Religious studies


Islam in the Soviet Union: Translated Reports from the Joint Publications Research Service

Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map CollectionFrom an earlier release of Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994, we recently highlighted five reports concerning religion and atheism in the USSR in the 1960s. The September 2014 release of JPRS also includes translations from the Soviet Union on this same broad topic with particular attention paid to Islam.

Entry on “Islam” in Great Soviet Encyclopedia

Click to open in PDFThis seven-page entry translated from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia includes sections on the origin of Islam, Islam in the feudal period, and Islam in the period of capitalism. The first paragraph makes it clear how the writers of the encyclopedia regarded Islam and religion in general. They state that Islam…

…like other religions, has always played a reactionary role, being in the hands of the exploiting classes a weapon of spiritual oppression of the workers.  It was used by foreign colonizers for the enslavement of the peoples of the East.

Islam in the Soviet Union: Translated Reports from the Joint Publications Research Service

Calculating the Second Coming in 19th-Century America: Selected Items from American Pamphlets, 1820-1922

William Miller (1782-1849)The first four decades of the 19th century were a time of increased religious activity known as the Second Great Awakening. One of the most widely recognized religious activists of this time was William Miller (1782-1849) who lived in the border area between Vermont and New York State. As a young man in Poultney, Vermont, Miller was a confirmed and public Deist; however, as a result of his experience in the War of 1812, particularly in the Battle of Plattsburgh, where the significantly outnumbered Americans were victorious, Miller concluded this victory was the result of an interventionist deity.

Subsequent study of the Bible convinced Miller that the holy book held prophetic references to the return of Christ to Earth including the specific time when this would happen. His predictions were widely disseminated. Despite his having been in error about the first dates he identified as the time of Christ's return—“sometime between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844”—the number of his followers grew exponentially. When a new date was identified in October of 1844 and Christ again did not return, this failed prophecy became known as the Great Disappointment of the Millerite movement. This month's release of American Pamphlets, 1820-1922: From the New-York Historical Society includes many works related to the national movement Miller sparked, including several rebukes to his prophecy, which were published in advance of any certain date for the return of Christ, as well as Miller's own “Apology and Defence,” published in 1845.

Calculating the Second Coming in 19th-Century America: Selected Items from American Pamphlets, 1820-1922

Just published -- The Readex Report: February 2012

In our latest issue: The emancipation efforts of a forgotten Founding Father; a felonious figure pens a revered evangelical reference; and social media’s unprecedented impact on academic networking.

The Connecticut Webster on Slavery

By Joshua Kendall, author of The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture

The pure-bred New Englander revered the Constitution. Though the eloquent statesman hated slavery, he sought to eradicate this evil without destroying the union. Division was anathema to him, as could perhaps be guessed from his ancestral name, Webster, which means “uniter” in Anglo-Saxon. And some three score and eight years before the outbreak of the Civil War, whose 150th anniversary we commemorated last spring, he advocated a moderate course designed to steer clear of bloodshed.…(read article)

A Reverend Revealed: The Real Identity of One of the Most Influential (and Simplistic) Thinkers of the 19th Century

By James Lutzweiler, Archivist and Rare Book Curator, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Just published -- The Readex Report: February 2012

Religion and the Rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1922 (by Kelly J. Baker)

[This article by Kelly J. Baker, who currently teaches American and religious studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, first appeared in the September 2009 issue of The Readex Report. Baker is also an editor of the Religion in American History blog. Her first book, Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915–1930, is being published this month by the University Press of Kansas.]

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“An original and sobering work” -- David Morgan, author of Protestants and Pictures

Religion and the Rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1922 (by Kelly J. Baker)

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