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
Introduction: Major Themes in American Religious History
1. Colonial Encounters
2. Native American Religions
3. Civil Religion and National Identity
5. Evangelicals in American History
6. Religion and Politics
7. Religion and the Law in American History
8. Religion, War, and Peace
9. Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
10. Religion, Race, and African American Life
11. Religion, Ethnicity, and the Immigrant Experience
12. Asian American Religions
13. Alternative Religious Movements in American History
14. Religion and the Environment
15. Religion and Popular Culture
16. Religious Conservatism and Fundamentalism
17. Catholicism in America
18. American Judaism
19. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons")
20. Islam in America
American Religious History, A--Z
Selected Online American Religious History Resources