The inner history

Sidney E. Mead died this summer at age 94. With Sidney Ahlstrom he dominated the study of American religious history a generation or two ago. When Mead, along with Jerald Brauer, invited me to study at the University of Chicago, I was 26 years old and had not spent an hour on what became my own teaching field for 35 years, American religion. I have not read obituaries of Mead, or written a tribute. Let me try one now by using his own words, which I quoted once before in a festschrift for Mead, edited by Brauer, called The Lively Experiment Continued (Mercer University Press, 1987).


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