"Edited by Gallagher and Ashcraft, this work consists of five volumes with topics ranging from New Religious Movements in Colonial America in volume 1 to UFOs and Religion near the end of volume 5. Contributions are by various scholarly authors with chapters averaging 15-20 pages. Extensive notes follow each entry, along with suggestions for further reading....Recommended. Lower-/upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers."
"Altogether, a solid and readable course in alternative religions suitable for high school and college students and particularly laudable for its inclusive stance on alternative faiths. Best purchased for circulating collections."
"This scholarly five-volume introduction to religions in America provides readers with histories of traditional American religious groups as well as analytical perspectives on new and alternative religions that many conventional treatments have either stereotyped or misrepresented....Achieving its purpose of rectifying much of the misinformation of the past that has condemned many of America's alternative faiths, these clearly written entries provide the general public with accurate, comprehensive, authoratative, and accessible accounts of traditional religious groups and many of the new and alternative religious movements in American society....This set includes an ample index and a selected but comprehensive bibliography. The clarity of these entries makes them intelligible to a wider audience and are recommended for both the high school and college levels, as well as to the general public, including public libraries and churches."
"[A]n impressive set....The authors provide rich historical background and also address specific issues with clarity that renders the volume very informative....The entire set is highly recommended for all libraries and scholars looking for handy reference to New Religious Movements in America."
"This is a fascinating study of societal reactions to new religious movements, including the secular anti-cult movement and the religious conter-cult movement."
"The editors have assembled an impressive array of scholars and religious experts to provide thoughtful, well documented essays....[t]he authors provide lucid analyses that will be of great service to undergraduate and graduate students alike as they try to understand unfamiliar religions....[t]his set belongs in every academic library that supports coursework in American society or modern religion."
"The set is an impressive achievement that will aid both scholar and layman in navigating the often nebulous territory of nonmainstream religion in the US....[A]shcraft and Eugene V. Gallagher have managed to compile what will be the standard reference on the subject for years to come....Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America is a great set."
"Ashcraft and Gallagher have assembled a fascinating and thorough resource on the many new and alternative religions to be found in the U.S. Each of the five volumes is devoted to a separate theme (and contains its own index), and contains lengthy articles on between 8 and 12 topics. The initial volume delves into history and controversies, with many religions discussed under such topics as globalization, the law, evangelical Christian countercult movements, and new religious movements and violence. The subsequent volumes contain articles on religious movements, with volumes on Asian traditions; African diaspora traditions and other American innovations; metaphysical, New Age, and neopagan movements; and Jewish and Christian traditions. The articles discuss each movement in depth, describing its history, philosophy, leaders, religious practice, controversies and issues, publications, and related themes. Each article is signed, annotated, and concludes with a bibliography."