Formed From This SoilAn Introduction to the Diverse History of Religion in America
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
Thomas S. Bremer is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. A historian of religions in the Americas, his research focuses on religion and culture, with special emphasis on tourism. He is the author of Blessed with Tourists: The Borderlands of Religion and Tourism in San Antonio (2004) and has published a number of articles on religion and tourism in the United States and elsewhere.
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. The text is organized chronologically, starting with the experiences of the earliest Europeans searching for new routes to Asia and continuing through to the global context of post-9/11 America in the 21st century. Offering students more than a traditional narrative focused on the Puritan and Protestant Christian experience, this text incorporates recent scholarship for a more complex and nuanced picture of religion in America. Chapters discuss the diverse religious beliefs and practices that originated in the Americas, as well as those that came from Europe, Asia, and Africa. In addition to discussion of traditional components of religion, including religious people, communities, practices, and beliefs, the text also covers race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, political affiliations, and other elements of individual and collective identity. Written accessibly, the text has a number of features that broaden students’ learning experience, including 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. Offering broad and inclusive coverage, this is an exciting new exploration of one of the most foundational topics in American history.
Bremer's text combines features that classroom teachers desire - including a clear chronological narrative as well as images and sidebars on fascinating historical characters and questions - along with provocative challenges to conventional ways of thinking that students will bring to courses. The result is a text that should receive wide usage. Paul Harvey, University of Colorado
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