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New Historical Atlas of Religion in America Hardcover – January 18, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0195091687 ISBN-10: 019509168X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The "new" in the title of this gorgeous, informative atlas suggests the book's position as its own successor; in 1962, church historian Gaustad released the meticulously researched Historical Atlas of Religion in America, which has served ever since as the best resource of its kind. This significantly revised version (whose statistical base takes readers at least up to 1990, and sometimes as late as 1998) delights not only in its 260 full-color maps and 200 graphs, tables and charts, but also in the mellifluous text co-written by Gaustad and Barlow, a theology professor at Hanover College. Each religious group receives extensive treatment, with heightened emphasis on religious newcomers such as Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslims; the sections on Native American and African-American religious traditions have also been significantly expanded. The authors note that a picture is worth a thousand words only "sometimes," and take painstaking care to ensure that the maps and charts contained herein illustrate the complexities of religious change over time. Thus alongside a graph showing a meteoric rise in the numbers of Baha'is in America since 1970, the authors point to other charts demonstrating the numeric decline of traditional religions in the same period and postulate that "people often look to alternative religious expressions when more traditional options are languishing." Special maps elucidate denominational predominance be region, the religious affiliations of members of Congress and the proliferation of religious place names, among many other considerations. This eminently useful, visually stunning atlas speaks eloquently of America's history of religious faith. (Jan.) Forecast: This book was one of the most talked-about forthcoming titles at last month's American Academy of Religion annual meeting in Nashville. It will enjoy significant sales in the library market, of course, but also has potential among individual scholars and clergy, to whom Oxford has been offering a discounted promotional price.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

How do you improve upon a classic? This book, which gave scholars a visualization of religions in America as they spread, clustered, shrank, and calcified in certain geographical areas, was a wondrous new tool when it first appeared in 1976--owing partly to the novel representation of information that had previously been relegated to narrative. The strength of the new edition lies primarily in advanced technology: the maps detailing the locations of various religious communities are brighter and clearer because of digitization. In terms of content, however, much was already said in the first incarnation. Details have been added on the decline of the mainstream Protestant denominations, the rise of the Pentacostals and Evangelical Christians, and the modest influence of Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism, but these are small additions that--while excellent for remaining up-to-date--do not necessarily justify purchasing a costly new volume. Libraries with the previous edition (now out of print) should purchase only if the older edition has received considerable usage. Otherwise, this revised edition is strongly recommended and can be considered indispensable for theological and academic libraries.
Glenn Masuchika, Rockwell Collins Information Ctr., Cedar Rapids, IA.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019509168X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195091687
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.1 x 14.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,887,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Dragon Phoenix on September 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is a meticulous and in a way, breathtaking piece of work. It seems to be well researched and painstakingly put together. I love the maps and the writing is clear and thoughtful. If you are a serious scholar of world religions your library would not be complete without this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy E. McMahon on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
...The authors of this reference work have expended a great deal of time and energy putting together a comprehensive review of the American religious experience from the earliest times through the 1990s.
The exquisite cartographic works presented by the authors, and the eloquent accompanying text will certainly be a pleasure to readers. In fact, readers will find that in many sections of the book, the authors' prose is nearly as colorful and equally as informative as any map displayed throughout the entire work. Religious scholars and students alike will find the bibliographies at the end of each section to be an indispensable springboard to deeper studies on select topics. In and of themselves, these bibliographies would make an excellent reference work. The authors should give significant thought to the development of a freestanding bibliography based on the bibliographic references provided in this work. This would be another significant piece of scholarship for the academic community studying this topic.
While I can't recommend this book as something for everyone's coffee table, the work fits in nicely with larger public libraries, special libraries and in the collections of colleges and universities.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jay L. Baldwin on October 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a head of a ministry involved in spiritual mapping this book is by far the best resource available. Though it may be cost prohibitive for some; it is extremely necessary for anyone or any group that is involved in spiritual mapping.
The cartography is excellent and detailed. The sections well defined and divided. All in all a reference that is required for all in spiritual mapping.
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