Finishing the Columbia Guide to Religion in American History (I'll Drink to That!)

Paul Harvey

While some of you reprobates were out testing the new micro-beer selections on the 4th of July, some of us were putting our long personal nightmare (a book manuscript) finally to post and ready to be shipped out for its deployment -- at long last! (I tested out a new bottle of Old Raj gin, the best bottle of alcohol God ever invented, at the end of all this, so I'll have to join the reprobate category).

Our contributor John Fea was finishing up his book Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction; and yes, John, finishing is a good feeling. Click on the link for a preview of the book and table of contents. Sounds like the publisher is going to get it out pretty promptly -- Feb. 2011.

On the home front, Randall, Ed Blum, and myself have been working on The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History for the last few years, and some of that has been, in the words of gospel great Thomas Dorsey, through the storm and through the night. I thought we'd be done with this a couple of years ago, but, you know, stuff happens. Anyway, the weekend was spent finishing up most of the last few details on the ms and ready to ship out pretty soon. Here's a preview below -- don't start camping out at the bookstore just yet, as it will be a good while before it gets from final manuscript to actual book, but several of our blog contributors are involved in this project, and others of you have asked me about it from time to time, so here's what it's going to look like once the priceless gem is in your hands (or, more likely, on the library reference shelf, as these Columbia Guide books can get a little expensive!).

As you can see, we've got a nice list of contributors who have written excellent essays on time periods, movements, traditions, and themes in American religious history. The volume also has an extensive A - Z glossary of American religious history and a bibliography which includes books, articles, CDs, DVDs, films, and online resources.

Like I said the last time I did an edited book -- not going to do that again!

Here's a preview for you.

Columbia Guide to Religion in American History
Edited by Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum
Bibliographic Editor Randall Stephens

Table of Contents

Preface 1-8
Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum

Introduction 9 - 80
Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum

Colonial Encounters r 81 - 107
Linford Fisher

Native American Religions 108 - 135
Suzanne Crawford

Civil Religion and National Identity 136 - 156
Andrew Manis

Theology 157 - 179
Mark Noll

Evangelicals in American History 180- 198
Douglas Sweeney

Religion and Politics 199 - 222
Jason Bivins

Religion and the Law 223 - 24
Frank Ravitch

Religion, War, and Peace 245 - 271
Ira Chernus

Religion, Gender, and Sexuality 272 - 297
Anthony Michael Petro

Religion, Race, and African American Life 298 - 328
Edward J. Blum

Religion, Ethnicity, and the Immigrant Experience 329-350
Roberto Trevino

Asian American Religion 351 - 365
Timothy Tseng

Alternative Religious Movements 366 - 385
Stephen Stein

Religion and the Environment 386 – 403
Lynn Ross-Bryant

Religion and Popular Culture 404 – 417
Philip Goff

Conservatism and Fundamentalism 418 - 433
Margaret Bendroth

Catholicism in America 434 - 454
Leslie Woodcock Tentler

American Judaism 455 - 472
Alan Levenson

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 473-489
D. Michael Quinn

Islam in America 490 - 509
Jane Smith

A-Z Glossary 510 - 572

Major Surveys, Textbooks, and Reference Guides 573 - 576

Bibliographies by Chapter Titles 577 - 634

Filmography 635 - 641

Discography 642 - 649

Electronic Resources 650 - 658


Christopher said…
Congrats Paul, Randall, and Ed. The volume looks great.
And congrats to John, too, on his forthcoming book.

It looks like the paperback version of the Columbia Guide books are much more affordable than the cloth. Will yours be released in paperback as well as cloth, or will that come later?
Luke said…
This book looks great. One question I have is why don't more historians include copies of their writings/essays on their webpages. While looking for interdisciplinary cultural materials I noticed that academics in disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, and biology often publish their writings on their webpages. (,, Are historians subject to some special copyright issue? Is this some sort of conspiracy? Are historians just lazy? What's going on. I must say that this blog is awesome!
Tim Lacy said…
Looks great! I'm intrigued to read Professor Tentler's essay. Anyway, I'll recommend the volume to my libraries. - TL
Paul Harvey said…
Chris: I have no idea about the paperback. Likely would come out maybe a year or two after the cloth version, that's what happened with my Columbia Documentary History volume.

Luke: I think the reason is that we want people to buy our books. Other discipines which are more article-based tend to put their stuff online more because they're articles. But, you didn't see the author of Freakonomics publish his stuff online -- not when he could sell a few million copies!

Tim: Thanks for the comment. Tentler's essay is a fine intro to the field.
Chris Beneke said…
Congratulations, guys! That's an impressive lineup of historians and topics.