Indiana University Press

Religion in North America

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Religion in North America

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The Odyssey of a New Religion

The Holy Order of MANS From New Age to Orthodoxy

Phillip Charles Lucas

"... solid scholarship.... [It] will not only serve as a model for those studying the New Religious Movements of the late twentieth century, but will offer help to mainline and other religious institutions who are struggling with problems of identity and change in our complex society today." -- Church History

"... a thoroughly enjoyable book that would fit well into a graduate readings seminar on new religious movements....The book deserves a wide reading." -- Nova Religio

"Lucas's study provides a model of how best to combine the methodologies and analyses of the history of religions and sociology. He has provided the groundwork for continued tracking of developments in this new religious movement for comparative purposes." -- Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"... a carefully researched and well-written history of one of the important new religious movements to appear in the United States during the 1960s... the volume can be heartily recommended to all students of American religion." -- American Historical Review

"Lucas has written one of the best informed studies of the evolution of a metaphysical cult into mainline eastern orthodoxy."  -- The Reader's Review

"This is an important book for libraries with holdings in American religion." -- Choice

"... a fascinating narrative... a rich feast for the investigator of the subculture of esoteric religion... " -- American Studies International

"... especially welcome. It offers an in-depth, meticulously documented history of a church, the Holy Order of MANS, that arose from the Christian esoteric mystery tradition and then metamorphosed into a traditionalist Orthodox Christian sect. This unlikely tale has more twists and turns than a whodunit... this volume is that rarest of finds: an academic book that is a delight to read." -- Gnosis Magazine

Traces the journey of a new religious movement from its start as a monastic-style New Age order to its transformation into the more conventional Christ the Savior Brotherhood, an Eastern Orthodox sect. A remarkable story of social and spiritual change in contemporary America.

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Rally the Scattered Believers

Northern New England’s Religious Geography

Shelby M. Balik

Northern New England, a rugged landscape dotted with transient settlements, posed challenges to the traditional town church in the wake of the American Revolution. Using the methods of spatial geography, Shelby M. Balik examines how migrants adapted their understanding of religious community and spiritual space to survive in the harsh physical surroundings of the region. The notions of boundaries, place, and identity they developed became the basis for spreading New England's deeply rooted spiritual culture, even as it opened the way to a new evangelical age.

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Religion and Violence in Early American Methodism

Taking the Kingdom by Force

Jeffrey Williams

Early American Methodists commonly described their religious lives as great wars with sin and claimed they wrestled with God and Satan who assaulted them in terrible ways. Carefully examining a range of sources, including sermons, letters, autobiographies, journals, and hymns, Jeffrey Williams explores this violent aspect of American religious life and thought. Williams exposes Methodism's insistence that warfare was an inevitable part of Christian life and necessary for any person who sought God's redemption. He reveals a complex relationship between religion and violence, showing how violent expression helped to provide context and meaning to Methodist thought and practice, even as Methodist religious life was shaped by both peaceful and violent social action.

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The Religious Imagination of American Women

Mary Farrell Bednarowski

"This book is a nuanced discussion of contemporary feminist thought in a variety of religious traditions. It draws from both academic and popular writings and offers a rich selection of books to pursue on one's own." -- Re-Imagining

"This remarkable book examines American women's religious thought in many diverse faith traditions.... This is a cogent, provocative -- even moving -- analysis." -- Publishers Weekly

This study of the fruits of many different women's religious thought offers insights into the ways women may be shaping American religious ideas and world views at the end of the twentieth century. At its broadest, this book presents a multi-voiced response to the question: "When women across many traditions are heard speaking theologically, publicly and self-consciously as women, what do they have to say?"

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Rolling Away the Stone

Mary Baker Eddy's Challenge to Materialism

Stephen Gottschalk

This richly detailed study highlights the last two decades of the life of Mary Baker Eddy, a prominent religious thinker whose character and achievement are just beginning to be understood. It is the first book-length discussion of Eddy to make full use of the resources of the Mary Baker Eddy Collection in Boston. Rolling Away the Stone focuses on her long-reaching legacy as a Christian thinker, specifically her challenge to the materialism that threatens religious belief and practice.

