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Religion and American Culture
A Brief History
POD; Published: 9/6/2018
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7539-6
Price: $ 33.99
304 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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While Americans still profess to be one of the most religious people in the industrialized world, many aspects of American culture have long been secular and materialistic. That is just one of the many paradoxes, contradictions, and surprises in the relationship between Christianity and American culture. In this book George Marsden, a leading historian of American Christianity and award-winning author, tells the story of that relationship in a concise and thought-provoking way.

Surveying the history of religion and American culture from the days of the earliest European settlers right up through the elections of 2016, Marsden offers the kind of historically and religiously informed scholarship that has made him one of the nation’s most respected and decorated historians. Students in the classroom and history readers of all ages will benefit from engaging with the story Marsden tells.

Thomas S. Kidd
— Baylor University
“At the outset of this book George Marsden makes the simple but profound observation that the United States is ‘both remarkably religious and remarkably profane.’ This organizing principle helps make his Religion and American Culture an astute, accessible, and wonderful introduction to the fascinating puzzle of American religious history.”
Kristin Du Mez
— Calvin College
“In this highly readable volume Marsden provides a sweeping overview of religion in American history. He not only sketches the landscape with enviable clarity but also offers an interpretive frame for understanding the relationship of American religion and culture—and ultimately for comprehending a nation that is ‘both remarkably religious and remarkably profane.’ ”
Rick Ostrander
— Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
“Any list of the most influential American historians of the past half-century would undoubtedly include George Marsden. His Religion and American Culture is a careful, balanced assessment not only of Christianity’s complex role in American history but also of American culture’s influence on Christianity. No better brief yet profound treatment of Christianity’s 400 years in the United States exists than this volume.”
Darren Dochuk
— University of Notre Dame
“In this survey of the religious (and, paradoxically, secular) forces that have shaped American life over the past four centuries, Marsden masterfully weaves colorful insight and incisive analysis into an accessible narrative that readers of all levels will find highly instructive. This is a must-read, invaluable resource for anyone interested in making sense of past and current trends in American religious culture.”
Rick Kennedy
— Point Loma Nazarene University
“With measured prose Marsden’s Religion and American Culture deftly illuminates the consistently central role of people of faith in our country’s history. Often dealing with matters that have been overheated by insistent polemics, Marsden broad-mindedly lets the chips fall where they may, allowing churches their role in sowing seeds both evil and good. The book is especially innovative when showing the role of Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism in elite political and intellectual circles from the 1870s to the 1970s.”
John Fea
— Messiah College
“I am thrilled that Marsden’s Religion and American Culture is back in print. While the text certainly stands alone as an introductory survey by one of our generation’s greatest American religious historians, it will also serve as a supplementary textbook for teachers and professors who want to bring religious developments to bear on US history survey courses.”
Calvin Theological Journal
“Marsden weaves his theological understandings with historical analysis to produce an unusually rich picture of how theologies evolve and intersect with cultural, social, and political changes in America.”