By Catherine L. Albanese

Considering that its first ebook in 1981, the USA: RELIGIONS AND faith has turn into the traditional advent to the learn of yankee non secular traditions. Written through one of many finest students within the box of yankee religions, this textbook has brought millions of scholars to the wealthy spiritual variety that has continually been a trademark of the yank non secular adventure. starting with local American non secular traditions and following the process America's spiritual background as much as the current day, this article offers scholars the good thing about the author's wide, influential scholarship in a transparent demeanour that has confirmed to be comfortably obtainable for today's undergraduates. This long-awaited re-creation explores a range contemporary occasions and advancements, together with expanding non secular pluralism, contemporary spiritual swap between local americans, the improvement of Islam in the US, Jewish renewal and "post-ethnic" Judaism, the "emergent church" stream between liberal evangelicals, the elevated function of ladies in Catholic groups, and the expansion of "new spirituality."

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Extra resources for America: Religions and Religion (4th Edition)

Example text

Finding American Religion We have been pursuing the meaning of the term religion, but so far we have paid little attention to the United States. Now it is time to reflect more on American ­religion and what is religious about it. ) 11 Many Religions and One Religion Introduction American religious history, in this text, is the paradoxical story of the manyness of religions and the oneness of religion. The manyness of religions means ­religious pluralism (the free existence of many faiths) and postpluralism (the new combinations that occur as people borrow religious ideas and practices from one another).

In doing so, they set a pattern to which Jews and Catholics, from their separate organizational worlds, would adapt, as would later immigrants of other faiths. From the Protestants, too, came major impulses toward both liberalism and conservatism that influenced these others. Finally, among the ­original cast, the text turns to African Americans. Present from the early seventeenth century, they brought with them the heritage of their native African religions and also of Islam. In their new location, much of their heritage was lost, but much still remained.

Describing religion in this way will be helpful to us later, because it gives ­priority to understanding religion concretely. It does not tell us what the substance, or core, of religion is, but it tells us how religion works (to deal with boundaries), and it tells us what forms (creed, code, cultus, community) it takes. Describing religion in this way also avoids making religious ideas the most important part of religion. As we will see in our study of the United States, for many people religion was not so much thought about as acted out.

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