New Books in American Religious History: 2017 Year in Preview, Part Three (September-December)

Erin Bartram, William Black, Michel Sun Lee, and Moxy Moczygemba

Four of us—Erin Bartram (University of Hartford), William Black (Rice University), Michel Sun Lee (University of Texas at Austin), and Moxy Moczygemba (University of Florida)—are excited to present part three of the 2017 book preview list! This post covers releases from September through December 2017. Thank you, Paul Putz, for all your incredible work with the book lists thus far and for entrusting us with the reins. By the way, check out part one and part two if you missed them earlier this year.

As is the custom, here’s a little preface we’ve mostly borrowed from Paul: we’ve listed the books in roughly chronological order based on the month of their tentative release date. We’ve tried to include as many relevant and interesting titles as we could find, but are sure we’ve missed some worthy new books. Our reason may be that some publishers don't have updated information on their websites, or because we’ve simply missed it. Please feel free to use the comments to add to this list and we’ll update the post as needed.

We four each define "American” and “religion” a little differently. But for the purposes of these lists we follow Paul’s lead in adopting Kathryn Gin Lum's response in this IUPUI RAAC forum, where she articulated an understanding of "America" as the region that eventually became known as the United States. That definition does have problems, of course, which is why your contributions to this list—contributions which envision "America" differently—are more than welcome.


James B. Bell, Anglicans, Dissenters and Radical Change in Early New England, 1686–1786 (Palgrave Macmillan)
Stephen Taylor: “...grounded on an unrivaled knowledge of the clergy serving in the American colonies in the century before the Revolution. The result is an important book, offering a rich and sophisticated account which reveals clearly the distinctiveness of Anglican experience and identity in New England compared both with the mother country and with the middle and southern colonies.”

Damon T. Berry, Blood and Faith: Christianity in American White Nationalism (Syracuse University Press)
Hugh Urban: "A powerful, original, and extremely timely book. Tracing the history of white nationalism in the United States, Berry examines a series of hugely influential but today little known figures and movements, revealing their key role in the broader landscape of American religious, political, and racist discourses. Perhaps most importantly, Berry’s book also highlights the continuities between these twentieth-century racist currents and our own historical moment, with the rise of the alt-right movement, and the resurgence of white nationalism."

Tricia Colleen Bruce, Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church (Oxford University Press)
Nancy T. Ammerman:"Parish matters, but so too does diocese. This book brilliantly shows us how the Catholic Church as an institution has made decisions about how to respond to the diversity and voluntarism of American religion. Combining vivid ethnographic detail with astute organizational analysis, Parish and Place adds a critical piece to the puzzle that is contemporary religious practice."

R. Andrew Chesnut, Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press)
Timothy Matovina: "Chesnut provides a much-needed analysis of the meteoric rise in devotion to La Santa Muerte, the saint of death whose appeal has attracted the attention of immigrants, jilted lovers, journalists, drug dealers, clergy, the infirmed, and a host of needy petitioners. This first book-length study of the devotion will be a foundational reference point for future researchers as the Santa Muerte phenomenon continues to evolve."

Arun W. Jones, Missionary Christianity and Local Religion: American Evangelicalism in North India, 1836-1870 (Baylor University Press)
Geoffrey A. Oddie: “...highlights two especially important sources of influence affecting the ethos and character of mission communities: bhakti ideas that were popular in the towns and countryside of North India and the influence of mid-nineteenth-century Princeton theology on the North Indian Christian leadership.”

Rosalyn R. LaPier, Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet (University of Nebraska Press)
Frederick E. Hoxie: “...guides us through the meanings the Blackfeet community has attached to the plants and natural phenomena that surround them and at the same time makes clear the boundless complexity and stunning beauty of this indigenous cultural tradition.”

Kathryn Lofton, Consuming Religion (University of Chicago Press)
Robert A. Orsi: “...probes the most cunning junctures of contemporary neoliberal religion. Ranging over corporate cubicles; the advertising industry; finance; the dark arts of the creation, promotion, and destruction of celebrity; and much, much more, Lofton shows how at the deepest levels of imagination, desire, and discipline the modern histories of neoliberalism and religion—and the contemporary practices of both—have been and remain utterly entwined.”

