The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

Synopsis

One of our foremost historians of religion here chronicles the arrival of Christianity in the New World, tracing the turning points in the development of the immigrant church that have led to today's distinctly American faith.

Taking a unique approach to this fascinating subject, Noll focuses on what was new about organized Christian religion on the American continent by comparison with European Christianity. In doing so, Noll provides a broad outline of the major events in the history of the Christian churches that have filled North America with such remarkable vitality and diversity. He also highlights some of the most important interpretive issues in the transfer of the hereditary religion of Europe to America.

Excerpt

This book offers an introduction to the history of Christianity in North America. It attempts especially to explain what was new about the outworking of organized Christian religion on this continent by comparison with the European origins of that religion. To that end, the book has two main objectives. The first is to provide a broad outline of major events, developments, and occurrences in the history of the Christian churches, either transported from Europe or springing up indigenously, that have filled North America with such remarkable vitality and diversity. The second is to highlight some of the most important interpretive issues in the transfer of the hereditary religion of Europe to the “New World” and its development in that new environment. By contrast with longer accounts, the discussions in this book are intentionally succinct, suggestive, and selective. With its notes for further study, a bibliography, a chronology, and factual material on denominations and the strength of Christian adherence in different American regions, this work is intended to open doors to advanced study. But the primary intention throughout is to meet the needs of curious students and lay readers interested in a broad interpretive overview of the subject.

A word is appropriate at the outset as to how this book differs from my longer textbook, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada (Eerdmans, 1992). A few years ago, a German publisher, the Evan-

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