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.
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
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)