An anecdote-fueled account of the most unusual religious movements in America today, from witch covens to snake handlers to atheists to UFO cults. Hallman visits each in a kind of adventure, telling their stories in a style that blends mini-history and first hand reportage. He is accompanied by the ghost of his patron saint, William James, the author of perhaps the most influential book ever written on religion, The Varieties of Religious Experience. James's own story is woven through the book (and James wisdom infuses it), providing a fascinating historical and biographical counterpoint to the intrepid and hugely talented young Mr. Hallman. James argued that we could never do without religion, and wrote that the best way to understand the religious spirit was to look at its most exaggerated forms. But not even James could have imagined what the changes of the last century would do to our conception of God. Hallman's journeys and analysis provides a vivid collective portrait of American religion in all its diversity and color.
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