Reviews of Secularism in Antebellum America

Reviews of Secularism in Antebellum America


REVIEW: Janet Moore Lindman at The Journal of American History


Modern not only expands our understanding of antebellum Protestantism but also thoroughly interrogates the prevailing historiography to present a startling and cogent statement about secularism and modernity in Victorian America. This short review cannot do justice to his sagacity read on>

REVIEW: Michael Warner at The Immanent Frame

“Modern has certainly deepened our understanding of the field, and his book illustrates strikingly how rapidly the analysis of secularity is emerging … read on >”


 REVIEW: Justine Murison at Common-Place

“historically rich and analytically keen . . . a luminous study of the discursive terrain and affective engagements of secularism in the first half of the nineteenth century … read on >”


 REVIEW: Leigh Eric Schmidt at Church History


In the field of American religious history it is relatively rare to get such sustained engagement with Foucaults genealogical method, Derridas hauntology, Talal Asads formations of the secular, or even Charles Taylors secular age. In turn, whether historians will want to engage Moderns work will have a lot to do with how much they think they gain from participating in those larger theoretical discussionsread on>


REVIEW: Vincent Lloyd at Political Theology


For Modern, an important facet of the secular age is the distribution of agency over objects without regard to a distinction between animate and inanimate. Tracts are treated as agents having capacities and powers, but this agency comes about as part of a system, a network of circulating tracts, where humans and tracts alike are agentive nodes in the network.”



REVIEW: Journal of American Culture

Modern’s work offers invaluable concepts, sources, and methodological blueprint …a refreshing treatise on historiography of American religion through textual analysis and theoretical employment … read on>


REVIEW: Anthropology Review Database

“A fascinating and complex argument examines evangelical Christianity, phrenology, spiritualism, penology, and even early anthropology … read on >