Recovering the Margins of American Religious History, a celebration of the life and work of David Edwin Harrell Jr., brings together essays from Harrell’s colleagues, peers, and students that explore his impact and legacy in the field of American religious studies. Raised in an upper-class family in mid-twentieth-century Jacksonville, Florida, Harrell’s membership in the Church of Christ helped establish his sense of self as a spiritual outsider. This early exclusion from the Christian mainstream laid a foundation for Harrell’s pioneering studies of marginalized faiths, including the first stirrings of neo-fundamentalism and the diminishingly influential social gospel movement.
Harrell’s connections with these religious movements point to his deeper ongoing concerns with class, gender, and race as core factors behind religious institutions, and he has unblinkingly investigated a wide range of social dynamics. Combining an extensive knowledge of and long-standing passion for American religious history with a comprehensive understanding of the developing world, Harrell’s research and writings over his lifetime have produced compelling portraits of the American religious underclass, an increased integration of religion into the narrative of world history, and innovative new comparative studies in the healing and charismatic movements of the developing world.
Scott C. Billingsley / Wayne Flynt / James R. Goff Jr. / John C. Hardin / Samuel S. Hill / Richard T. Hughes / Beth Barton Schweiger / Grant Wacker / B. Dwain Waldrep / Charles Reagan Wilson