Elizabeth Schleber Lowry, Invisible Hosts: Performing the Nineteenth-Century Spirit Medium’s Autobiography (SUNY Press)
From the publisher: “... explores how the central tenets of Spiritualism influenced ways in which women conceived of their bodies and their civic responsibilities, arguing that Spiritualist ideologies helped to lay the foundation for the social and political advances made by women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As public figures, female spirit mediums of the Victorian era were often accused of unfeminine (and therefore transgressive) behavior. A rhetorical analysis of nineteenth-century spirit mediums’ autobiographies reveals how these women convinced readers of their authenticity both as respectable women and as psychics.”

Carol A. Mortland, Cambodian Buddhism in the United States (SUNY Press)
From the publisher: “Cambodian Buddhism in the United States is the first comprehensive anthropological study of Khmer Buddhism as practiced by Khmer refugees in the United States. Based on research conducted at Khmer temples and sites throughout the country over a period of three and a half decades, Carol A. Mortland uses participant observation, open-ended interviews, life histories, and dialogues with Khmer monks and laypeople to explore the everyday practice of Khmer religion, including spirit beliefs and healing rituals.”

Max Perry Mueller, Race and the Making of the Mormon People (University of North Carolina Press)
Philip L. Barlow: “Racial issues, shifting though Max Perry Mueller shows them to be, remain a part of Mormon identity, self-understanding, and understanding of the world. Mueller’s book makes a significant contribution to our view of Mormonism and race and provides a rich and discerning look at the larger picture of race, religion, and American history.”

S. Brent Plate, Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-creation of the World (Columbia University Press)
David Chidester: “Plate gives us the best introduction into the exploration of religion and film by brilliantly interweaving the worldmaking of religious myths and rituals, sacred times, and spaces, with the worldmaking of cinema.”

Marcus Rediker, The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Beacon Press)
Gary Nash: “The unswerving eighteenth-century abolitionist Benjamin Lay, maligned when not ignored for many generations, has at last found his sympathetic biographer. In this captivating, must-read book, Marcus Rediker shows that Lay’s disfigured body contained a mind of steel and a heart overflowing with compassion for victims of the Atlantic slave trade. Lay’s place in the annals of American reform is now secure. If you’re ready to have your mind changed about received wisdom on the eccentric, lonely early abolitionist who blazed the way for later antislavery stalwarts, read this brilliantly researched and passionately written book.”

Joy Schulz, Hawaiian by Birth: Missionary Children, Bicultural Identity, and U.S. Colonialism in the Pacific (University of Nebraska Press)
Gary Y. Okihiro: “We understand that the normative, heterosexual family constitutes the nation-state. This remarkable, innovative study reveals the centrality of that family in ‘birthing empire’ through a history of childhood. Race, gender, sexuality, class, and religion intersect to advance U.S. imperialism in the Pacific and settler colonialism in Hawai‘i.”

Douglas Stark, When Basketball Was Jewish: Voices of Those Who Played the Game (University of Nebraska Press)
Ernie Grunfeld, president of the Washington Wizards: “The players and coaches chronicled in this book are not only important figures in Jewish basketball history; they played an important part in the history of the game. As a student of the game, a basketball lifer, and someone who is extremely proud of his Jewish heritage, I can appreciate the doors that they opened, and I’m glad that their stories are being told.”


Barry M. Andrews, Transcendentalism and the Cultivation of the Soul (University of Massachusetts Press)
From the publisher: “American Transcendentalism is often seen as a literary movement—a flowering of works written by New England intellectuals who retreated from society and lived in nature. In Transcendentalism and the Cultivation of the Soul, Barry M. Andrews focuses on a neglected aspect of this well-known group, showing how American Transcendentalists developed rich spiritual practices to nurture their souls and discover the divine.”

Eugene Ford, Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in Southeast Asia (Yale University Press)
Christopher Goscha: “...a pathbreaking study of how Thai Buddhists interacted with American attempts to use their church in the war on communism in Southeast Asia and how Buddhists transformed their faith, indeed their country, in so doing. Superbly researched and brilliantly argued, it places Thailand in the broader sweep of international history—right where it should be.”

Stephen Greenblatt, Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World (University of Chicago Press)
From the publisher: “...Greenblatt shows that the experience of the marvelous, central to both art and philosophy, was manipulated by Columbus and others in the service of colonial appropriation.”

Hami İnan Gümüş, American Missionaries in the Ottoman Empire: A Conceptual Metaphor Analysis of Missionary Narratives, 1820–1898 (Transcript-Verlag)
From the publisher: “...a metaphor-based analysis of the texts produced by the missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in the Ottoman Empire from 1820-1898. It explores the conceptual metaphor networks inherent to official missionary discourse. The explication of these networks uncovers how the missionaries defined and depicted themselves and what they encountered.”

Adam Gussow, Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition (UNC Press)
James H. Cone: "Adam Gussow is an excellent interpreter of the blues. He has earned the right to speak. We should listen to him and be informed about one of the most important musical expressions in American history. I strongly recommend Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition."

John Hayes, Hard, Hard Religion: Interracial Faith in the Poor South (University of North Carolina Press)
Paul Harvey: “...a powerfully epic evocation and analysis of the biracial religious world of ordinary southerners who encountered and struggled with God, life, and death through visions, dreams, oral poetry, and song more than they did in formal religious institutions. It's a beautiful work, and a landmark in the field of American religious studies."

David A. Hollinger, Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed America (Princeton University Press)
Kai Bird: “Hollinger tells an astonishing, counterintuitive story of how American Protestant missionaries went abroad armed with a radical egalitarian ideology and eventually came home to spread the gospel of multiculturalism, racial equality, and human rights. With verve and passion, he shines a brilliant light on their long-overlooked influence, showing how they transformed American society in ways we have not fully realized.”

Rachel McBride Lindsey, A Communion of Shadows: Religion and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press)
Paul Gutjahr: “...opens up new avenues of investigation by linking photography to religious practice, demonstrating how religious views are shaped by the interaction between material objects and the beholder of these objects. With her sharp insight and impressive research, Lindsey accents, complements, and complicates the all-too-sparse scholarship on photography in nineteenth-century America."

Lynne Marks, Infidels and the Damn Churches: Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia (University of British Columbia Press)
Callum G. Brown: “This is the finest historical study yet done on the culture of atheism and non-religionism in the late modern Western world. It explores the origins of modern secularity in the most secular part of North America. Marks excels in moving from the micro study of individual families and small communities up to cities and the nation. This is a path-breaking work.”

Deborah Dash Moore et al., Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People (NYU Press)
Robert W. Snyder: "Jewish New York deftly combines crisp writing, sharp analysis and sophisticated discussions of visual images to explore the evolving relationship between a world city and its Jews. Reaching from the seventeenth century to the present, and weaving together big themes and illuminating lives, the book delves into topics as varied as religion, politics, popular culture and gender. Essential for understanding both Jewish experiences and the broad contours of New York’s history."

Candida R. Moss & Joel S. Baden, Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby (Princeton University Press)
Eric H. Cline: "Absolutely riveting. Without exaggeration, this is one of the most interesting books I have read in years. Moss and Baden have embedded a searing indictment within a compelling detective story that ranges from academic intrigue to divinely inspired business acumen, with a driving narrative and a cast of characters worthy of Hollywood, except that this is real life. Bible Nation should be required reading for anyone even thinking of visiting the Museum of the Bible."

Gary B. Nash, Warner Mifflin: Unflinching Quaker Abolitionist (University of Pennsylvania Press)
Thomas P. Slaughter: “...brings the Quaker abolitionist from the historical shadows and into the blazing light of his moral courage and singular efforts to right the terrible wrongs of American slavery and racism. The story may be an old one, but Mifflin's is as important for our own times as it is for our understanding of the Revolutionary era."

