Religion: Britons Will Understand

The field of American life is as bare of the Church as a billiard table of a centerpiece. . . .

So wrote scornful Expatriate Henry James in The American Scene (1907). To him, as to most Englishmen, "the Church" meant the state-established Church of England; he was appalled by the ecclesiastical chaos of competing U.S. denominations.*

To explain America's unique religious situation in a book for British consumption, the Cambridge University Press picked the dean of Harvard's liberal, 300-year-old Divinity School, a New England Congregationalist with a B.A. from Oxford. Published last week, Dean Willard L. Sperry's Religion in America (Macmillan; $2.50)...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!