cover image Modern American Religion, Volume 3: Under God, Indivisible, 1941-1960

Modern American Religion, Volume 3: Under God, Indivisible, 1941-1960

Martin E. Marty. University of Chicago Press, $51 (555pp) ISBN 978-0-226-50898-6

In the first volume of his projected four-volume history of American religion (The Irony of It All), Marty, the dean of American church historians, demonstrated that American religion in the period between 1893 and 1919 could be best characterized by the struggles between the progressive impulses of modernists and the conservative impulses of countermodernists. In his second volume, The Noise of Conflict, Marty indicated the ways that this earlier struggle provides the foundation for the unity that many American religious groups strove to establish between the wars. Here, in this third volume of his magisterial history, Marty explores the ways in which this impulse toward unity provided the foundation for a variety of American religious and cultural identities from the beginning of WWII through 1960. With his characteristic grace and wit, Marty reveals that just below the unity and harmony marking so many religious groups during this period lay the forces of dissent and division. Yet, Marty's study is as much cultural history as religious history, and the great value of his work lies in his exposition of the intersection of cultural forms and religious meaning. (Aug.)