Mark J. Rozell and Gleaves Whitney, eds., Religion and the American Presidency (Palgrave Macmillan)
Raymond Tatalovich: "A commitment to religion has persisted across American history regardless of whether the president was a Federalist like Washington, a Jeffersonian like Madison, a Republican like Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan, or a Democrat like Truman, Carter, and Clinton. Religion and the American Presidency is a scholarly benchmark in the presidency studies, and a pioneering new perspective on the highest office in the land."

Julius H. Rubin, Perishing Heathens: Stories of Protestant Missionaries and Christian Indians in Antebellum America (University of Nebraska Press)
From the publisher: “...tells the stories of missionary men and women who between 1800 and 1830 responded to the call to save Native peoples through missions, especially the Osages in the Arkansas Territory, Cherokees in Tennessee and Georgia, and Ojibwe peoples in the Michigan Territory. Rubin also recounts the lives of Native converts, many of whom were from mixed-blood métis families and were attracted to the benefits of education, literacy, and conversion.”

David Tavárez, ed., Words and Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America (University Press of Colorado)
Felipe Fernández-Armesto: “These intriguingly rich papers help show what happened on some of the most daunting frontiers of cultural exchange, where distinctive forms of Catholicism emerged. Creative misunderstandings, tense collaborations, fruitful contention: every type of encounter is represented here, with vivid evocations.”

Ula Yvette Taylor, The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam (UNC Press)
Tera W. Hunter: “While much has been written about the Nation of Islam, male-centered narratives of the most controversial and high-profile leaders have predominated. And yet, as Taylor demonstrates, without the work and foresight of women, the NOI would have been a far-less-effective organization. This study moves the women of the NOI from the periphery to the center to unveil layers of insight into the politics of black intimacy. It combines compelling storytelling of individual biographies and deft analysis of the larger cultural and political forces impacting the lives of ordinary black people using a rich treasure trove of archival records and interviews. This is a stellar contribution to gender studies, African American studies, and late twentieth-century U.S. history.”

Tisa Wenger, Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal (UNC Press) 
Sylvester Johnson: "Tisa Wenger has crafted a riveting account of how the Western deployment of religious freedom emerged within the immanent frame of empire. As she examines transnational networks of race, colonialism, and religion, Wenger elucidates the historical and theoretical conundrums of civilizing missions, Indigeneity, democratization, subaltern agencies, and modern terrors that have rendered freedom of religion as a global formation. This is surely the high-water mark of interdisciplinary scholarship on religious freedom, and it sets a new standard."


Eliyana R. Adler and Sheila E. Jelen eds., Reconstructing the Old Country: American Jewry in the Post-Holocaust Decades (Wayne State University Press)
Antony Polonsky: "This path-breaking and moving volume examines how American Jewry, now the largest Jewish community in the world, reacted in the postwar years to the decimation of East European Jewry in the Holocaust. It investigates how American Jews absorbed the influx of East European survivors, commemorated the destruction of what had been for many centuries one of the main centers of Jewish life, and sought to intervene to defend the still-existing Jewish communities in the area. It is essential reading for all students of modern Jewish history and of the postwar world.”

Wallace D. Best, Langston’s Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem (NYU Press)
Edward J. Blum: “With close readings of Langston Hughes's poetry and with finely tuned arguments about the place of religion during the early twentieth century, Wallace Best provides what none has offered before: he shows the beautiful mind of Langston Hughes as a 'thinker about religion.' Langston's Salvation heralds a new day, perhaps even a renaissance, not only in the study Hughes and his poetry, but also of liberal religion in the United States.”

John Corrigan, ed., Religion, Space, and the Atlantic World (University of South Carolina Press)
From the publisher: “Focusing on four domains that most readily reflect the importance of Atlantic world spaces for the shape and practice of religion (texts, design, distance, and civics), these essays explore subjects as varied as the siting of churches on the Peruvian Camino Real, the evolution of Hispanic cathedrals, Methodist identity in nineteenth-century Canada, and Lutherans in early eighteenth-century America. Such essays illustrate both how the organization of space was driven by religious interests and how religion adapted to spatial ordering and reordering initiated by other cultural authorities.”

