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Religion in North America

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Religion in North America

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American Post-Judaism

Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society

Shaul Magid

How do American Jews identify as both Jewish and American? American Post-Judaism argues that Zionism and the Holocaust, two anchors of contempoary American Jewish identity, will no longer be centers of identity formation for future generations of American Jews. Shaul Magid articulates a new, post-ethnic American Jewishness. He discusses pragmatism and spirituality, monotheism and post-monotheism, Jesus, Jewish law, sainthood and self-realization, and the meaning of the Holocaust for those who have never known survivors. Magid presents Jewish Renewal as a movement that takes this radical cultural transition seriously in its strivings for a new era in Jewish thought and practice.

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American Religious Liberalism

Edited by Leigh E. Schmidt and Sally M. Promey

Religious liberalism in America has often been equated with an ecumenical Protestant establishment. By contrast, American Religious Liberalism draws attention to the broad diversity of liberal cultures that shapes America's religious movements. The essays gathered here push beyond familiar tropes and boundaries to interrogate religious liberalism's dense cultural leanings by looking at spirituality in the arts, the politics and piety of religious cosmopolitanism, and the interaction between liberal religion and liberal secularism. Readers will find a kaleidoscopic view of many of the progressive strands of America's religious past and present in this richly provocative volume.

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The Christian Home in Victorian America, 1840--1900

Colleen McDannell

"... wonderfully imaginative and provocative in its interdisciplinary approach to the study of nineteenth-century American religion and women's role within it."  -- Choice

"... an important addition to the fields of religious studies, women's history, and American cultural history." -- Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"... a complete and complex portrait of the Christian home." -- The Journal of American History

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Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives

Free Will Christian Women in Colonial Maryland

Debra A. Meyers

Religious conflicts had a pronounced effect on women and their families in early modern England, but our understanding of that impact is limited by the restrictions that prevented the open expression of religious beliefs in the post-Reformation years. More can be gleaned by shifting our focus to the New World, where gender relations and family formations were largely unhampered by the unsettling political and religious climate of England. In Maryland, English Arminian Catholics, Particular Baptists, Presbyterians, Puritans, Quakers, and Roman Catholics lived and worked together for most of the 17th century. By closely examining thousands of wills and other personal documents, as well as early Maryland's material culture, this transatlantic study depicts women's place in society and the ways religious values and social arrangements shaped their lives. Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives takes a revisionist approach to the study of women and religion in colonial Maryland and adds considerably to our understanding of the social and cultural importance of religion in early America.

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Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living

Brian C. Wilson

Purveyors of spiritualized medicine have been legion in American religious history, but few have achieved the superstar status of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his Battle Creek Sanitarium. In its heyday, the "San" was a combination spa and Mayo Clinic. Founded in 1866 under the auspices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and presided over by the charismatic Dr. Kellogg, it catered to many well-heeled health seekers including Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Presidents Taft and Harding. It also supported a hospital, research facilities, a medical school, a nursing school, several health food companies, and a publishing house dedicated to producing materials on health and wellness. Rather than focusing on Kellogg as the eccentric creator of corn flakes or a megalomaniacal quack, Brian C. Wilson takes his role as a physician and a theological innovator seriously and places his religion of "Biologic Living" in an on-going tradition of sacred health and wellness. With the fascinating and unlikely story of the "San" as a backdrop, Wilson traces the development of this theology of physiology from its roots in antebellum health reform and Seventh-day Adventism to its ultimate accommodation of genetics and eugenics in the Progressive Era.

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Encounters of the Spirit

Native Americans and European Colonial Religion

Richard W. Pointer

Historians have long been aware that the encounter with Europeans affected all aspects of Native American life. But were Indians the only ones changed by these cross-cultural meetings? Might the newcomers' ways, including their religious beliefs and practices, have also been altered amid their myriad contacts with native peoples? In Encounters of the Spirit, Richard W. Pointer takes up these intriguing questions in an innovative study of the religious encounter between Indians and Euro-Americans in early America. Exploring a series of episodes across the three centuries of the colonial era and stretching from New Spain to New France and the English settlements, he finds that the flow of cultural influence was more often reciprocal than unidirectional.

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Gods of the Mississippi

Edited by Michael Pasquier

From the colonial period to the present, the Mississippi River has impacted religious communities from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Exploring the religious landscape along the 2,530 miles of the largest river system in North America, the essays in Gods of the Mississippi make a compelling case for American religion in motion--not just from east to west, but also from north to south. With discussion of topics such as the religions of the Black Atlantic, religion and empire, antebellum religious movements, the Mormons at Nauvoo, black religion in the delta, Catholicism in the Deep South, and Johnny Cash and religion, this volume contributes to a richer understanding of this diverse, dynamic, and fluid religious world.

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Healing the Nation

Literature, Progress, and Christian Science

L. Ashley Squires

Exploring the surprising presence of Christian Science in American literature at the turn of the 20th century, L. Ashley Squires reveals the rich and complex connections between religion and literature in American culture. Mary Baker Eddy's Church of Christ, Scientist was one of the fastest growing and most controversial religious movements in the United States, and it is no accident that its influence touched the lives and work of many American writers, including Frances Hodgson Burnett, Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser, Upton Sinclair, and Mark Twain. Squires focuses on personal stories of sickness and healing—whether supportive or deeply critical of Christian Science’s recommendations --penned in a moment when the struggle between religion and science framed debates about how the United States was to become a modern nation. As outsized personalities and outlandish rhetoric took to the stage, Squires examines how the poorly understood Christian Science movement contributed to popular narratives about how to heal the nation and advance the cause of human progress.

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The New Black Gods

Arthur Huff Fauset and the Study of African American Religions

Edited by Edward E. Curtis IV and Danielle Brune Sigler

Taking the influential work of Arthur Huff Fauset as a starting point to break down the false dichotomy that exists between mainstream and marginal, a new generation of scholars offers fresh ideas for understanding the religious expressions of African Americans in the United States. Fauset's 1944 classic, Black Gods of the Metropolis, launched original methods and theories for thinking about African American religions as modern, cosmopolitan, and democratic. The essays in this collection show the diversity of African American religion in the wake of the Great Migration and consider the full field of African American religion from Pentecostalism to Black Judaism, Black Islam, and Father Divine's Peace Mission Movement. As a whole, they create a dynamic, humanistic, and thoroughly interdisciplinary understanding of African American religious history and life. This book is essential reading for anyone who studies the African American experience.

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New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America

Mary Farrell Bednarowski

"Bednarowski is especially good at elucidating the theological daring of these new American religions.... [She] demonstrates in a very few pages how... theology and group adherence made the individual count, a configuration simultaneously American, un-American, and important." -- Jon Butler

"The cultural confrontation with these `new religions' is very real and usually very misinformed. Bednarowski has gone to great lengths to dispel the ignorance." -- The Christian Century

"A groundbreaking study." -- Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture

Organized as a series of theological conversations about ultimate questions, this book offers a guide to the answers these six religions offer. Drawing heavily on sources from the movements themselves, it presents a balanced comparative account of the emerging theological systems of America's new religions.

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