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Media: Part I--50 reels of 35mm microfilm; Part II--47 reels of 35mm microfilm
Format: Religion in America: A Reel Guide to Early Books and Manuscripts, and Religion in America: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Dissertations. Free with collection. Each reel begins with a contents page.
Coverage Dates: 1640-1950
Sources Covered: Part 1--404 volumes, Part 2--242 volumes

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This interdenominational microfilm collection stands alone as a basic resource for the study of religion in America from 1640 to the middle of the twentieth century.

In addition to students of American religion, researchers in American studies, theology, philosophy, intellectual and social history, abolitionism, and education will discover material to fulfill their most detailed research requirements. Among numerous topics available for in-depth study through this collection are:

  • the role of institutional religion in America during periods of peace and war, stability and upheaval
  • religion and pacifism
  • religion and abolitionism
  • theological comparisons among various denominations, sects, and cults

Compiled by Edwin S. Gaustad of the University of California, Riverside, and Vern Carner, this selective collection is divided into two parts.

The first contains 284 books and manuscripts from 1640 to the mid-1900s. The second part offers 242 recent doctoral dissertations representing a cross-section of contemporary interpretive studies in areas related to American religion.

Part I: Early Books and Manuscripts The documents in this section include treatises, biographies, reference works, and topical surveys. Featured are writings by early religious patriarchs such as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Chauncy, Thomas Hooker, and the Mathers. Other primary sources include books by Henry Ward Beecher, Carter Woodson, and Frances Willard. Valuable books such as the Bay Psalm Book of 1640, early Bibles, and collections of sermons are of special interest to the serious scholar. Among the reference works in this part of the collection are the 13-volume American Church History Series (1893-97) and Nelson R. Burr's A Critical Bibliography of Religion in America (1961).

Part II: Recent Dissertations These doctoral dissertations in American religion, all written since 1960, represent scholarly studies in more than 60 U.S. universities. Numerous topics are covered, such as Ecumenical Movements, Liturgy and Worship, Puritanism, Religion and Education, Religion and the State, Revivalism Theology, and Philosophy.

Indicating the broad range of these studies are such titles as "Religion, the State, and Education: The Supreme Court and Perspectives of Theology" and "The Reaction of American Protestants to Psychoanalysis 1900-1950."

Including both primary and secondary source material, this important collection reflects the interaction of religion with American social, intellectual, and political currents.

VOLUME EQUIVALENT: Part I--404 volumes; Part II--242 volumes

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