Religion and American Culture

A Brief History

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George M. Marsden
  • Grand Rapids, MI: 
    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
    , August
     280 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


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.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

George Marsden is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Notre Dame. Among his many other books is Jonathan Edwards: A Life, which was named one of ten "Books of the Year" for 2003 by Atlantic Monthly and received the prestigious Bancroft Prize in history (2004), the Grawemeyer Award in religion (2005), and a half dozen other awards.



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