Religion in America Since 1945: A History

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Columbia University Press, 2003 - History - 313 pages
3 Reviews

Moving far beyond the realm of traditional "church history," Patrick Allitt here offers a vigorous and erudite survey of the broad canvas of American religion since World War II. Identifying the major trends and telling moments within major denominations and also in less formal religious movements, he asks how these religious groups have shaped, and been shaped by, some of the most important and divisive issues and events of the last half century: the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, feminism and the sexual revolution, abortion rights, the antinuclear and environmentalist movements, and many others.

Allitt argues that the boundaries between religious and political discourse have become increasingly blurred in the last fifty years. Having been divided along denominational lines in the early postwar period, religious Americans had come by the 1980s to be divided along political lines instead, as they grappled with the challenges of modernity and secularism. Partly because of this politicization, and partly because of the growing influence of Asian, Latino, and other ethnic groups, the United States is anomalous among the Western industrialized nations, as church membership and religious affiliation generally increased during this period. Religion in America Since 1945 is a masterful analysis of this dynamism and diversity and an ideal starting point for any exploration of the contemporary religious scene.

  

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Religion in America since 1945: a history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Allitt (history, Emory Univ.) presents an overview of religion in America from the end of World War II to the post-9/11 era. Each of the chapters deals with influential aspects of the period in ... Read full review

Review: Religion in America Since 1945: A History (Columbia Histories of Modern American Life)

User Review  - Kari - Goodreads

A good review. I especially enjoyed reading about the development of evangelicalism and politics--I assumed they had more of a say in politics than the book says they really do. Also interesting discussion of American cults and religion's role in the Civil Rights movement. Read full review

Contents

Anxious Victory 19451952
vii
The American Religious Landscape
3
Cold War of the Spirit
10
Spiritual Peace in the 1940s
14
Religion and Materialism 19501970
19
Religious Intellectuals in the 1950s
24
Eisenhower Spirituality
29
Church Buildings
31
Asian Spirituality in American Dress
138
Evangelicals and Politics 19761990
146
The New Christian Right and the Reagan Campaign
148
The Abortion Controversy
157
Wives and Mothers
162
The Christian Quest for Justice and Wisdom 19801995
168
The Antinuclear Movement
169
Sanctuary
172

Religion Respect and Social Change 19551968
41
African American Religion
42
The Civil Rights Movement Begins
45
White Christians and Civil Rights
50
Nonviolence in Decline
53
Mormon America
57
New Frontiers and Old Boundaries 19601969
64
The Supreme Court and Religion in Schools
66
Vietnam Part I
68
Radical Theology
70
Catholic Reform
78
Shaking the Foundations 19631972
85
Vietnam Part II
98
Catholic Challenges to Church Discipline
105
African American Religion After King
109
Alternative Religious Worlds 19671982
114
Feminism and Ministry
120
Feminist Theology
125
New Religions Cults and Their Critics
131
Creationism and Evolution
178
Christian Academies and Home Schooling
183
Profits Profligates and Prophets 19871995
190
A Minister in the White House?
193
American Islam
196
The New World Order 19891999
206
Religion and Violence
210
Environmental Spirituality
215
Megachurches
225
Fears Threats and Promises 19902000
229
Promise Keepers
239
Millennial Expectation
244
The New Millennium 2001
250
Conclusion
257
Notes
265
Bibliography
283
Index
299
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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