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By the Vision of Another World: Worship in American History
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By the Vision of Another World: Worship in American History


Eerdmans 2012

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This book samples the rich variety of worship practices in American history to show how worship can be a fruitful subject for historians to study and, alternatively, how past case studies can enrich our understanding of worship today.

By the Vision of Another World gathers highly regarded historians and other scholars who usually are not read together because of the widely different subject areas in which they typically work. Yet their essays all fit together here as they address how worship, work, and worldview converge and reinforce each other no matter what particular place, era, denomination, or ethnic group is under consideration. The variety of methodologies and voices will appeal to a breadth of critical interests, while the consistently high quality of historical narrative will keep readers engaged.

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Key Features

  • Surveys the history of worship practices in America
  • Shows how the historical study of worship can enrich our understanding of it today
  • Gathers contributions from a diverse group of scholars
  • Integrates a rich variety of fields of study


  • “Introduction: Transmitting Other Worlds,” by James D. Bratt
  • “Liturgy, Literacy, and Worship in Puritan Anglo-America, 1560–1670,” by Harry S. Stout
  • “Worship, Experience, and the Creation of Methodist Place,” by Ruth Alden Doan
  • “Horizons of Faith: San Antonio Tejanos in the Texas Republic,” by Timothy Matovina
  • “‘You Better Set Your House in Order’: Worship Ritual and Black Church Life in Jim Crow Georgia,” by Paul Harvey
  • “Cultivating Soil and Soul: The Intersection of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and the American Liturgical Movement, 1920–60,” by Michael Woods
  • “Rites of the Tribes: Two Protestant Congregations in a Twentieth-Century City,” by James D. Bratt
  • “Generations: American Catholics since the 1950s,” by Leslie Woodcock Tentler
  • “Recovering the Spiritual in American Religious History,” by George M. Marsden
  • “History—about Worship, or for the Sake of Worship? Reflections from Practical Theology,” by Dorothy C. Bass
  • “Liturgy’s Passions and Polarities,” by Joyce Ann Zimmerman

Praise for the Print Edition

This book offers a genuine contribution to multiple fields of study, including American history, liturgical studies, and practical theology. It succeeds in deeply integrating and mutually illuminating these fields with wit, warmth, and wisdom. The challenge of ranging so widely across disciplines is remarkably met and mastered. Readers will reflect meaningfully on the many particular shapes of American religion and worship in their contexts of ethnicity, culture, class, and worldview.

—Leanne Van Dyk, professor of Reformed theology, Western Theological Seminary

Product Details

  • Title: By the Vision of Another World: Worship in American History
  • Editor: James D. Bratt
  • Series: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 221
  • Christian Group: Evangelicals
  • Resource Type: : Monograph
  • Topic: History

About James D. Bratt

James D. Bratt is a scholar of Abraham Kuyper, and is currently a professor at Calvin College. An alumnus of Calvin, Bratt received his PhD from Yale University after writing his dissertation, Dutch Calvinism in Modern America. His other areas of specialty include colonial American history, and American intellectual and religious history.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition