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Dictionary of heresy trials in American Christianity /
edited by George H. Shriver.
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1997.
xvii, 511 p. ; 24 cm.
031329660X (hardcover : alk. paper)
More Details
added author
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1997.
031329660X (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [493]-499) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-01:
"Heresy" is a word that conjures images of accused witches or apostates burning at the stake, a persistent motif in religious history. This work analyzes 50 US Christian heresy trials from the Colonial period to the modern era. It is arranged alphabetically with a select bibliography for each entry, a subject index, and a general bibliography. The articles are clearly written and concise. The contributors, all scholars in religion or history, include some of the preeminent scholars in those fields. This is a unique title; one of the few other titles currently available on this subject matter is Leonard George's Crimes of Perception: An Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics (CH, Dec'95). Good for campuses with degree programs in religion. R. Dyson; Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Review Quotes
'œGeorge H. Shriver has assembled not merely a handy reference, but an important collection of essays. To the authors of such studies or anyone interested in theological controversies this book is an essential resource.'' Church History
'œ'Heresy' is a word that conjures images of accused witches or apostates burning at the stake, a persistent motif in religious history. This work analyzes 50 US Christian heresy trials from the Colonial period to the modern era.... The articles are clearly written and concise.... This is a unique title.'' Choice
'œIt is good that students of American religion, American history, and American culture now have a scholarly dictionary of ecclesiastical trials. Just by itself, its eloquent chapter on Williams justifies the book's purchase.'' Rettig on Reference
'œOver forty individual scholars have contributed well-written entries, which have been admirably edited and compiled into a single cohesive volume by Shiver....This work should be added to all seminary library collections and should be seriously considered for purchase by academic libraries which support programs in religion, theology, or American studies.'' Reference & User Service Quarterly
'œ...should definitely be acquired by all libraries with holdings in religious history...a very handy resource on the polemical history of American Christianity.'' Religious Studies Review
'œThis compilation of essays makes a compelling case for recognizing the creative contributions to American Christianity made by its heretics....I would rarely recommend reading a dictionary from cover to cover, but I enjoyed doing precisely that with this one....[T]he essays are written with the general reader in mind and most are exceptionally clear.'' Christian Century
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, January 1998
Choice, January 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Long Description
The first of its kind, this volume presents fifty formal and informal trials of individuals and institutions that have been labeled as heretical. These are challenging stories of ministers, professors, and laypersons who literally risked their careers and lives for their understanding of religious truths. From Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson in the colonial period to the latest 1990s casualties in the Southern Baptist Convention, trials from all major periods in American History and from all the major denominations are presented by leading scholars in the study of religious history. Of interest to scholars, students, and the general religious public. In this moving work, Catholic heretics mingle with Baptists and Mormons, female heretics are hanged and banished, and laypersons are dismissed from membership in their beloved church. Heretical professors lay the groundwork for academic freedom in the 20th century. It is evident from these essays that heretics in the American religious tradition have been among the most creative and voluminous contributors to American society. The trials they suffered were costly, but their contributions were vital. Their legacy informs present religious culture in a myriad of ways.
Unpaid Annotation
This is the first reference work to bring together a collection of essays on heresy trials--moving stories of risks taken in the name of deeply held religious beliefs.
Table of Contents
Trials and Denominations
The Trials Unscientific Postscript
Appendix: Identification of Trials by Denominational Family
Selected Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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