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Religion in America: A Very Short Introduction

(Very Short Introductions)

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  12 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 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.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
“ Religion in America A Very Short Introduction” is a book not like most in it’s category. As someone who loves studying different religions and am religious myself, I love seeking out new information on this topic. I was expecting to learn about the basic beliefs and history of each religion in America, and that is essentially what I learned. Timothy Beal is an incredibly informative author. He very well lies out the basic information needed.

While this book is incredibly well informative, it
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very short introductory sociological-cultural study of the topic. This study is accessible to the casual reader but points towards other material for those wanting to go deeper. Note that the intention her is not to outline religion doctrinal in nature describing the multitude of religion in America, which would require far more space than what is available here. That study is available elsewhere.
Shelley Alongi
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first book I have ever read that equates the Internet with the changing status of religion in America and abroad. I never thought of it like that. It does have some very good discussions of trends in American history with religion. It is definitely a short introduction.
Bojan Tunguz
Apr 11, 2011 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 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, non-fiction
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
Dec 31, 2014 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.
Oct 02, 2015 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 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 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.
Sacha Sunflower
Apr 07, 2015 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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