Religion in American History: A Reader

Paperback | August 1, 1997

EditorJon Butler, Harry S. Stout

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At the end of the twentieth century, religion seems to be ubiquitous in America. Its existence and influence are especially apparent in our politics, but its presence is most deeply felt in our personal lives and experience. Was it always this way? Offering a rich selection of classic and recent scholarship, Religion in American History: A Reader presents an extraordinary portrait of religion's fate across four centuries of the American experience. Its essays cover major issues in American history and religion, detailing religion's purposein American life and examining many topics that are either ignored or minimized in similar books. It addresses the decline and revival of American Indian religion; women's powerful roles in American religion; immigration, assimilation, and separation and how they have contributed to the Americanreligious experience; political activism; and religious bigotry. It also discusses Catholics, Protestants and fundamentalism, Mormons, and Jews. Selected debates encourage readers to test conflicting interpretations about religion's impact on American history, and original documents trace religion'sinfluence on slavery, race, and politics from the colonial era to the late twentieth century. Divided into three sections - colonial era, nineteenth century, and twentieth century - and featuring essays by prominent American historians, this volume serves as an excellent text for courses in American Religion, the History of Religion, and Religion and Culture. It is enhanced by helpfulintroductions to each essay and ample suggestions for further reading. Uniquely comprehensive, Religion in American History: A Reader serves as a one-volume tour through America's tumultuous, varied, and often misunderstood religious past.

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At the end of the twentieth century, religion seems to be ubiquitous in America. Its existence and influence are especially apparent in our politics, but its presence is most deeply felt in our personal lives and experience. Was it always this way? Offering a rich selection of classic and recent scholarship, Religion in American His...

Jon Butler is William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and History and Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People (1990), The Huguenots in America: A Refugee People in New World Society (1990), Power, Authority, and the Origins of Americ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 6.42 × 9.09 × 1.18 inPublished:August 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195097769

ISBN - 13:9780195097764

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Colonial Period1. The Spiritual Crisis of European Colonization -- Calvin Martin, "The European Impact on the Culture of a Northeastern Algonquian Tribe: An Ecological Interpretation"2. Did the Puritans Start it All? -- Perry Miller, "Errand Into the Wilderness"3. William Penn and the English Origins of American Religious Pluralism -- Edmund S. Morgan, "The World and William Penn"4. Document: Christianity Shapes American Slavery -- Thomas Bacon, " A Sermon to Maryland Slaves, 1749"5. Debate: "The Great Awakening" - Fact or Fiction? -- Harry S. Stout, "Religion, Communications, and the Ideological Origins of the American Revolution", and Jon Butler, "Enthusiasm Described and Decried: The Great Awakening as Interpretative Fiction"6. The Challenge of a Woman's Religion -- Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe, "The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Sarah Osborn (1714-1796)"Part II: The Nineteenth Century7. Immigrants and Religion in America -- Jay P. Dolan, "The Immigrants and Their Gods: A New Perspective in American Religious History"8. Female Language in the American Religious Experience -- Barbara Welter, "The Feminization of American Religion"9. The Rise of an American Originial: Mormonism -- Gordon S. Wood, "Evangelical America and Early Mormonism"10. What Religious Pluralism Meant -- R. Laurence Moore, "Insiders and Outsiders in American Historical Narrative and American History"11. Documents and Debate: On Whose Side? God, Slavery and the Civil War -- Frederick Douglass, "Address on 'Evangelical Flogging'", and George D. Armstrong, "The Christian Doctrine of Slavery: God's Work in God's Way12. The Occult in the American Religious Tradition -- Mary Farrell Bednarowski, "Women in Occult America"13. Indians, Missions, and Cultural Conflict -- Raymond J. DeMallie, "The Lakota Ghost Dance: An Ethnohistorical Account"14. Religion and Politics -- Robert P. Swierenga, "Ethnoreligious Political Behavior in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: Voting, Values, Cultures"15. The Creation of an African-American Preaching Style -- William E. Montgomery, "The Preachers"16. The Rise of American Fundamentalism -- George M. Mardsen "Fundamentalism as an American Phenomenon: A Comparison with English Evangelicalism"Part III: The Twentieth Century17. Religion and Sociology -- Bryan Wilson, "Secularization: The Inherited Model"18. Commercial Culture and American Christianity -- Leigh Eric Schmidt, "The Easter Parade: Piety, Fashion, and Display"19. Debate: 1920-1940: Dark Ages of American Protestantism? -- Robert T. Handy, "The American Religious Depression, 1925-35", and Joel A. Carpenter, "Fundamentalist Institutions and the Rise of Evangelical Protestantism, 1929-1942"20. Judaism and the American Experience -- Jonathon D. Sarna, "Seating and the American Synagogue"21. The Unspeakable Relationship: Religion and Bigotry in America -- Leonard Dinnerstein, "Antisemitism in the Depression Era (1933-1939)"22. Catholicism, Gender, and Modern Miracles -- Robert A. Orsi, "'He Keeps Me Going': Women's Devotion to Saint Jude Thaddeus and the Dialectics of Gender in American Catholicism, 1929-1965"23. Martin Luther King and the Secular Power of Religious Rhetoric -- Hortense J. Spillers, "Martin Luther King and the Style of Black Sermon"24. Debate and Documents: Religion, Society, and Politics in Modern Times -- Joseph A. Johnson, Jr. "Jesus the Liberator", U.S. Catholic Bishops, "A Pastoral Message: Economic Justice for All and Jerry Falwell, "The Imperative of Moral Involvement"

Editorial Reviews

"Excellent sourcebook for history of religion in America and its influence on American cultural ethos."--Glenn Kreider, The Criswell College