Reitman offers the first full, journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an even-handed account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology's development from the birth of Dianetics through to the present day.
The present volume brings together an international group of top scholars on New Religious Movements to offer an extensive and even-handed overview and analysis of all of these aspects of Scientology, including the controversies to which it continues to give rise. The book's six parts take a detailed look at the Church through its similarities to and differences from other religions, conflicts with various groups, overseas missions, and its theology, history, and sociology.
The first comprehensive history of American Judaism in over fifty years, this book is both a celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America and essential reading for anyone interested in American religion and life.
Catholicism has grown from a suppressed and persecuted outsiders' religion in the American colonies to become the nation's single largest denomination. James Fisher surveys more than four centuries of Catholics' involvement in American history, starting his narrative with one of the first Spanish expeditions to Florida, in 1528. He follows the transformation of Catholicism into one of America's most culturally and ethnically diverse religions, including the English Catholics' early settlement in Maryland, the Spanish missions to the Native Americans, the Irish and German poor who came in search of work and farmland, the proliferation of Polish and Italian communities, and the growing influx of Catholics from Latin America.
Using the concept of'classical republicanism'in his analysis, Kenneth Winn argues against the common view that the Mormon religion was an exceptional phenomenon representing a countercultural ideology fundamentally subversive to American society. Rather, he maintains, both the Saints and their enemies affirmed republican principles, but in radically different ways.
Comprehensive coverage of more than 2,300 North American religious groups in the U.S. and Canada -- from Adventists to Zen Buddhists. Information is presented in two distinct sections, essays and directory listings describing the historical development of religious families and providing factual information about each group within those families. Includes, when available, rubrics for membership figures, educational facilities and periodicals.
Throughout the last century and a half, Givens notes, distinctive traditions have emerged among the Latter-Day Saints, shaped by dynamic tensions--or paradoxes--that give Mormon cultural expression much of its vitality. Here is a religion shaped by a rigid authoritarian hierarchy and radical individualism; by prophetic certainty and a celebration of learning and intellectual investigation; by existence in exile and a yearning for integration and acceptance by the larger world. Givens divides Mormon history into two periods, separated by the renunciation of polygamy in 1890.
This first in-depth look at Hinduism in the United States and the Hindu Indian American community helps readers to understand the private devotions, practices, and beliefs of Hindu Indian Americans as well as their political mobilization and activism.
The book's six parts take a detailed look at the Church through its similarities to and differences from other religions, conflicts with various groups, overseas missions, and its theology, history, and sociology.
Baptists in America, Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins explore the long-running tensions between church, state, and culture that Baptists have shaped and navigated. Despite the moment of unity that their early persecution provided, their history has been marked by internal battles and schisms that were microcosms of national events, from the conflict over slavery that divided North from South to the conservative revolution of the 1970s and 80s. Baptists have made an indelible impact on American religious and cultural history, from their early insistence that America should have no established church to their place in the modern-day culture wars, where they frequently advocate greater religious involvement in politics.
For most of the eighteenth century, British protestantism was driven neither by the primacy of denominations nor by fundamental discord between them. Instead, it thrived as part of a complex transatlantic system that bound religious institutions to imperial politics. As Katherine Carté argues, British imperial protestantism proved remarkably effective in advancing both the interests of empire and the cause of religion until the war for American independence disrupted it. That Revolution forced a reassessment of the role of religion in public life on both sides of the Atlantic. Religious communities struggled to reorganize within and across new national borders. Religious leaders recalibrated their relationships to government. If these shifts were more pronounced in the United States than in Britain, the loss of a shared system nonetheless mattered to both nations.
The essays here explore a variety of postcontact identities, including indigenous Christians, "mission friendly" non-Christians, and ex-Christians, thereby exploring the shifting world of Native-white cultural and religious exchange. Rather than questioning the authenticity of Native Christian experiences, these scholars reveal how indigenous peoples negotiated change with regard to missions, missionaries, and Christianity. This collection challenges the pervasive stereotype of Native Americans as culturally static and ill-equipped to navigate the roiling currents associated with colonialism and missionization.
In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about Native American religions with Suzan Shown Harjo, executive director of The Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C. Topics of discussion include the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978; some common aspects of the approximately 300 remaining Native American religions being practiced in the U.S. today; the concepts of a supreme being and associated sacred beings as they exist in Native American culture; the prophecies of the Cheyenne prophet Sweet Medicine and the historical impact of North America’s settlers on the land’s indigenous peoples; and the pressing need for all Americans, non-native and native alike, to create a better future together. (27 minutes)
The separation of church and state represents one of the most fundamental principles of American democracy. While some contend that the United States needs to return to its roots as a “Christian nation,” others point out that the Founding Fathers crafted a system specifically designed to guard against any form of state-sanctioned religion. After reviewing the substance of the debates that took place during the Constitutional conventions, this program examines the evolution of Christianity in the U.S. and reflects upon the growth of religious diversity as well as trends toward secular humanism. Participants include Boston University’s Stephen Prothero; Diana Eck, of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University; Robert Bellah, of U. C. Berkeley; retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong; Princeton University’s Robert Wuthnow; and the Reverend Peter Gomes, of The Memorial Church of Harvard University. (28 minutes)
Centered on faith, hard work, and the early stirrings of racial and sexual equality, the Shaker lifestyle was in many ways ahead of its time. But what was daily life like inside Shaker communities? Several years in the making, this program uses extensive archival footage integrated with reenactments and scholarly interviews to illustrate the Shakers’ ordered, highly idealistic society. Visits to historic establishments in Pleasant Hill and South Union, Kentucky, shed light on distinctive Shaker crafts and architecture (churches, barns, houses, and furniture) as well as complex cultural and economic issues (financial management, dissolution of the traditional family structure, and more) that shaped the United Society of Believers. (52 minutes)
This episode of Biography looks at Brigham Young, a settler in the American west and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Known as the “Mormon Moses”, Young followed founder Joseph Smith as head of the Mormon church. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. (45 minutes) Distributed by A&E Television Networks.
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