This encyclopedia consists of a groundbreaking collection of detailed scholarly articles that address a wide range of topics in American religious history and culture, all written by experts in their fields. It is not an amalgam of articles on the traditionally invoked topics that have directed thinking about religion in America. Rather, it is organized in a way that utilizes the most recent categories of scholarly research to identify the crucial themes, events,
people, places, and ideas that have constituted the rich history of religion in America. It is arranged in five sections: Space, Religious Ideas, Race and Ethnicity, Public Life, and Empire. In each section, a range of articles address the religious lives of Americans and the institutions, theologies,
and social forces that have influenced those lives and given shape to a broad cultural landscape of religion in America.
The articles in each section draw upon scholarship from an assortment of fields. As a result, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America is fully interdisciplinary in its approach to religion in America. It is informative about cutting-edge debates not only in the fields of religion and history, but in sociology, geography, philosophy, ethnic studies, literature, and a number of other fields as well. The articles are interconnected in various ways. There are common themes as
defined by the section headings, such as space, race, and religious ideas. There are also mutually reinforcing articles on specific topics such as a particular denomination, a distinctive intellectual tradition, gender, class, economics, and immigration. The encyclopedia accordingly is best engaged as a tool that
can be read both through and across the categories that organize it. It offers multiple insightful takes on a range of topics and represents the history and culture of religion in America in ways that will both resonate with and challenge the perspectives of readers.