Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today” as Want to Read:
The Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  182 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In this landmark work, award-winning Princeton historian Leigh Schmidt teams up with eminent American religious history scholar Edwin Gaustad to produce a fully revised, updated, and expanded version of a modern classic. First published in 1966, The Religious History of America made the religious dimensions of our common history readily accessible to a generation of reader ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by HarperOne (first published 1966)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Religious History of America, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Religious History of America

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sean Hall
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another must read for knowledge of this country and the development of religion within.
Brad Hart
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good general history on the history of religion in America. No new groundbreaking revelations but a solid history nonetheless.
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-inventory
Great survey of America's fraught religious history--especially good for those of us with no particular background (or interest) in the subject. But if you need to get a sense of the nuts and bolts, Guastad and Schmidt render what can be a confusing, not to mention frustrating, area of study into a very accessible timeline of events.

Unlike other American surveys which hardly deviate from mainline Protestant histories, Gaustad presents a more cosmopolitan overview, and to that extent, a more accu
Greg Dill
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book that gives a general overview of America's religious history. Beginning from the first European explorers and settlers upon the New World and ending with the great mass of plurality of religious faith and spirituality that makes America distinct from the rest of the world. Shows both the good and bad religion has played on the American landscape. Has a lot of great historical pictures and illustrations as well. This book comes highly recommended for both the casual reader and/or t ...more
Carl Hovey
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction to the religious history of the United States. Not my area of most interest, so, can't say much more that's particularly inspiring. You won't hate it, and, unless you're a scholar of church history, you probably won't love it.
Good writing, a broad scope, and a generous use of pictures make this a nice undergrad level textbook on the topic. The book's emphasis is on religious diversity and the perspective is progressive/liberal but not in a way that's overly problematic most of the time.
Joe Paulk
Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-history
This is an excellent well-rounded survey of American religious history. While in no way concise, it wasn't intended to be and is an excellent reference tool. It could use a new edition, but then again, a second volume may be needed just for the last twenty years.
Nov 21, 2009 added it
Shelves: history
Ben Brandenburg
the best survey of american religious history
Daniel Bates
good book on history of religion in america, a little dry
Brent McCulley
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This was a very helpful history of the religious history of America and the impact on culture. This will mostly likely stay on my shelf for a reference.
James Coats
Good, comprehensive history.
Matt Crawford
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great survey of America s history in regards to Christianity though he dies jump around a bit on the timeline
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leans slightly to the liberal side in evaluating the history of religion in America, particularly when it comes to the 20th century. But it's a good overview.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!!! It was rather extensive, but definitely one of my favorites.
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, we-own
Gaustad catalogs all the main events and characters in America's religious history in this survey volume, successfully giving readers a fairly sound understanding on the subject.
Scott Lewis
This is a nice review of the subject, with some unique historical illustrations. Fine scholarship, but there are citations for the many intriguing quotations.
Pearl Wright
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2017
Koray Er
rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2014
Steven Richardson
rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2009
Hallie Huffman
rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2017
Joshua Beckett
rated it liked it
Aug 20, 2017
rated it it was ok
Nov 01, 2010
rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2017
Craig Atwood
rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 04, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2017
rated it liked it
May 12, 2014
rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America
  • The American Religion
  • What Happened at Vatican II
  • Basic Theological Writings
  • Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History
  • How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity
  • A War of Witches : A Journey into the Underworld of the Contemporary Aztecs
  • Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend
  • The Democratization of American Christianity
  • Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism
  • A Religious History of the American People
  • The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus
  • God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now
  • Religion and the Rise of Western Culture
  • New Testament Background: Selected Documents: Revised and Expanded Edition
  • How to Read Kierkegaard
  • The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity
  • Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
    $9.74 $2.99
  • The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • A Man Without a Country
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • History of God
    $5.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Name of God Is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War
    $13.99 $1.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99