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Religion in America to 1865

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Religion in America to 1865 provides the only available survey of religion in the United States from colonization to the Civil War. Its guiding theme is American pluralism. In America, the number and diversity of religious bodies increased to levels unprecedented in the older nations of the world, as did the percentage of Americans who chose to belong to them. Meanwhile, churches with roots in Europe were forced to adapt to their new environment, becoming markedly different from...

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Overview

Religion in America to 1865 provides the only available survey of religion in the United States from colonization to the Civil War. Its guiding theme is American pluralism. In America, the number and diversity of religious bodies increased to levels unprecedented in the older nations of the world, as did the percentage of Americans who chose to belong to them. Meanwhile, churches with roots in Europe were forced to adapt to their new environment, becoming markedly different from their ancestral faiths.

Religion in America to 1865 provides a concise introduction to the central themes of American religious history before the Civil War, covering the history of Native American religions, Colonial American religions, Protestantism, Anglicanism, and African American religions. The book is structured chronologically, allowing connections to be made between religious and secular history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There is a real need for this book. There is no existing book that covers this range of material at a level that is approachable for undergraduate students and interested non-specialists."

-Deborah Madsen,South Bank University

"Link[s] unfamiliar developments in American religious history to major events in American history. . . . Essential reading because of its breadth and the significance of its themes."

-Joyce D. Goodfriend,University of Denver

"There is a real need for this book. . . . No existing book covers this range of material at a level that is approachable for undergraduate students and interested non-specialists."

-Deborah Madsen,South Bank University

"Essential reading because of its breadth and the significance of its themes."

-Joyce D. Goodfriend,University of Denver

"Much has changed during te 40 years since O'Hair was in her prime. . . . One may wonder what O'Hair would think of these changes, but Le Beau leaves no doubt that she would have something to say."

-The Atheist,

Booknews
The history of religion in the US through the Civil War, says LeBeau, parallels that of the country's general history in the principle themes of growth, diversity, and adaptation. He explains that whatever their intention, religious bodies who arrived in North America found they had to play by a different set of rules and to modify their beliefs and behavior in order to win the hearts and minds of a population that could choose which church to join. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814751640
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bryan F. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He is the author/editor of several books, including The Story of the Salem Witch Trail and Religion in America to 1865 (also available from NYU Press).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Native American Religion 8
2 British Colonization and the Origins of American Religion 35
3 Religion and the American Revolution 58
4 Religion and the Early Republic 79
5 Religion and the Age of Reform 109
6 A People Apart 137
7 Civil War and the Churches 163
Epilogue 191
Index 203
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