Twentieth-Century Shapers of American Popular Religion

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Overview

Those familiar with the uneven quality of existing biographies and autobiographies of modern American religious celebrities will be especially grateful for the critical comments and reliable information in this engaging volume. Choice

Despite its pervasive influence, popular or non-official religion in twentieth-century America has been largely ignored by scholars. This book is the first biographical reference to be published on the subject. It examines the lives and careers of more than sixty notable individuals who have helped to shape popular religious sentiment in this century, including radio and television preachers, inspirational writers, gospel songwriter-performers, mass revivalists, and leaders of religious movements that cut across denominational lines.

In his introduction, Lippy discusses the eclectic and individualistic character of popular religion, its impact on American attitudes and behavior, and critical approaches to interpreting and understanding it. Each essay offers a brief biography followed by a critical appraisal of the contribution of the subject and an assessment of relevant literature. Entries conclude with a selective bibliography. Cross-referencing and a comprehensive index are supplied. Combining the efforts of more than forty scholars, Lippy's book is the first to give us a clear picture of the many different kinds of people who have left their mark on popular religious consciousness in the twentieth century. A useful reference for American studies, American religious history, popular culture studies, and related areas, this volume will also be of interest to general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of 62 portraits provides an overview of the leading personalities of a North American phenomenon: popular religion that exists outside the denominational mainstream, is usually media-based, and depends upon the individual charisma of its leaders. Each entry includes a biography, appraisal, survey of criticism, and bibliography. Personalities range from Pat Robertson to Malcolm X, from Aimee Semple McPherson to the Berrigan brothers. The work even makes a strong case for its inclusion of John Foster Dulles and Sinclair Lewis. Many of the 44 generally even-handed contributors collaborated in the editor's Religious Periodicals of the United States: Academic and Scholarly Journals (Greenwood, 1986).-- Richard S. Watts, San Bernardino Cty. Lib., Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313253560
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/27/1989
  • Pages: 522
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

CHARLES H. LIPPY is Professor of Religion and History at Clemson University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Twentieth-Century Shapers of American Popular Religion

Bibliography

Index

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