Covering more than 200 years of history from pre-contact to the present, this textbook places religion at the center of the history of the American West, examining the relationship between religion and the region and their influence on one another.
A comprehensive examination of the relationship between religion and the American West and their influence on each other over the course of more than 200 years
Discusses diverse groups of people, places, and events that played an important historical role, from organized religion and easily recognized denominations to unorganized religion and cults
Provides straightforward explanations of key religious and theological terms and concepts
Weaves discussion of American Indian religion throughout the text and presents it in dialogue with other groups
Enriches our understanding of American history by examining key factors outside of traditional political, economic, social, and cultural domains
Todd M. Kerstetter is Associate Professor of History atTexas Christian University. He teaches courses on the AmericanWest, American Indian history, and US environmental history. He isthe author of God's Country, Uncle Sam's Land: Faithand Conflict in the American West (2006), which examinesreligious freedom in the American West by discussing relationshipsbetween the US government and Mormons, Lakota Ghost Dancers, andBranch Davidians. He has also published in scholarly journals onwater issues and images of the American West in rock music.
List of Illustrations viii Acknowledgements x Introduction 1 1 Indigenous Religions in the West 8 Arctic 12 Sub-Arctic 13 Northwest Coast 16 Plains 18 Plateau 20 Great Basin 22 California 23 Southwest 24 Common Themes 27 Conclusion 29 Suggested Reading 30 2 Missions to New Worlds 32 Spain 34 France 50 Russia 60 Conclusion 66 Suggested Reading 67 3 Migrations, Manifest Destiny, and Mormons, 1803-1860 69 Transplanting Religions in the US Imperial Period 71 Protestantism 71 Roman Catholicism 80 Judaism 83 Asian religions 85 Religion and Manifest Destiny 86 Mormons and the Quest for Zion 91 The Mormon Question, 1852-1860 103 Conclusion 107 Suggested Reading 108 4 The West and Religion in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, 1860-1890 109 Protestantism in the West 112 Catholicism in the West 119 Judaism in the West 124 Asian Religions in the West 127 The Mormon Question and the Mormon Answer, 1862 1890 127 American Indian Religious Experiences 135 Conclusion 150 Suggested Reading 150 5 Religion in the Modern West, 1890-1945 152 Mormonism 155 Catholicism 157 American Indians and Religion 162 Asian Religions and Influence 169 Modernism, Fundamentalism, and the Spirit of the West 172 World War I and Religion in the West 177 The Sunbelt and the Bible Belt 178 World War II and Religion in the West 188 Conclusion 189 Suggested Reading 190 6 Religion in the Cold War West, 1945-1965 192 Religious Innovation 197 Buddhism and the Beats 197 Scientology 198 Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and religion 199 The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 201 The Native American Church 206 Hispanics and Religion in the West 207 Evangelicals and the Sunbelt West 210 Conclusion 216 Suggested Reading 216 7 Creativity and Controversy after 1965 218 Immigration Reform and Asian Religions in the West 220 Religion in the Hispanic West 224 New Religious Movements 227 Religion and the Internet in the West 240 The Megachurch Boom 242 Religion in the Native West 251 Paths to the Present in Mormon Wests 254 Conclusion 258 Suggested Reading 258 Conclusion: The Frontier that Wouldn't Close 260 Index 266