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The encyclopedia of American religious history /

Main Author: Queen, Edward L.
Other Authors: Prothero, Stephen R., Shattuck, Gardiner H.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Facts On File, 1996
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Review by Choice Review

The role of religion in US history is often overlooked in history texts, and students and scholars of this discipline have long needed a good encyclopedia, a requirement this work fills capably. The well-written entries are arranged alphabetically, include persons, concepts, denominations, and places, and end with brief bibliographies. The three principal authors and the contributors are all noted scholars in the field. All religions that have contributed to religious development in the US are included. Historical terms are redefined in the context of religion; e.g., "manifest destiny," usually considered the moral basis for the US's territorial expansion, is here shown to have religious significance as well. The only comparable work is Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience, ed. by C.H. Lippy and P.W. Williams (CH, May'88), still useful but dated. The present book, useful for any library, will be essential for college and university libraries. R. Dyson Wabash College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

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. (Reviewed March 1, 1996)

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Queen (religion and philosophy, Indiana Univ.), Stephen R. Prothero (philosophy, Georgia State Univ.), and Gardiner H. Shattuck (Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island) have provided a much-needed resource for students of America's religious history from pre-Colonial times to the present. Reflecting the diversity of religion in America, this work includes topics on Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and alternative religions, as well as Christianity. The articles are well researched and authoritative, yet they occasionally seem to reveal the mind of the author. However, the only current reference work comparable in scope and depth is the three-volume Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience (Scribner, 1988. o.p.). However, while that work consists of long topical articles in thematic chapters, this reference is comprised of articles of varying lengths arranged alphabetically. Thus, this work is suited to curious readers who wish to dip in here and there for information about people, denominations, issues, and movements that have played a part in the religious history of the nation. Libraries that have the Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience should also add these volumes to their collections.-Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Birmingham (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

YA‘A two-volume set that outlines the varied and numerous philosophies, personalities, social issues, and cultural history of religious practices within this country. This is a most valuable reference tool, as its briskly written entries are complemented with 120 black-and-white illustrations, and it includes both a general subject and synoptic index. The work is also an important one because of its balanced coverage of topics routine and controversial. Each denomination and sect is given a historical perspective, and the general doctrines of each faith are given clear, succinct treatment. Queen is careful to include contemporary trends and divisive topics to keep his factual representation honest. Homosexuality, healing, New Age philosophy, abortion, televangelists, and other topics of current interest are given fair and objective coverage. Concise biographies of hundreds of individuals influential to America's religious make-up are also included, from Jonathan Edwards to Billy Graham. The readable text is heavily cross-referenced, and makes a fitting complement to other standard resources.‘Carol Beall, Immanuel Christian School, Springfield, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.