Religion and the American Experience: A Social and Cultural History, 1765-1996

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Swift's ten chapters cover a wide variety of topics, from religion in the early republic to early African American religion, women, reform, nativism movements, and fundamentalism, all the way up to the contemporary culture wars, spanning nearly two and a half centuries, and synthesizing a large amount of material from social, cultural, and intellectual history.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Swift has written a comprehensive look at many aspects of American religion. His point of view as a sociologist, however, has led him to omit the spiritual dimension as "beyond the scope" of this social history, and that is the book's weakness. His sweeping statements also attest to a lack of theological perspective. For example, when Swift says that the awakened (evangelical) religion was rooted in personal experience rather than in doctrine, he ignores the strong doctrinal beliefs of men such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, the key figures in the Great Awakening of the 1740s. Swift's work, however, is packed with information resulting from an amazing amount of study that covers the spectrum of religious groups in American history. Recommended for all larger library collections. (Index not seen.)George Westerlund, Providence P.L., R.I.
An overview of the impact of religion on political, social, economic, and cultural developments in the US for general readers, and also suitable for use in courses on the social or general history of the country. Begins with the aftermath of the Calvinist Great Awakening that crested in the 1730s and 1740s and its impact on the movement for political and religious freedom. Concludes with a survey of current issues such as women's and gay rights and new and non-western religions. Paper edition (unseen), $25.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765601346
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/30/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 315
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Religion in the New Republic 3
2 Early African American Religion 30
3 Native American Religion 52
4 Societal Change and the Second Awakening 70
5 Women, the Churches, and Empowerment 106
6 Reform, Political Divisions, and Disunion 126
7 Postbellum African American Religion 157
8 Beyond the Mainstream: Immigrants, Nativism, and Cultural Conflict 182
9 Socioeconomic Change and Politics 211
10 Fundamentalists Versus Modernists 233
11 The Contemporary Scene 260
Index 293
About the Author 309
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