William R. Hutchison had a complaint. Though he was a dean of American religious history and a gatekeeper of the field at Harvard, Hutchison could not shake the feeling that the discipline was going in the wrong direction. In 1989, when he wrote an introduction to his edited volume, Between the Times, his fellow religion scholars were busy examining trans-denominational movements like revivalism, smaller religious practices like voodoo in New York, and “dissenters and other outsiders” to the mainstream. But their efforts had ignored what Hutchison considered the most important subject of all, the Protestant denominations that had guided American life since the American Revolution.
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