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Formed From This Soil: An Introduction to the Diverse History of Religion in America



Formed From This Soil: An Introduction to the Diverse History of Religion in America

Thomas S. Bremer

ISBN: 978-1-405-18927-9 December 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 464 Pages


Formed from This Soil offers a complete history of religion in America that centers on the diversity of sacred traditions and practices that have existed in the country from its earliest days.

  • Organized chronologically starting with the earliest Europeans searching for new routes to Asia, through to the global context of post-9/11 America of the 21st century
  • Includes discussion of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, political affiliations, and other elements of individual and collective identity
  • Incorporates recent scholarship for a nuanced history that goes beyond simple explanations of America as a Protestant society
  • Discusses diverse beliefs and practices that originated in the Americas as well as those that came from Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • Pedagogical features include numerous visual images; sidebars with specialized topics and interpretive themes; discussion questions for each chapter; a glossary of common terms; and lists of relevant resources to broaden student learning
Acknowledgments x

Prelude for Instructors: A Decentered Narrative of American Religious History xii

Beginnings: The Diversity of Religion in America 1

Part I New Worlds 11

1 Encounters 13

African Encounters 20

European Conquests in America 27

Native Encounters 39

New Worlds of Contact 47

2 Reformations 52

Religious Upheavals 56

Colonizing America 69

Reforming Native Religions of America and Africa 80

New Worlds of Reformed Authorities 85

3 Conflicts and Persecutions 90

Native Revolutions 92

Improvements upon the Land 103

Captivities 108

The Diversity of Religious Conflicts 117

4 Resistance, Revival, and Revolution 122

Resisting Slavery 125

Reviving Religious Fervor 129

A New Nation 137

The Limits of Liberty 145

Part II The New Nation 153

5 An Expanding Nation 155

America in the Pacific World 160

A New Awakening 169

A Nation Enslaved 176

Expansion 184

6 The Many Religious Voices 189

Women’s Voices 193

Displaced Voices 199

Immigrant Voices 206

Restorationist Voices 212

The Diversity of Religious Voices in America 223

7 One Nation 231

Spiritual Purposes 235

A Nation Divided 239

The Nation at War 252

Reconstructing the Nation 254

Diverse Voices of the Unified Nation 260

8 Changing Society 267

New Lands 270

New People 279

New Religious Ways 294

America’s Double Consciousness 301

Part III The Modern World 309

9 Modern Worlds 311

Science 313

Religious Responses to Modern Sciences 318

Migrations 329

Global America 342

10 Cold War and Civil Rights 349

Religion of the Nation 352

Clash of Classes 359

Confronting Racial Apartheid 368

Liberated People 378

11 A Spiritual Nation 385

Spiritual Immigrants 388

Religious Bodies 398

Spiritual Borderlands 405

Religious America 411

12 Crossing Borders 418

Rethinking America and Religion 421

Glossary 427

Index 431