The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ/Churches of Christ

The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ/Churches of Christ

The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ/Churches of Christ

The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ/Churches of Christ


With roots in British and American endeavors to restore apostolic Christianity, the Stone-Campbell Movement drew its inspiration from the independent efforts of nineteenth-century religious reformers Barton W. Stone and the father-son team of Thomas and Alexander Campbell. The union of these two movements in the 1830s and the growth of the new body thrust it into a place of significance in early nineteenth-century America, and it quickly spread to other parts of the English-speaking world.From its beginnings the Movement has developed into one of the most vital and diverse Christian traditions in the world. Today it encompasses three major American communions -- Churches of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Christian Churches/Churches of Christ -- as well as united churches in several other countries.Over ten years in the making, "The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement" offers for the first time a sweeping historical and theological treatment of this complex, vibrant global communion. Written by more than 300 contributors, this major reference work contains over 700 original articles covering all of the significant individuals, events, places, and theological tenets that have shaped the Movement. Much more than simply a historical dictionary, this volume also constitutes an "interpretive" work reflecting historical consensus among Stone-Campbell scholars, even as it attempts to present a fair, representative picture of the rich heritage that is the Stone-Campbell Movement.Scores of photographs and illustrations (many quite rare) enrich and enliven the text, and an extensive, carefully prepared index facilitates ready access to important information throughout the volume. "The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement" -- a standard reference work for religious, academic, public, and personal libraries everywhere. Features of this encyclopedia: Presents over 700 articles on the people, events, churches, and beliefs that comprise the Stone-Campbell tradition :
Provides cutting-edge commentary on current topics of discussion as well as basic historical knowledge
Written by more than 300 scholars from across the Stone-Campbell Movement
Enlivened with photographs and illustrations (some quite rare) from around the world
Includes an extensive index for rapid reference


In 1990 a major religious publishing house brought out a dictionary of American Christianity and announced plans for a series of similar works on specific denominations. Tony Dunnavant of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Doug Foster of the Churches of Christ independently wrote to the editor of the dictionary suggesting a volume on the Stone-Campbell Movement. Though the publishing house decided that such a volume was outside their normal market, the editor encouraged Dunnavant and Foster to collaborate and pursue other publishing venues, deeming the idea a worthy and important project.

Dunnavant and Foster, who were already friends through Ph.D. work at Vanderbilt and other historical projects, immediately contacted one another and began plans for the volume you now hold. Dunnavant was then professor of church history at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky, while Foster was teaching in the History Department of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

The logical place to go for support in this effort was the Disciples of Christ Historical Society in Nashville. the Historical Society had long been the most important repository for materials from the Stone-Campbell Movement and a place that welcomed and served members of all streams of the Movement. President Jim Seale enthusiastically embraced the idea of an encyclopedia of the Movement and began raising funds to ensure that the project would become a reality.

Doug Foster’s move to Abilene Christian University in 1991 proved a great advantage to the encyclopedia project as the university became its second major sponsor. Eventually acu would be responsible for significant funding through provision of office space and personnel that kept the project on course during difficult times.

By 1993 Dunnavant and Foster were convinced that a third General Editor was essential if the book was to reflect adequately the three streams of the Stone-Campbell Movement in America. Dunnavant had recently heard Paul Blowers, member of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ and professor of church history at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tennessee, present a paper dealing with the significance of Barton W. Stone. Dunnavant suggested that Blowers be invited to fill that third position. When Blowers accepted, the initial team was in place.

The three then turned to the task of assembling a group of scholars from all parts of the Movement to help guide the project. Each General Editor carefully compiled a list of names, then the three proceeded to create two bodies — an editorial board and a senior advisory board. These scholars proved to be essential in formulating policies, finalizing the list of articles, and making dozens of decisions about major articles and authors. They also gave of their expertise to write and edit many of the final entries.

The Encyclopedia has been so long in the making that it is already a piece of history in its own right, replete with its own promise and tragedy. the bond that developed among the general editors across the three divided streams of the Stone-Campbell heritage symbolizes the aspiration of this project to be a work of “reconciliation” between alienated siblings. in 1997 when most of the members of the two boards came together at a meeting in Nashville at the Disciples of Christ Historical Society . . .

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