Evangelical America: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Religious Culture. Edited by Timothy J. Denny and Paul R. Shockley. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017. 515 p. Acid-free $75.20 (ISBN 978-1-61069-773-6). E-book available (978-1-61069-774-3), call for pricing.

Timothy Denny and Paul Shockley provide an excellent collection of entries related to evangelical Christianity in America in their work entitled Evangelical America: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Religious Culture. Denny and Shockley begin this work with an insightful introduction. The editors aim “to provide readers with information on some of the prominent individuals, institutions and ideas of the movement in the past 75 years” (p. xvii). While Evangelical America does not intend to be exhaustive, it is thorough, providing insight on a variety of distinct facets of American evangelicalism.

Evangelical America has many tools empowering users to discover information on their topic. It begins with a standard table of contents, simply listing the entries in alphabetical order. After this, however, is a topical list of entries, which breaks the entries into eight categories: churches; denominations, movements, and groups; events and trends; ideas, doctrines, and controversies; individuals; institutions; journals, books, documents, and publications; and organizations.

The resources enhancing the usability of Evangelical America do not end here. As this work covers the past seventy-five years of evangelicalism, a five-page chronology is included, showing the timeline for major events and people in evangelicalism. This is partnered with several primary documents related to evangelicalism, a bibliography for further reading, and an extensive index. The various tools embedded in Evangelical America make it an incredibly useful resource for anyone seeking information on a variety of topics related to evangelicalism in America.

The content of Evangelical America echoes this level of excellence in the variety of topics chosen, the depth of each entry, and the further readings provided for every entry. An excellent example is the article on Explo ’72. If the reader had never heard of this event, the article provides an excellent overview of what it was and how it impacted evangelicalism. The “see also” and “further reading” sections (which all articles in Evangelical America have) enable the curious reader interested in more information on this topic to find more resources related to this specific topic.

Many articles in Evangelical America have text boxes, each of which takes a key concept from the entry in which it is embedded and develops it further, which is an extremely useful addition to the main text. For example, the entry on Billy Graham has two text boxes: one listing prominent American Evangelists before Billy Graham and the other listing fifteen personalities shaping evangelicalism today. Both of these text boxes add incredible insight into the historical development of evangelicalism, providing the reader with additional awareness regarding the role Billy Graham played in the development of evangelicalism.

American Evangelicalism is a remarkable tool. Any library covering any facet of American religious history would find it useful. In particular, this item should be a priority for any institution of higher education with a protestant or evangelical background as it provides an insightful glimpse into both the history of evangelicalism and the trajectory of its development in the twenty-first century.—Garrett B. Trott, University Librarian, Corban University, Salem, Oregon


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