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Salvation and Suicide

An Interpretation of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown

David Chidester

Praise for the first edition:
"[This] ambitious and courageous book [is a] benchmark of theology by which questions about the meaningful history of the Peoples Temple may be measured." —Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Re-issued in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the mass suicides at Jonestown, this revised edition of David Chidester’s pathbreaking book features a new prologue that considers the meaning of the tragedy for a post-Waco, post-9/11 world. For Chidester, Jonestown recalls the American religious commitment to redemptive sacrifice, which for Jim Jones meant saving his followers from the evils of capitalist society. "Jonestown is ancient history," writes Chidester, but it does provide us with an opportunity "to reflect upon the strangeness of familiar... promises of redemption through sacrifice."

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Shakers, Mormons, and Religious Worlds

Conflicting Visions, Contested Boundaries

Stephen C. Taysom

Among America's more interesting new religious movements, the Shakers and the Mormons came to be thought of as separate and distinct from mainstream Protestantism. Using archives and historical materials from the 19th century, Stephen C. Taysom shows how these groups actively maintained boundaries and created their own thriving, but insular communities. Taysom discovers a core of innovation deployed by both the Shakers and the Mormons through which they embraced their status as outsiders. Their marginalization was critical to their initial success. As he skillfully negotiates the differences between Shakers and Mormons, Taysom illuminates the characteristics which set these groups apart and helped them to become true religious dissenters.

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Sisters of the Spirit

Three Black Women's Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century

Edited with an Introduction by William L. Andrews

"Sisters of the Spirit... should interest a wider audience.... These fascinating accounts can stand on their own.... Mr. Andrews has made them even more accessible by providing a comprehensive introduction and helpful footnotes... but he does not intrude on the text itself." -- New York Times Book Review

"... informative and inspiring reading." -- The Journal of American History

Jarena Lee, Zilpha Elaw, and Julia Foote underwent a revolution in their own sense of self that helped to launch a feminist revolution in American religious life and in American society as a whole.

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The Spiritual Journals of Warren Felt Evans

From Methodism to Mind Cure

Edited by Catherine L. Albanese. Warren Felt Evans

Warren Felt Evans (1817–1889) converted to Methodism while at Dartmouth College, became a minister, and spent his Methodist years as a spiritual seeker. His two extant journals, edited and annotated by Catherine L. Albanese, appear in print for the first time and reveal the inner journey of a leading American spiritual pilgrim at a critical period in his religious search. A voracious reader, he recorded accounts of intense religious experience in his journals. He moved from the Oberlin perfectionism he embraced early on, through the French quietism of Madame J. Guyon and Archbishop Fénelon, then into Swedenborgianism, spiritualism, and mind cure with distinct theosophical overtones. His carefully documented journey is suggestive of the similar journeys of the religious seekers who made their way into the burgeoning metaphysical movement at the end of the 19th century—and may shed light too on today's spirituality.

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Work and Faith in the Kentucky Coal Fields

Subject to Dust

Richard J. Callahan, Jr.

Exploring themes of work and labor in everyday life, Richard J. Callahan, Jr., offers a history of how coal miners and their families lived their religion in eastern Kentucky's coal fields during the early 20th century. Callahan follows coal miners and their families from subsistence farming to industrial coal mining as they draw upon religious idioms to negotiate changing patterns of life and work. He traces innovation and continuity in religious expression that emerged from the specific experiences of coal mining, including the spaces and social structures of coal towns, the working bodies of miners, the anxieties of their families, and the struggle toward organized labor. Building on oral histories, folklore, folksongs, and vernacular forms of spirituality, this rich and engaging narrative recovers a social history of ordinary working people through religion.

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