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The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History (Columbia Guides to American History and Cultures) Hardcover – February 14, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Columbia Guides to American History and Cultures
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231140207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231140201
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,745,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History serves scholars, students, and general readers who search for reliable narratives and resource texts on American religious history in an environment where older, guiding narratives have been complicated and occasionally rendered suspect by more recent research. Harvey and Blum's compilation seeks to offer basic information as well as a synthetic and interpretive set of guidelines, and succeeds in both aims.

(Tracy Fessenden, author of Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature)

As Maimonides did for theology, this book offers a guide that deepens understanding of the perplexities of American religious history while orienting readers to its terrain. Employing a sophisticated approach to historical studies of religion, the essays are organized around dialectical tensions within American religion rather than one-sided themes. Reflecting the deep engagement with historiography that both Harvey and Blum are known for, this volume will be much appreciated by readers seeking a comprehensive map of the territory.

(Dr. Amanda Porterfield, Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion and History, Florida State University)

Harvey and Blum have done a great service in creating this readable, accessible overview of so many important topics.

(Matthew Avery Sutton Christian Century) important reference work, welcome for its breadth and portability. Highly Recommended.


The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History will be a beneficial addition to the reference section of any university library.

(Brian C. Wilson Journal of Church and State 1900-01-00)


Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum, both distinguished and well published scholars, have brought together a stellar group of established and younger scholars of American religion to produce a rich and rewarding guide through the thickets of American religious history. The volume highlights in a unique way the tensions, conflicts, and creativity of American religions. Harvey and Blum open the book with a probing introduction, an extended essay that lucidly and compellingly captures in ten themes the paradoxes of religion in American history. Innovative approaches, new areas of inquiry, up-to-date scholarship, and profound insights are to be found in twenty essays ranging from topics such as "Colonial Encounters" to "Religion and the Environment." I highly recommend this profound contribution to the field of religion in American history.

(Curtis J. Evans, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity, University of Chicago Divinity School)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The real story of North America, and the United States in particular, is inextricably linked with its various religious heritages. This book is a compilation of great essays that put many of the most influential religions in our history into interesting, sometimes startling contexts. As a religious person myself, and as someone interested in really understanding current affairs and how we got where we are as a nation, I wish I had read this book 30 years ago. Any serious student of history (or even a half-serious reader with a healthy curiosity) will find this book a compelling read. It makes me wish I had paid better attention in all those mandatory Western Civ. classes in college.
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The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History (Columbia Guides to American History and Cultures)
This item: The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History (Columbia Guides to American History and Cultures)
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