The publication of a major reference work in any field of interest is always a welcome event. The three-volume Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience: Studies of Traditions and Movements, edited by Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988), is no exception. It is welcome for the authoritative up-to-date information it supplies, and it is doubly welcome for its new conception in design, format, and scope. Unlike many encyclopedias, it is not an alphabetical compendium of many brief entries dealing with narrowly defined topics or very specific items. Instead, this new encyclopedia is composed of 106 essays (mostly fourteen to sixteen large double-column pages in length, with some as long as twenty-eight pages) ranging over a broad spectrum of themes, traditions, movements, and preoccupations of“the American religious experience.” Little is neglected. While the volumes are not arranged for ready reference use, provision is made for this aspect of more convetional encyclopedias by an unusually good index which helps one locate information on a wide variety of subject matter, both past and present. The focus on the broad aspects of religion in America more than compensates for the absence of any readily available alphabetized items of information.