History of Religion in the United States

History of Religion in the United States

History of Religion in the United States

History of Religion in the United States

Excerpt

During the past several decades, students of American civilization have demonstrated an increasing predilection for the exploration of intellectual and cultural themes. Particularly noteworthy has been the enthusiasm on the part of both secular and church historians for the study of American religious history. The result has been a steady production of scholarly monographs and treatises on numerous phases of national religious life and thought. It has seemed imperative that the results of mature scholarship be brought together and made available in a relatively comprehensive yet concise one-volume survey which traces the history of American religion from colonial times to the present. That is the raison d'être this book.

Recognizing that no movement exists in a vacuum, I have endeavored to set the story of American religion within the broad sweep of political, economic, social, and intellectual history. In keeping with the growing propensity among church historians to emphasize the role of theology, the present work has been written from a somewhat fuller theological perspective than previous volumes in the same general field. Some professional readers will prefer even more emphasis in that direction; others may prefer a more sociological orientation. My primary aim has been to achieve a fairly balanced treatment of American religion, taking into ac-

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