New Books on Religion in Postwar America

Randall Stephens

A recent email from Darren Dochuk about work on postwar American religious history got me thinking about what has been rolling off the presses in recent years. Judging from this year's AHA program--which Michael Atlman reflects on below--there's much good work being done on 20th-century American religion. So, with little effort, and with the knowledge that there are too many good books out there, I paste here some recent-ish and forthcoming titles that deserve attention. (For what it's worth, I completely nerded out on the last day of the AHA book exhibit. I think I did permanent damage to what passes for muscles in my arms. So many books, so little time to read them!) Some of the books below range over a wider period of time, but cover the 20th century nonetheless. Quite a few of these have been covered in some fashion on this site. Please add more . . .

Fay Botham, Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law (UNC, 2009)

Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Jesus & Justice: Evangelicals, Race, and American Politics (Yale, 2009)

Gary R. Bunt, iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam (UNC, 2009)

Paul D. Numrich, The Faith Next Door: American Christians and Their New Religious Neighbors (Oxford, 2009)

Darren Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (Norton, 2010)

Bryan N. Massingale, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (Orbis, 2010).

Philip Goff, ed., The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America (Blackwell, 2010)

David S. Bovée, The Church and the Land: The National Catholic Rural Life Conference and American Society, 1923–2007 (Catholic University of America, 2010)

Charles W. Dunn, The Future of Religion in American Politics (Kentucky, 2009)

Randall Balmer, The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond (Baylor, 2010)

Kathryn Lofton, Oprah:The Gospel of an Icon (California, 2011)

Andrew Finstuen, Original Sin and Everyday Protestants: The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, Billy Graham, and Paul Tillich in an Age of Anxiety (UNC, 2009)

Mark Noll, God and Race in American Politics: A Short History (Princeton, 2008)

Timothy Stanley, Kennedy vs. Carter: The 1980 Battle For the Democratic Party’s Soul (Kansas, 2010)

David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Pat Robertson: A Life and Legacy (Eerdmans, 2010)

Gary S. Selby, Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom: The Exodus Narrative in America's Struggle for Civil Rights (Baylor, 2008)

Daniel Williams, God's Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (Oxford, 2010)

David P. Gushee, Jillian Hickman Zimmer, and J. Drew Zimmer, eds., Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul (Mercer, 2010)

Monica Weis, The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton (Kentucky, 2011)

Jason W. Stevens, God-Fearing and Free: A Spiritual History of America's Cold War (Harvard, 2010)

Steven P. Miller, Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South (UPenn, 2009)

David W. Stowe, No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism (UNC, 2011)

Alan Petigny, The Permissive Society: America, 1941–1965 (Cambridge, 2009)

Hugh McLeod, The Religious Crisis of the 1960s (Oxford, 2010)


Anonymous said…
Thanks, Randall. This is very helpful to have this list in one place. Many of these are already on my "must read" list, which seems to be expanding quite a bit as of late.

Curtis J. Evans
Randall said…
Thanks Curtis. With a bit of time, this list could be extending significantly. Maybe in the future we can post some bibliographies of new works in various subfields.