Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America
[2 volumes]
by Michael McClymond
November 2006, 1240pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-32828-2
$201, £155, 175€, A276
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-06014-4
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Covers all of the major aspects of religious revivals in the United States, from the Great Awakening of the 17th Century to the present day.

This definitive, two-volume encyclopedia is the first academic reference work devoted specifically to religious revivals in North America. Incorporating the work of 120 scholars, the first volume contains an A-Z set of 228 articles touching on people (e.g., Billy Graham, Aimee Semple McPherson, Francisco Olazabal, etc.), revival events (the Great Awakening, Cane Ridge, the Azusa Street Revival), religious denominations or groups associated with revivals (Methodists, Pentecostals, Primitive Baptists), revival practices (the altar call, bodily manifestations, preaching, praying, speaking in tongues), and themes in revivals (confession of sins, ecstasy, eschatology, foreign missions, material culture, money and revivals). The second volume includes a documentary history of religious revivals from 1527 to 2005, with editorial introductions and selected passages from 121 primary texts—some published here for the first time—and a general bibliography of about 5000 books, articles, and dissertations.

Religious revivals have had a tremendous impact on American society throughout its history. During the First Great Awakening (1739-45), waves of religious fervor spread throughout the American colonies. The Second Great Awakening (1795-1835) witnessed the expansion of existing denominations (e.g., Baptist and Methodist) and the foundation of new denominations such as the Disciples of Christ, the Shakers, the Oneida Community, and the Seventh-day Adventists. These revivalist groups flowered and played a critical role in such cultural and historical movements as abolitionism, temperance, and the struggle for women’s rights. More recently, the growing strength of Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism during the late 20th Century may be yet another great awakening that has had—and will have—a profound impact on political, social, and cultural developments.


"The first reference set devoted exclusively to revivalism in the US and Canada, this ambitious project provides an authoritative resource for the academic study of revivals. Ensuring fair representation, McClymond (Saint Louis Univ.) includes articles that cover prominent nonwhite participants such as Francisco Olazabal and William J. Seymour, and he highlights the influential role of women revivalists, including Aimee Semple McPherson and Alma Bridwell White. Especially valuable are the extensive articles on theological concepts related to revivalism, such as Bodily Manifestations in Revivals, Eschatology and Revivals, and Theology of Revivals. Most articles are written by prominent scholars with records of publication in their respective topics. The preface and introduction to volume 1 define the terms revival and revivalism, and introduce readers to the academic study of revivalism through a historiographic essay. Volume 2 brings together 153 texts that provide primary resources on revivalism from 1527 to 2005--the first documentary history of its kind. Though comprehensive in scope, the set emphasizes Pentecostalism in proportion to its global influence. Essential. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers."—Choice, June 1, 2007

"The set is unique as the first academic reference work specifically to address religious revivals in North America....[i]t is highly recommended for seminary collections and for all university libraries with a theological studies program."—Library Journal, March 1, 2007

"[A] one-of-a-kind reference and research tool....[E]specially unique in that it doesn't stop with only A-Z articles. There are several value-added features that make it the most useful research tool on the topic of religious revivals. One such feature is the illustrations, which are plentiful and well-chosen....Another valuable feature is the variety of good discussions in the preface and introductions....[A]ny theological reference collection will be richer for including ERRA. This encyclopedia is a significant resource for both the undergraduate student in an introductory Church History course, as well as the PhD student looking for a dissertation topic."—Theological Librarianship, June 1, 2008

"[T]his Encyclopedia is far and away McClymond's most ambitious and impressive undertaking. It may not be an underestimation to say that with this two-volume work, the parameters of an entirely new field of research have now been marked out....The first volume includes 227 entries on churches, denominations, movements, events, phenomena, personalities (pastors, church leaders, scholars, and revivalists), and theological ideas related to the revival tradition in North America. Written by 118 scholars, overseen by a dozen experts (a Board of Review) in the field, and then scrutinized by McClymond himself....each article is an informative but engaging introduction to its topic....This Encyclopedia will be the standard and indispensable resource for the next generation of researchers. Its organization and contents will also be valuable to PhD students and senior scholars alike....[N]o academic library should be without the Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America."—Pneuma, 00/00/00

"Michael McClymond....has admirably compiled a work of scholarship that lays the ground work for more extensive studies. Consisting of two volumes, it is a useful tool and contribution to the world of reference....Lay people and scholar alike will find it a well-written, well-ordered trove that makes, so easy, the transition from perusal to scrutiny....A solid work that will find most use in schools that study American religion and the popular movements it has spawned."—American Reference Books Annual, 00/00/00

"McClymond's interesting and useful reference tool highlights the work of an impressive group of authors, including a review board of well-respected scholars of religion in the United States....[t]he editor and his team of contributors clearly succeed in navigating the changing currents of revivals and revivalism in the American past....Students in undergraduate and graduate work will benefit from using the material McClymond has assembled. The bibliography will also help foster new research projects and introduce readers to forgotten, though historically important, participants in the religious landscape of the United States and Canada."—International Bulletin of Missionary Research, October 1, 2008

"The history of Christianity in North America-Protestantism in particular-has included a number of revivals, from the Northampton Awakening of 1734-35 to the revivalist and evangelistic crusades of Billy Graham in our time. No reference work to date documents this rich history and important thread in Christianity, making the Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America a unique and welcome new resource....[f]ully one-quarter of the world's Christians today belong to a revivalist/charismatic/Pentecostal church, and they are the fastest-growing group within world Christianity, with attendant social and political ramifications. The need to understand the North American roots of this global phenomenon makes this work a worthwhile addition to the collections of academic and large public libraries."—Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin, April 15, 2008

"Overall this is an excellent compilation, densely packed with information, and objective in its nature. It would prove a worthwhile addition to any theological or general academic library. It has much of relevance to the secular historian and the sociologist, as well as the church historian, and is particularly useful for its col of source material."—Reference Reviews, April 1, 2008

"Religious scholars, historians, and social scientists offer a reference to religious revivals in the US and Canada from the 18th century into the 21st. The first volume contains 227 articles on people, revival events, religious denominations or groups associated with revivals, revival practices or phenomena such as speaking in tongues and radio and television, and themes such as confession and eschatology. The cross-referencing is thorough, and further reading is suggested at the end of each article. The second volume presents 106 primary documents from as far back as 1527 and as late as 2005."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2007
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