Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States

Article excerpt

Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States. Edited by Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport. Forward by Martin Marty. 5 vols. (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017, Pp. xxx, 2777. $495.00, cloth; $479.99, eBook).

This extensive multi-volume reference work provides extensive resources for scholars, students, and those interested in further study in American Christianities. The entries not only contain factual information, but attempt to go a step further and interpret the significance of the subject to American Christianities on the whole. The aim of the overall project was to capture the complexities of American Christianities from a wide range of perspectives, including denominations, significant people, organizations, sectarian groups and movements, the arts, theologies, social issues, etc. Overall, the encyclopedia does an excellent job at capturing the depth and diversities within the field. As a reference work the writing is clear and inviting.

Authors and the editorial board represent a large group of advanced students as well as seasoned scholars, include women and men, and scholars of color. Here the bias is toward scholars affiliated with evangelical and conservative schools and seminaries; the contributors from Episcopal seminaries are almost non-existent, with the brief exception of Trinity School for Ministry. Thus, the historical narrative of the Episcopal Church throughout the encyclopedia is framed from a more conservative perspective, including an emphasis on points of departure (either after 1945 in one article, or after 1970 in another,) where some found staying in the church untenable due to women's ordination, issues related to sexuality, prayer book revisions, or other issues. …

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