Alternative American Religions


Religious dissenters embody fundamental principles of human nature--thedesire to be different and the willingness to challenge the establishment. Fromthe extreme to the mundane, alternative religions have sprouted at one time oranother throughout the entire span of American history and often played asignificant role in it. From the Vermont Pilgrims in the 1800s, who worebearskins and refused to bathe, through Quakers, Shakers, Christian Scientists,and Scientologists, this is a vivid, panoramic overview of the history ofreligious dissent in America. Stephen Stein--in an even-handed, engrossingnarrative--explores select examples of alternative religious movements from thecolonial period to the 20th century. Committed to fairness of representation,the author describes the fundamental structure of cults, sects, and organizedreligious organizations from two perspectives--the way in which these groupsunderstand themselves, and the way in which they are rendered by theircritics.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Jon Butler
  • Harry S. Stout
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2000


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