Religion, Culture, and Politics in the Twentieth-Century United States

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Anyone who seeks to understand the dynamics of culture and politics in the United States must grapple with the importance of religion in its many diverse and contentious manifestations. With conservative evangelicals forming the base of the Republican Party, racial-ethnic communities often organized along religious lines, and socio-political movements on the left including major religious components, many of the country's key cultural-political debates are carried out through religious discourse.

In this volume, Mark Hulsether leads readers on a tour of religion in the United States. He introduces key players and offers a set of case studies to explore the interaction of these players with major trends in U.S. cultural history. Students in American studies and cultural studies will especially appreciate how Hulsether frames his analysis using categories such as cultural hegemony, race and gender contestation, popular culture, and empire, enabling a more informed and constructive discussion of religion in these fields. Hulsether offers a synthesis that is concise yet internally complex and dynamic—one that gives special attention to religious diversity and conflict, the relations between religious groups and broader historical trends, and the internal struggles of religious people as they set priorities and cope with emerging change.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

H-Amstdy - Matthew A. Sutton

An excellent introduction to the major movements in modern American religion.

Journal of American History - Charles H. Lippy

Hulsether guides readers on an impressionistic journey across the twentieth-century landscape.

An excellent introduction to the major movements in modern American religion.

— Matthew A. Sutton

Stone-Campbell Journal

Hulsether deserves a great credit for writing a cultural studies-inspired textbook... that is clearly written with well-defined terms.

Journal of American History
Hulsether guides readers on an impressionistic journey across the twentieth-century landscape.

— Charles H. Lippy

International Journal of Communication

Hulsether is a skilled guide who knows the rough terrain well, and he is able to point out interesting features along the path. For those interested in religion as culture in America, this is a worthwhile read.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231144032
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/14/2007
  • Series: Columbia Series on Religion and Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,210,994
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Hulsether is associate professor of religious studies and American studies at the University of Tennessee and is the author of Building a Protestant Left: Christianity and Crisis Magazine, 1941-1993.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Table of ContentsIntroduction 1Key Players and Themes in US Religion before the Twentieth Century 20Changes in the Religious Landscape in the Early Twentieth Century 49Religion and Social Conflict in the Early Twentieth Century 77Cultural Aspects of Religion in the Early Twentieth Century 108Shifts in the Religious Landscape from World War II to the Present 138Religion and Evolving Social Conflicts from World War II to the Present 172Cultural Aspects of Religion from World War II to the Present 204Conclusion: Consensus, Pluralism, and Hegemony in US Religion 235Index 242

Columbia University Press

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