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The first edition of this award-winning reference, published in 1977, contained 425 biographical profiles of the most significant American religious figures. This new edition includes profiles for 125 additional people, and the earlier biographical sketches have been revised and updated. The volume includes religious leaders who died before July 1, 1992. Among its pages are entries for reformers, philosophers, social activists, doers and dreamers. While many of the people are mainstream, white ordained clergymen, many more stand outside traditional denominations and reflect the cultural and religious diversity of modern America. The result is a systematic overview of 400 years of American religion from the colonial period to the present day.
Each profile begins with a capsule summary of the chief events in that person's life. The biographical essay that follows places the basic facts of the figure's life within the larger context of American religious history. A bibliography of the most significant works by and about the figure concludes each entry. Appendices at the end of the work categorize each individual by religious denomination and by place of birth.
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