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Religion in America: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #184)

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
It's hard to think of a single aspect of American culture, past or present, in which religion has not played a major role. The roles religion plays, moreover, become more bewilderingly complex and diverse every day. For all those who want--whether out of curiosity, necessity, or civic duty--a vivid picture and fuller understanding of the current reality of religion in ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published June 30th 2008)
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Nov 03, 2013 Ig-88 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quo quas qui eum est ut cum. Corporis eaque non minus quos voluptas. Dolorum voluptas itaque expedita. Quo ut magnam voluptatem non quod reprehenderit.
Bojan Tunguz
Apr 11, 2011 Bojan Tunguz rated it liked it
Any short introduction to a subject as vast as religion will inevitably leave a lot of martial out, and in the case of a religiously rich country like America this will be doubly so. It is impossible to squeeze in the full variety of the America's religious experience and history in a hundred odd pages, and there is a need for some judicious editing. Even granting all this, the "Religion in America: a very short introduction" comes across as a disappointment. It is written from an academically ...more
Nov 15, 2013 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
Less academic than I expected but still packed with statistical analysis, this was a well rounded introduction. With a strong focus on the uniquely American 'homegrown' religions and evangelical movements, Beal shows hows their progression and growth have played out over time to be as they are today. Particularly liked the fact he spent time on Native American religious movements; something that barely registers in other discussions of America's religious climate.

Found his chatty approach slig
Dec 31, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it
Consider the book an introduction to thinking about Religion in America, not a history or an overview of how religion has played in America. The times he gets down to specifics (especially with church and state and the history of revivalism), I would quibble extensively - the Puritans were not a theocracy and he leaves Methodism largely out of his account of revivalism and the Second Great Awakening. But he is a thoughtful companion and a good writer that I need to read more of.
Aug 22, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Thoroughly enjoyed this short little book giving a broad overview of the current and the historical American approaches to religion. The one thing missing is the growing aspect of irreligion or non-religion.
Feb 28, 2012 Don rated it liked it
This little book begins with a beautiful description churches in Cleveland, Ohio, but the rest of it is forgettable. The things Beal chooses to focus on are confusing.

Academia is weird. This whole series is hilarious. Why did Peter Singer write the Very Short Intro book about Hegel?
S Brent
Aug 23, 2012 S Brent rated it it was amazing
Used this for my Religion in the US class. As the class was centered on site visits to local mosques, churches, and temples, the opening parts of this describing a drive around the city worked well. So much religious diversity in the US hidden in plain sight.
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Apr 11, 2015 Sacha Sunflower rated it did not like it
Touches upon lots of things, but tells you nothing concrete about these things.
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Timothy Beal is Florence Harkness Professor of Religion and former director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. He has published ten books, including Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith, which was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and one of Publishers Weekly’s ten Best Religion Books of 2005; ...more
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