Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- Popular Religious Magazines of the United States Edited by P. Mark Fackler and Charles H. Lippy

Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- Popular Religious Magazines of the United States Edited by P. Mark Fackler and Charles H. Lippy

Article excerpt

P. Mark Fackler and Charles H. Lippy, eds. Popular Religious Magazines of the United States. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995. 616 pp. $125.

In contrast to Religious Periodicals of the United States Academic and Scholarly Journals, which in 1986 profiled influential periodicals aimed at a scholarly audience, this companion volume focuses on popular religious periodicals intended for a lay audience. Of more than 10,000 such publications, the ninety-nine profiled in this volume are a nice blend of magazines currently available and others that are no longer in print.

For the most part, the editors accomplish their goal of introducing users to the "range of popular religious periodical literature that has flourished in the United States." There are magazines for a general audience and others designed for women or children, and they represent various types of publication and sponsorship arrangements. Some chart the development of denominations, religious organizations or movements; others promote personal religiosity, seek to attract new members or advance a religiously inspired cause. Most reflect America's Judeo-Christian heritage, but there also are some from non-Christian traditions.

Most of the magazines one would expect to find in a volume of this kind are included: A.D., American Bible Society Record, Campus Life, Christian Century, Christian Recorder, Christianity Today, Decision, Ensign, Guideposts, Moody Monthly, Sojourner, United Methodist Reporter, and Watchtower, to name but a few.

There also are some nice surprises, such as Door (formerly Wittenburg

sic

Door),which has used satire to comment on the American religious scene for almost twenty-five years. And there's Godey's Lady's Book, used by co-editor Sarah J. Hale as a vehicle for championing attitudes toward women, religion and culture that came to characterize middle class American Protestantism in the Victorian era.

No reference work of manageable size could include all of the magazines one might like to see profiled. …

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