This collection marks a turning point in the study of the history of American religions. In challenging the dominant paradigm, Thomas A. Tweed and his coauthors propose nothing less than a reshaping of the way that American religious history is understood, studied, and taught.
The range of these essays is extraordinary. They analyze sexual pleasure, colonization, gender, and interreligious exchange. The narrators position themselves in a number of geographical sites, including the Canadian border, the American West, and the Deep South. And they discuss a wide range of groups, from Pueblo Indians and Russian Orthodox to Japanese Buddhists and Southern Baptists.
Thomas A. Tweed, Introduction: Narrating U.S. Religious History
Ann Taves, Sexuality in American Religious History
Tamar Frankiel, Ritual Sites in the Narrative of American Religion
Ann Braude, Women's History Is American Religious History
Roger Finke, The Illusion of Shifting Demand: Supply-Side Interpretations of American Religious History
Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Eastward Ho!: American Religion from the Perspective of the Pacific Rim
Joel W. Martin, Indians, Contact and Colonialism in the Deep South: Themes for a Postcolonial History of American Religion
William Westfall, Voices from the Attic: Crossing the Canadian Border and the Writing of American Religious History
Catherine L. Albanese, Exchanging Selves, Exchanging Souls: Contact, Combination, and American Religious History
Thomas A. Tweed is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of The American Encounter with Buddhism, 1844-1912: Victorian Culture and the Limits of Dissent (1992).
"This collection represents a bold attempt to retell the story of religion in America from the perspectives generated by a younger generation of scholars. It is challenging, provocative, and enlightening . . . [and] demands the careful attention of everyone interested in the religious history and culture of the nation."—Al Raboteau, author of A Fire in the Bones
"Thomas Tweed's book is an important, cutting-edge endeavor bound to advance debate and attract considerable attention."—Amanda Porterfield, author of Female Piety in Puritan New England
"Tweed and his colleagues challenge—as well they should—the belief that any single narrative can succeed in telling the story of American religion."—Edward T. Linenthal, author of Preserving Memory
"The old ways of telling the story of American religions—as the unfolding of the Puritan or evangelical or liberal 'impulse' from sea to shining sea or as the interplay of 'mainstream' and 'marginal' religious idioms—will not work anymore. . . . Tom Tweed has assembled an extraordinary group of scholars to consider alternative tellings of American religious histories."—Robert Orsi, author of The Madonna of One-Hundred & Fifteenth Street
"Provocative and compelling, [the contributors] do a superb job of incorporating innovative monographic literature into coherent narratives. The result is an engaging book that will enrich our understanding of religion in America."—Colleen McDannell, author of Material Christianity