Matthew J. Cressler, Authentically Black and Truly Catholic: The Rise of Black Catholicism in the Great Migration (NYU Press)
Judith Weisenfeld: “...offers an original and insightful portrait of Chicago’s Black Catholics from the community’s early years through the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements and sheds new light on the dynamic relationship between race and religion in twentieth-century America. With Chicago at the center of the broader story of a 'revolution in Black Catholic identity,' this well-researched and engaging study reveals the complexity and texture of Black Catholics’ religious lives and negotiations of what it meant to be committed to both Black solidarity and community life and to the Roman Catholic Church. Cressler advances the study of Black Catholic history in exciting ways and makes an invaluable contribution."

Paul J. Croce, Young William James Thinking (Johns Hopkins University Press)
James T. Kloppenberg: “This book sets out to solve the deepest and most enduring problem in studies of Williams James: through a developmental biography, Croce has put back together a multi-dimensional thinker who has been taken apart in the multiple, self-contained literatures produced by scholars in every one of the now-distinct disciplines in which James did path-breaking work. Croce’s innovative book brings into focus the multiple efforts James made to combine science and religion, psychology and philosophy, religion and art.”

Julia Duin, In the House of the Serpent Handler: A Story of Faith and Fleeting Fame in the Age of Social Media (University of Tennessee Press)
Ralph Hood: “In the House of the Serpent Handler unfolds in ways that could not have been predicted. Julia Duin intimately recounts the story of serpent handlers raised in an Appalachian religious tradition where their ritualistic expression of faith is more ridiculed than understood. When she began her journey, little could she have known that pastors Mack Wolford and Jamie Coots would suffer fatal bites, and their deaths would lead to the story of a young handler, Andrew Hamblin, who proves to be a tragic figure of youth, social media, and a fall from grace. In the shadow of two deaths, Hamblin’s collapse is doubly sad, but his story sheds a modern light on a misunderstood religious practice.”

Paul Gutjahr, ed., The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America (Oxford University Press)
From the publisher: “This Handbook is designed to address a noticeable void in resources focused on analyzing the Bible in America in various historical moments and in relationship to specific institutions and cultural expressions…. This Handbook brings together a number of established scholars, as well as younger scholars on the rise, to provide a scholarly overview—rich with bibliographic resources—to those interested in the Bible's role in American cultural formation.”

Sarah Ruth Hammond, God’s Businessmen: Entrepreneurial Evangelicals in Depression and War, ed. Darren Dochuk (University of Chicago Press)
Kevin M. Kruse: “Well-researched and well-argued, God’s Businessmen builds well on the recent literature on the intersection of religion, business, and politics and advances the field in important new directions. Equally well-written, it will appeal not just to interested academics but to educated general audiences as well. It is, in short, a triumph.”

Felix Harcourt, Ku Klux Kulture: America and the Klan in the 1920s (University of Chicago Press)
Elaine Frantz: “In a time when white supremacy was widespread and unapologetic, the Ku Klux Klan was enormously popular….Klannish Americans played songs like ‘Onward Christian Klansman’ and ‘Daddy Swiped our Last Clean Sheet and Joined the Ku Klux Klan’ on their phonographs and radios...Klan baseball teams and basketball teams were widespread, and sometimes sensationally competed against Catholic, Jewish, and African-American rivals. While Harcourt shows that many found the Klan profoundly un-American, it was very much present at the creation of, and influenced the shape of modern popular culture.”

Rachel Kranson, Ambivalent Embrace: Jewish Upward Mobility in Postwar America (University of North Carolina Press)
From the publisher: “This new cultural history of Jewish life and identity in the United States after World War II focuses on the process of upward mobility. Rachel Kranson challenges the common notion that most American Jews unambivalently celebrated their generally strong growth in economic status and social acceptance during the booming postwar era. In fact, a significant number of Jewish religious, artistic, and intellectual leaders worried about the ascent of large numbers of Jews into the American middle class.”

Mark Massa and Catherine Osborne, American Catholic History: A Documentary ReaderSecond Edition (NYU Press)
Julie Byrne: "The documents collected in the first edition topped the list of best resources for teaching the diversity and complexity of US Catholic history, and now this revised edition is even better. From mission manager Eulalia Pérez in California in the 1800s to Pope Francis addressing Congress in 2015, the varied voices summon an astonishing story of solace and conflict in the Roman church, in the American nation, and in the human heart."

William L. Portier, Every Catholic An Apostle: A Life of Thomas A. Judge, CM, 1868–1933 (Catholic University of America Press)
David O’Brien: “...will be of great interest to scholars interested in the history of American religion and theologians and religious studies professionals interested in the laity, vowed religious life and social movements.”

Ronit Y. Stahl, Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America (Harvard University Press)
Darren Dochuk: “Cutting across a century of perpetual war, shifting its analytic gaze from bureaucratic functions of the state to the people of faith who served, from mainline denominations to religious movements on the rise, Ronit Stahl’s study of the military chaplaincy brilliantly recasts our understanding of church-state relations in the modern era. Stahl vividly shows how the military chaplaincy has offered the means for Washington to encourage proper religious expression in a pluralist society, and for faith communities to earn political legitimacy in the eyes of their peers. An essential book for students of American religion, politics, and history.”

Harry Stout, American Aristocrats: A Family, A Fortune, and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books)
Grant Wacker: "Using the story of one multi-generational family as the narrative thread, Harry S. Stout weaves the economic, social, and cultural history of 19th century America into a saga of relentless quest for land. Stout is a master stylist, and his prose is crisp, elegant, and, often enough, both witty and poignant. American Aristocrats gives erudition new dimensions of meaning. It draws readers not only to think about, but also to wrestle with the moral complexities of the building of the nation."

Jim Towns, The Legacy of W.A. Criswell (Stephen F. Austin University Press)
From the publisher: “Towns’s book examines selected speeches from 1956 to 2002, revisiting events that provoked the rhetorical situations of the era and exploring speaker-leader propositions and perspectives.”

Wylin D. Wilson, Economic Ethics & the Black Church (Palgrave Macmillan)
From the publisher: “...The book features unheard voices of individuals experiencing economic deprivation and the faith communities who serve as their refuge. Thus, this project examines the economic ethics of black churches in the rural South whose congregants and broader communities have long struggled amidst persistent poverty."


Michael R. Cohen, Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era (NYU Press)
Jonathan D. Sarna: "This model study exposes the previously unknown Jewish ethnic network that filled a critical niche in the southern cotton trade during the second half of the nineteenth century. A major contribution with broad implications for students of economic history, Jewish history, and the history of the American South."

R. Marie Griffith, Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics (Basic Books)
From the publisher: “From the 1920s onward, a once-solid Christian consensus regarding gender roles and sexual morality began to crumble, as liberal Protestants sparred with fundamentalists and Catholics over questions of obscenity, sex education, and abortion. Both those who advocated for greater openness in sexual matters and those who resisted new sexual norms turned to politics to pursue their moral visions for the nation. Moral Combat is a history of how the Christian consensus on sex unraveled, and how this unraveling has made our political battles over sex so ferocious and so intractable.”

April E. Holm, A Kingdom Divided: Evangelicals, Loyalty, and Sectionalism in the Civil War Era (LSU Press)
From the publisher: “...provides the first analysis of the crucial role of churches in border states in shaping antebellum divisions in the major evangelical denominations, in navigating the relationship between church and the federal government, and in rewriting denominational histories to forestall reunion in the churches. Offering a new perspective on nineteenth-century sectionalism, it highlights how religion, morality, and politics interacted—often in unexpected ways—in a time of political crisis and war.”

P. Allen Krause, To Stand Aside or Stand Alone: Southern Reform Rabbis and the Civil Rights Movement, ed. Mark K. Bauman with Stephen Krause (University of Alabama Press)
Jonathan D. Sarna: “In 1966, Rabbi Allen Krause conducted frank interviews with Southern rabbis concerning Jews and the American civil rights movement. Now, fifty years later, transcripts of these precious interviews have finally been unsealed. The results—some of them explosive, some disturbing, and all of them illuminating—form the core of this book. It makes a unique contribution.”

Todd LeVasseur, Religious Agrarianism and the Return of Place: From Values to Practice in Sustainable Agriculture (SUNY Press)
Paul B. Thompson: “The blend of empirical sociology and philosophical/religious ethics is impressive. I found the book not only interesting but valuable for my own scholarship.”

Thomas R. McKibbens, ed., Baptists in Early North America—First Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts, Volume IV (Mercer University Press)
From the publisher: “The records span the time from the founding in 1665 until the death of Samuel Stillman in 1807. They reflect the extraordinary times in which the church grew and flourished, including a vivid description of the day in March, 1679, when the little congregation discovered that the Puritan authorities had sent a marshal to nail shut the doors of their place of worship.”

Jamie L. Pietruska, Looking Forward: Prediction and Uncertainty in Modern America (University of Chicago Press)
From the publisher: “...Pietruska uncovers a culture of prediction in the modern era, where forecasts became commonplace as crop forecasters, 'weather prophets,' business forecasters, utopian novelists, and fortune-tellers produced and sold their visions of the future.”

Stafford Poole, Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Origins and Sources of a Mexican National Symbol, 1531-1797, Revised Edition (University of Arizona Press)
From the publisher: “For decades, Stafford Poole has stood at the forefront of scholarship on the historicity of the Virgin of Guadalupe, an icon that serves as one of the most important formative religious and national symbols in the history of Mexico. Poole’s groundbreaking first edition of Our Lady of Guadalupe was the first ever to examine in depth every historical source of the Guadalupe apparitions. In this revised edition, Poole employs additional sources and commentary to further challenge common interpretations and assumptions about the Guadalupan tradition.”

Peter Kerry Powers, Goodbye Christ? Religion, Masculinity, and the New Negro Renaissance (University of Tennessee Press)
From the publisher: “Despite the proliferation of criticism on the cultural work of the Harlem Renaissance over the course of the past two decades, surprisingly few critics have focused on the ways in which religious contexts shaped the works of New Negro writers and artists during that time. In Goodbye Christ? Masculinity and Christianity in the New Negro Renaissance, Peter Kerry Powers fills this scholarly void, exploring how the intersection of race, religion, and gender during the Harlem Renaissance impacted the rhetoric and imagination of prominent African American writers of the early twentieth century.”

Shari Rabin, Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America (NYU Press)
Lila Corwin Berman: "For far too long, historians of American Jews have glossed over most of the nineteenth century, as preamble for the truer or more interesting histories of twentieth-century American Jewry. Rabin offers a deeply researched, beautifully rendered case for the centrality of the nineteenth century to how we understand American Judaism. By looking toward ethnographic models, material culture, and narrative techniques, she argues that the provisionality, the instability, and the mobility of nineteenth-century Judaism created new modes of Jewish life suitable to endure in the American environment. Following in the footsteps of Robert Orsi, Leigh Eric Schmidt, and Kathryn Lofton, who all expertly wed ethnography to deep historical inquiry, Rabin allows the reader to understand the human contours of Jewish life in motion."

Anthony Wonderley, Oneida Utopia: A Community Searching for Human Happiness and Prosperity (Cornell University Press)
From the publisher: “...seamlessly combines the evidence of social life and intellectual endeavor with the testimony of built environment and material culture. Wonderley shares with readers his intimate knowledge of evidence from the Oneida Community: maps and photographs, quilts and furniture, domestic objects and industrial products, and the biggest artifact of all, their communal home. Wonderley also takes a novel approach to the thought of the commune’s founder, examining individually and in context Noyes’s reactions to interests and passions of the day, including revivalism, millennialism, utopianism, and spiritualism.”


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