July 16, 2010

Call for Recommended Reading

by James Bennett

Ok fellow scholars of Religion in the American West (RAWers?), here’s our chance to help shape the way that people understand our budding field of study. Quincy and I, as co-chairs of the AAR Religion in the American West Seminar, recently received this call. Rather than shouldering the burden of representing the field ourselves, we’d like to get your feedback on what titles we should submit:

Religious Studies News Online asks each Program Unit Chair to recommend two to five books which you consider influential, pivotal, seminal, or otherwise important publications in your field — publications that someone within the broad field of religion and theology might be interested in, even if the topic is outside of their area of specialization or concentration. This information will be included in a recommended list of reading under each Program Unit in a new section in the online Religious Studies News website.
So what should it be? What titles would you characterize as influential, pivotal, seminal, or otherwise important publications for the study of religion in the American West?
We look forward to your responses.


Joshua Paddison said...

I would nominate, in particular, Amy DeRogatis's Moral Geography: Maps, Missionaries, and the American Frontier and Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp's Religion and Society in Frontier California.

hunter said...

I recommend Ferenc Szasz's "Protestant Clergy in the Great Plains and Mountain West, 1865-1915"

Brandi Denison said...

I second the nomination for _Religion and Society in Frontier California_. I would also suggest Peggy Pascoe's _Relations of Rescue: The Search for Female Moral Authority in the American West, 1874-1939_.

Tisa Wenger said...

This is a tough list to compile, since so few books explicitly theorize religion in the US west. I'd focus on those that help us think in new ways about region/place. Along with those already mentioned, Jared Farmer's _On Zion's Mount_ would be a good choice.

Brett Hendrickson said...

La Llorona's Children by Luis Leon is pretty good--provides some theoretical frameworks. I also like the chapters about John Muir and the
West in Albanese's Nature Religion in America.

Joshua Paddison said...

Let me add one more: Gregory Smoak's Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century.