Handbook of Denominations in the United States is an excellent source of information on all major religious groups in America, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Baha’i. Within the Christian context, major denominations (such as Episcopal, Lutheran, and Mormon) are treated, as well as the “sub-groups” of these faiths, such as the Missouri Synod Lutherans and the Southern Baptist Convention. Major doctrines, practices, and histories of each denomination are clearly summarized, so as to make this work irreplaceable for a cursory examination of religious issues pertinent to the various faiths, or as a starting point for research into American religion.
The handbook is reissued in a new edition every five to ten years or so, and thus its essential information is kept current, while the back volumes (dating back to 1956) provide a fascinating snapshot of American religion over the past half century. Statistical data are included for most denominations (and sub-denominations), making it possible to trace the rise and fall of different American religious groups. Not only is it useful for quickly obtaining reliable, balanced information about the various American religious groups, but it also makes for interesting recreational reading.