, the role of gender and popular culture, and the problems and possibilities of pluralism. Geared toward general readers, students, researchers, and scholars, The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History provides concise yet broad surveys of specific fields, with an extensive glossary and bibliographies listing relevant books, films, articles, music, and media resources for navigating different streams of religious thought and culture.
The collection opens with a thematic exploration of American religious history and culture and follows with twenty topical chapters, each of which illuminates the dominant questions and lines of inquiry that have determined scholarship within that chapter's chosen theme. Contributors also outline areas in need of further, more sophisticated study and identify critical resources for additional research. The glossary, "American Religious History, A-Z," lists crucial people, movements, groups, concepts, and historical events, enhanced by extensive statistical data.
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History serves scholars, students, and general readers who search for reliable narratives and resource texts on American religious history in an environment where older, guiding narratives have been complicated and occasionally rendered suspect by more recent research. Harvey and Blum's compilation seeks to offer basic information as well as a synthetic and interpretive set of guidelines, and succeeds in both aims.
Tracy Fessenden, author of Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature
As Maimonides did for theology, this book offers a guide that deepens understanding of the perplexities of American religious history while orienting readers to its terrain. Employing a sophisticated approach to historical studies of religion, the essays are organized around dialectical tensions within American religion rather than one-sided themes. Reflecting the deep engagement with historiography that both Harvey and Blum are known for, this volume will be much appreciated by readers seeking a comprehensive map of the territory.
Dr. Amanda Porterfield, Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion and History, Florida State University
Harvey and Blum have done a great service in creating this readable, accessible overview of so many important topics.
Matthew Avery Sutton
...an important reference work, welcome for its breadth and portability. Highly Recommended.
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History will be a beneficial addition to the reference section of any university library.
Brian C. Wilson
PrefaceIntroduction: Major Themes in American Religious History1. Colonial Encounters2. Native American Religions3. Civil Religion and National Identity4. Theology5. Evangelicals in American History6. Religion and Politics7. Religion and the Law in American History8. Religion, War, and Peace9. Religion, Gender, and Sexuality10. Religion, Race, and African American Life11. Religion, Ethnicity, and the Immigrant Experience12. Asian American Religions13. Alternative Religious Movements in American History14. Religion and the Environment15. Religion and Popular Culture16. Religious Conservatism and Fundamentalism17. Catholicism in America18. American Judaism19. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons")20. Islam in AmericaAmerican Religious History, A-ZBibliographyFilmographyDiscographySelected Online American Religious History ResourcesContributorsIndex