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Although best known as the Garden State, New Jersey could also be called the Church State. The state boasts thousands of houses of worship, with more than one thousand still standing that were built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Frank L. Greenagel has photographed more than six hundred. He has selected over two hundred of these historic landmarks for an examination of why they are sited where they are and why they look the way they do.
Greenagel has sought out and included images of not only mainstream Christian churches, but also Jewish synagogues, as well as the places of worship of religious groups such as the Moravians, the Church of the Brethren, and the Seventh Day Baptists. The photographs are arranged chronologically within sections on three major early settlement regions of the state -- the Hudson River, the Delaware River, and the Raritan Valley. For each building, Greenagel details the date of construction, the cultural, historic, and religious influences that shaped it, the architectural details that distinguish it, and what purpose it currently serves.
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