Review by Choice Review
Melton is recognized as America's chief religious detective; there is little about the US's denominations and cults he has failed to discover and make available for use. His extraordinarily helpful Encyclopedia of American Religions (2v., CH, Dec '79; rev. 1988) replaced the US Bureau of the Census's Census of Religious Bodies, 1936 (78v., 1939-40) and is often compared with Arthur Piepkorn's Profiles in Belief (CH, Dec '77; Nov '79). Melton gives wider coverage and is superior in taxonomy; Piepkorn gives better coverage of the doctrinal positions of the various denominations. This defect in Melton is admirably remedied by this new book. It is a compilation of the credal statements of the denominations and sects, including such esoteric groups as the Church of the New Song and the Free Church of Berkeley. The sects that claim no written creed but are ruled by undocumented but rigorous tradition (e.g., Plymouth Brethren, Churches of Christ) are excluded by definition. For the confessional churches (Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian), Melton furnishes full texts of the historic creeds. As a complement to Melton's earlier book or the Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience (CH, May '88), this admirable book will become standard. Strongly recommended for all libraries that support study of religion.-L.D. Jordahl, Luther College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Melton has a well-earned reputation as one of America's foremost authorities on American religious groups; previous titles produced by his Institute for Study of American Religion have become standards, as will this one. Here he has compiled more than 450 creedal statements of both traditional and nontraditional religions in the United States and Canada. Not intended to replace other sources, this volume emphasizes contemporaneity by including only creeds currently acknowledged. Texts are arranged by the ``religious family'' groupings used in Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions (Gale, 1986. 2d ed.) . A superb reference that also makes fascinating reading; highly recommended. Craig W. Beard, Harding Univ. Lib., Searcy, Ark. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.