This one volume encyclopedia on religion in the American South is a very good reference tool for those studying or interested in religion in the Southern states. At first one might think that it would only cover the Baptist Church or some other Protestant churches, but it covers all religions including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and other denominations. The main topics, though, are of Protestant interest, especially since that is the largest religious group in the South.
This second edition includes over 600 articles, with 100 new articles added to the 1984 first edition and some first-edition articles updated or revised. The encyclopedia begins with an overview of religion in the South from a religious historical view covering from the colonial period up to the year 2000. A table of contents lists all the articles for quick access. The articles, including bibliographies and cross-reference notes, vary in length depending on the importance of the topic. Updated or revised articles list the revision author alongside the original author.
The articles cover various religious topics from biographies to articles on various denominations or religions. Illustrations would have livened up this tome, but the encyclopedia is very readable and succinct.
Samuel S. Hill is a retired professor of religion at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and the University of Florida with a special interest in religion in the South. He is the author or co-author of New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume One: Religion to be published in April 2006, Handbook of Denominations in the United States (2005), Southern Churches in Crisis Revisited (1999), One Name but Several Faces (1996), and Varieties of Southern Religious Experience (1988).
Charles H. Lippy has been a professor of religious studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga since 1994. He is the author or co-author of Do Real Men Pray (2005), Pluralism Comes of Age (2000), The Evangelicals (1999), Modern American Popular Religion (1996), Bibliography of Religion in the South (1985), and other books and journal articles.
Charles Reagan Wilson is a professor of history and Southern studies and the director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. The Encyclopedia of Religion in the South is recommended to those interested in religious studies and the South. It is a good reference book for academic and public libraries.