Encyclopedia of American Religious History / Edition 3

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The Encyclopedia of American Religious History contains more than 700 articles on the complex tapestry that is this country's religious heritage. Organized in an accessible A-to-Z format, readers and researchers will find objecting, thoughtful coverage of: important persons, denominations, key events and themes, movements and sects, controversial issues, and more.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The editors and contributors responsible for the first edition of this work (LJ 1/96) also participated in the revision. Indeed, Martin Marty even reprises the foreword. As with the original edition, this work is useful for providing a broad overview of religious events, personalities, and denominations that have figured in U.S. history from the Reformation to Waco, TX. In addition to a general index, the volumes include a synoptic index that identifies thematic categories such as African American religion, church and state, ecumenism, social reform, and utopianism and also identifies entries related to specific denominations. This edition includes about 30 new entries, principally in the area of Eastern religions (e.g., Dalai Lama, Taoism, Bruce Lee, Hsi Lee Temple, and Jainism), but there are also additions on Protestant Christianity (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter, and Franklin Graham) and on such events and movements as Heaven's Gate and Habitat for Humanity. Revisions to previous entries are primarily to update statistics and to add new works and web sites to the bibliographies. Thus, for libraries owning the previous addition, this is not an essential purchase. For high school, public, and academic libraries without the previous edition, however, this is a useful reference work, complementing and extending such titles as Wade Clark Roof's Contemporary American Religion (LJ 3/15/00) and J. Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions (Gale, 1998. 6th ed.). Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., NC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Queen (religion and philosophy, Indiana Univ.), Stephen R. Prothero (philosophy, Georgia State Univ.), and Gardiner H. Shattuck (Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island) have provided a much-needed resource for students of America's religious history from pre-Colonial times to the present. Reflecting the diversity of religion in America, this work includes topics on Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and alternative religions, as well as Christianity. The articles are well researched and authoritative, yet they occasionally seem to reveal the mind of the author. However, the only current reference work comparable in scope and depth is the three-volume Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience (Scribner, 1988. o.p.). However, while that work consists of long topical articles in thematic chapters, this reference is comprised of articles of varying lengths arranged alphabetically. Thus, this work is suited to curious readers who wish to dip in here and there for information about people, denominations, issues, and movements that have played a part in the religious history of the nation. Libraries that have the Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience should also add these volumes to their collections.-Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Birmingham
Library Journal

Part of Facts On File's "Library of American History" series, this three-volume work advances the contextualization of religion vis à vis history. Back in 1996, when the first edition was released, Queen and his team of noted scholars filled a gap in religious studies by offering an overarching view of religion in society and religion in history. In 2001, the second edition addressed the diversity of religion in the Americas, and now this update with over 800 entries reflects significant issues in American religious history today. Having rewritten or revised over 100 entries, the scholarly team magnifies the quality of this title. Concepts, people, denominations, events, and places are covered in such entries as "Council on American Islamic Relations," "politics and religion," "faith based initiatives," and "war and religion and Sufism." Particularly noteworthy is the essay "The Short History of Religion in America," which provides a summative view of the topic while articulating key intersections in history and religion. BOTTOM LINE More comprehensive than Wade Clark Roof's Contemporary American Religion(Gale Cengage, 2000) and better arranged than Eugene V. Gallagher's five-volume An Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America(Greenwood, 2006), this is highly recommended for general as well as academic collections.—Marianne Giltrude, Catholic Univ. of America Libs., Washington, DC

—Marianne Giltrude
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

An expansion and update of a standard reference work (2001). This edition includes a new introduction and a lengthy essay on the history of religion in America, which takes a thematic approach, placing religious movements and subjects into the context of American history. The set has grown from two volumes to three, adding 100 entries for a total of 800. New subjects include Pope John Paul II, L. Ron Hubbard, and megachurches. Entries vary in length, and each one has good cross-references and a short bibliography. The writing is lively and easy to understand; for example, the entry on Cardinal Cushing brings to life a much loved figure of 20th-century Catholicism. Illustrations (though few) are well chosen. A "Synoptic Index" lists all entries on particular religious denominations, and the general index is extensive. This work will add a unique dimension to American history courses, particularly on the AP level, and is sufficiently updated to warrant purchase even in libraries that own the previous edition-Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN

School Library Journal
YAA two-volume set that outlines the varied and numerous philosophies, personalities, social issues, and cultural history of religious practices within this country. This is a most valuable reference tool, as its briskly written entries are complemented with 120 black-and-white illustrations, and it includes both a general subject and synoptic index. The work is also an important one because of its balanced coverage of topics routine and controversial. Each denomination and sect is given a historical perspective, and the general doctrines of each faith are given clear, succinct treatment. Queen is careful to include contemporary trends and divisive topics to keep his factual representation honest. Homosexuality, healing, New Age philosophy, abortion, televangelists, and other topics of current interest are given fair and objective coverage. Concise biographies of hundreds of individuals influential to America's religious make-up are also included, from Jonathan Edwards to Billy Graham. The readable text is heavily cross-referenced, and makes a fitting complement to other standard resources.Carol Beall, Immanuel Christian School, Springfield, VA
Zom Zoms
This solid work presents more than 500 articles on "the immense diversity of religious life in America." Both editorial adviser Martin E. Marty's foreword and the authors' introduction do an exceptional job of placing the set in the context of other similar reference works, with Marty stating that though the work "does not stand alone . . . it is distinctive." It is indeed. With the alphabetically arranged entries ranging from a few hundred words to close to 9,000 (for "Roman Catholicism"), the set examines the religions ("Conservative Judaism", "Hinduism"), people ("Farrakhan, Louis Abdul"; "Young, Brigham"), events ("Civil Rights Movement", "Restoration Movement"), and other topics ("Death of God Theology", "Slavery") that helped shape the history of religion in America. Coverage ranges in time from "Puritanism" to the "Moral Majority". The entries "Evangelicalism" and "Fundamentalism" show how these Christian movements have differed over time. All articles were written by one of the three main authors or eight other contributors, who all come from academic backgrounds. All articles--no matter how brief--end with a bibliography listing at least one work on the topic and usually more. The text is complemented by black-and-white illustrations. The inclusion of numerous cross-references within the set, an eight-page "Synoptic Index" (with such headings as "Church and State" and "Harmonial Religion"), and a 36-page general index make finding virtually any topic in this set easy No other reference work presents similar information covering such a broad scope of religions in this country. The three-volume "Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience" (Scribner, 1988) features more than 100 broad topical essays containing a wealth of information but does not offer the ready-reference access of the present set. J. Gordon Melton's "Encyclopedia of American Religions" (4th ed., Gale, 1994) covers many more individual denominations and delves into their respective histories but does not have articles on religious leaders. All libraries--even those with an extensive religious history collection--will benefit from purchasing this moderately priced, well-written set.
A comprehensive reference on American religion and religious life, past and present. It covers many forms of religion such as Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, African-American religion, alternative religious movements and sects, trends such as Scientology and the Jesus Movement, and Native American religions. Some 700 alphabetical entries address important people, denominations, organizations, controversial issues (e.g., abortion, evolution, homosexuality), events and themes, and movements. All entries include bibliographic citations and cross-references. With 120 b&w illustrations as well as synoptic and general indexes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816066605
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 1200
  • Product dimensions: 7.99 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 4.50 (d)

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