The authors advance the thesis that every American is living through a crisis of identity, asking what it has meant, and what it will mean in a radically different future, to be an American. They propose to respond to this crisis by exploring the sources, tendencies and possible developments in American theology and philosophy, in order to see, if possible, how theological reflection might affect the quality of American life in the future. The approach taken centers upon an examination and summary of the thought of leading American theologians and philosophers, grouped under such chronological orders as the formative colonial period, the rise of liberalism and transcendentalism, the ""Golden Age"" of the latter part of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century, the rise of the Social Gospel, and of Process Theology, and the more current movements known as the ""Death of God"" and ""Black Theology."" In evaluating the thought of each period and its outstanding exponents, the authors apply the questionable pragmatic test as to whether any particular system or position offers any substantial help in shaping a theological and philosophical outlook for the American future. They do provide a useful survey of the stream of American theological thought and identify some of its characteristics that distinguish it from European theology and philosophy. In style, the book suggests an audience of students in college courses in American religion, an area in which both of the authors are presently engaged.