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America's Religions

From Their Origins to the Twenty-first Century

A panoramic introduction to religion in America, newly revised and updated

In this comprehensive survey, Williams offers concise descriptions of the background, beliefs, practices, and leaders of America's most influential and distinctive religious movements and denominations. Thoroughly revised and updated, this third edition of America's Religions incorporates the latest scholarship on religion. It considers timely issues such as the status of Muslims in the United States after September 11, 2001; the impact of religion on American politics, especially concerning the emergence of the Religious Right; and the intense battles fought within the Catholic Church and other denominations over the status of gay marriage and accusations of clergy members' sexual abuse. This edition also includes thirty-eight new illustrations of key persons in American religious history and notable places of worship.

"This work is unmatched in its usefulness for studetns and educators, lay readers, and professional historians to think more clearly about the complexities of religious life in America."--The Historian

"A towering achievement. Peter Williams has provided a magisterial study that does justice to the rich pastiche of religious life in America. The bibliography alone makes this an invaluable resource." --Randall Balmer, author of Religion in Twentieth-Century America

"For coverage and liveliness of style, America's Religions is encyclopedic in the best sense of the word."--Kathleen Flake, Anglican and Episcopal History

"America's Religions provides an outstanding account of the religious worlds Americans have created and continue to inhabit. This volume is a rich resource for historians who take the long view, for religionists who focus on specific traditions, and for Americanists who examine distinctive cultures. Each will find Williams's new edition packed with insight and highly adaptable to diverse course uses."--Stephen J. Stein, author of Alternative American Religions

"This volume ranks among the clearest, fairest, and most comprehensive surveys of the history of the American religious experience. Though Williams never loses sight of the powerful presence of mainline Christian traditions, he takes care to trace the influence of little known and non-Christian ones as well. In the process, he reveals both the richness and the complexity of the story, including art, music, liturgy, film, architecture, and ethnic and regional variations. This deftly written study, spiced by the author's droll humor, will serve as a standard guide to the subject for academics as well as general readers for years to come."--Grant A. Wacker, author of Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture

Peter W. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Religion and American Studies at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of Popular Religion in America and Houses of God.

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