The Evangelicals: A Historical, Thematic, and Biographical Guide

The Evangelicals: A Historical, Thematic, and Biographical Guide

The Evangelicals: A Historical, Thematic, and Biographical Guide

The Evangelicals: A Historical, Thematic, and Biographical Guide

Synopsis

The different facets of American religious life are more thoroughly understood with an awareness of the Evangelical heritage that intersects the different denominational boundaries. Since Evangelicalism is not confined to one religious denomination or group, it has associations with a number of American religious movements such as Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, and Revivalism. This study, modeled after the popular Greenwood Denominations in America series, analyzes the people, institutions, and the religious culture of modern American Evangelicals. Divided into three sections the book presents a history of American Evangelicalism, discusses themes and issues in modern American Evangelicalism, and provides a biographical dictionary of modern American Evangelical leaders.

The combination of critical narrative and reference will appeal to religion scholars and American culture scholars alike. Separate bibliographies unique to the history section and to the themes and issues section provide valuable resources for further research. Equally helpful is the bibliographic material that completes each entry in the biographical dictionary section of the book. The three part organization makes this an accessible research tool, clearly organized for easy cross referencing.

Excerpt

When many Americans think of their religious identities, particularly if they come from within the Christian tradition, they look to a denominational heritage—the Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholics, or any one of countless others. Greenwood Press has recognized that way of looking at religion in American culture through its series on Denominations in America. Yet more and more Americans also think of themselves in terms that cut across denominational boundaries or elude them altogether. Such is the case with evangelicals, who are found in almost all the traditional denominations, dominating some and remaining a vital minority in others.

We believe that examination of those religious styles and identities that defy denominational limits is as important as looking at denominations and groups if one is to have a solid understanding of the contours of American religious life. Hence we have adapted the model of the Denominations in America series to scrutinize the people, institutions, and religious culture of modern American evangelicalism. We divide our book into three sections. The first will look at the history of modern American evangelicalism, after wrestling with issues of describing and defining this vital, but sometimes elusive, movement. Although American evangelicalism has a rich history in the United States, as discussed in chapter 2, we focus on the period from after the Civil War to the close of the twentieth century and call it "modern" We found that telling the story of modern American evangelicals chronologically sometimes obscured vital thematic developments or long-term issues that cried out for fuller treatment. Hence in the second section, our major alteration of the format that characterizes the Denominations in America series, we look at selected themes and issues, ranging from evangelical piety and worship to the interplay of evangelical currents with popular culture. The third section, like the Denominations series, provides bio-

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