Augsburg Fortress

Lutherans in America: A New History

Lutherans in America: A New History

The story of Lutherans in America is one of mutual influence. From the first small groups of Lutherans to arrive in the colonies, to the large immigrations to the rich heartland of a growing nation, Lutherans have influenced, and been influenced by, America.
In this lively and engaging new history, Granquist brings to light not only the varied and fascinating institutions that Lutherans founded and sustained but the people that lived within them. The result is a generous, human history that tells a complete story—not only about politics and policies but also the piety and the practical experiences of the Lutheran men and women who lived and worked in the American context.
Bringing the story all the way to the present day and complemented with new charts, maps, images, and sidebars, Granquist ably covers the full range of Lutheran expressions, bringing order and clarity to a complex and vibrant tradition.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451472288
  • eBook ISBN 9781451494297
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 375
  • Publication Date January 1, 2015


1. The European Background to American Lutheranism
2. Beginnings, 1619–1720
3. Early Colonial Developments, 1720–1748
4. Establishment of Eastern Lutheranism, 1748–1781
5. Lutherans in a New Nation, 1781–1820
6. Expansion and Conflict, 1820–1855
7. Mass Immigration, 1855–1888
8. Structuring an American Lutheranism, 1888–1918
9. Becoming Americans, 1918–1940
10. Lutherans in War and Peace, 1940–1965
11. Turmoil, Change, and Consolidation, 1965–1988
12. Uncertain Present, Uneasy Future, 1988–2013
Table of Acronyms
Bibliographic essay 


"An immensely interesting, comprehensive, and necessary update of American Lutheran history. A good deal of its interesting quality has to do with Granquist’s new interpretative lens—more sober and critical than earlier histories—and with his inclusion of an excursus after each chapter dealing with the ordinary, daily lives of Lutherans in the period under discussion."
Robert Benne
Emeritus, Roanoke College

"Mark Granquist adds texture to previous general histories of American Lutheranism by giving recurring attention to matters of worship, participation by African Americans, and institutional ministries. He places Lutheran developments in their American cultural context and provides instructive statistics. His extension of the narrative into the twenty-first century is both bold and valuable. Granquist offers an honest, if sometimes provocative, account that will spark debate and shape future evaluation of recent events."
L. DeAne Lagerquist
St. Olaf College

"Finally—a long-overdue revision and updating of the Lutheran experience in the United States! Deftly blending broad generalization with necessary, specific, and differentiating detail, Granquist has crafted a lively and engaging narrative that will be the standard for scholars, students, and curious lay persons for years to come!"
James W. Albers
Emeritus, Valparaiso University


Reviews & Awards

Review in Logia

Review on Religion in American History blog

Review in Word and World

Review in Lutheran Quarterly 

Review in Church History

Review in Concordia Journal

Review in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly

This book has been awarded the Biglerville Prize from the Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic–a prize that is awarded every 3 years for the best book in American Lutheran history.

This book was also given an Award of Commendation from the Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis.