Last week I asked about the historiography of the contemporary religious left. The response to my post was another illustration of the promise of blogging–I have a great list of books to read and a list of work from scholars to follow. I have listed suggestions from comments on this site and Religion in American History. Before that, though, I have a couple more questions. Is there a corollary problem in the historiography of the American left over the same period, from 1970 to the present? And if so, what’s the connection, if there is one?
Emerging Historiography of the New Religious Left
One obvious answer is that this was the age of fracture of the left and political consolidation for the right. And so, in the age of Reagan, as Sean Wilentz explains, conservatism offered the most significant organizing principle and political target. Thus the historiography has followed the power, in a sense.
But that is far from the end of the story or stories that are being and will be written. Below is preliminary list of books on the New Religious Left since 1970.
Robert Wuthnow, The Restructuring of American Religion (1988)–the latter chapters
Wuthnow, After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s (1998)
Gary Dorrien, The Making of American Liberal Theology: Crisis, Irony, and Postmoderninty: 1950-2005 (2006)
Dorrien, Soul in Society (1996)
Dean Hodge, Benton Johnson, and Donald Luidens, Vanishing Boundaries: The Religion of Mainline Protestant Baby Boomers (1994)
Amanda Porterfield, The Transformation of American Religion: The Story of a Late Twentieth Century Awakening (2001)
David Swartz’s book on the evangelical left from the 1950s to the 1980s due out from the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012
Brantley Gasaway’s book on progressive evangelicalism since the 1960s due out from UNC Press in 2013
For an interview with both Swartz and Gasaway see this site
Pamela Cochran, Evangelical Feminism: A History (2005)
Two projects from Catherine Osborne on Catholics and the moderate-left in the postwar era
Charles Struass is working on American Catholics and US foreign policy toward Central America in the 1970s and 1980s
Dan McKanan, Prophetic Encounters: Religion and the American Radical Tradition (2011)
McKanan, The Catholic Worker after Dorothy: Practicing the Works of Mercy in a New Generation (2008)
Sarah McFarland Taylor, Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology (2007)
Amy Koehlinger, The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s (2007)
Lillian Calles Barger is at work on a history of Liberation Theology from its origins in early Enlightenment thought to the present.
Shawn David Young, is at work on a book on the Jesus People USA.
Adam Parsons is working on a dissertation on the Christian World Liberation Front
David King is working on the World Vision a Christian NGO
Marcia Pally, The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good (2011)
James Bielo, Emerging Evangelicals: Faith, Modernity, and the Desire for Authenticity (2011)