Baptist Battles: Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention

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Winner, 1992 Distinguished Book Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
"With unbending fairness, Ammerman provides a historical and sociological context to unfold the historical events and issues that have dramatically changed the shape of Southern Baptists. A benchmark study of a religious body in conflict, this work is a leading authority on the present status of Southern Baptists."--Religious Studies Review
"Nancy Ammerman knows . . . of the value and worth of the lives of people who operate in intact biblical-literal cultures. . . . She takes their conflicts seriously and tells us, without hitting us over the head, that we will have them all wrong--to our peril--if we do not listen. . . . Her narrative style is brisk, purposeful, and unadorned."--Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago
"If only this sociological evaluation of Southern Baptist life could sell five million copies---Rutgers would be astonished, Ammerman would be basking at Club Med in Phuket, and I would be ecstatic. . . . Every movement conservative in the Southern Baptist fellowship should purchase two copies of this book."--Paige Patterson, President, Southeastern Theological Seminary, in Christianity Today
"Ammerman explores the hurts and aspirations of both sides so evenhandedly that it may be difficult for all but the most die-hard partisans to guess which side is going to get the better seats in heaven."--The Christian Century
"Analyzes fully the processes of the Fundamentalist takeover and their struggles as they begin to govern. Probably the best study available."--Choice
"A splendid account of a decade of controversy. This readable volume surely ranks as the indispensable contemporary sociohistorical introduction to Southern Baptists."-- The Journal of Religion
Nancy Tatom Ammerman is an associate professor of the sociology of religion at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and the author of Bible Believers: Fundamentalists in the Modern World, and Congregation and Community: Sacred Spaces in Changing Urban Regions, both from Rutgers University Press.
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Editorial Reviews

Since 1979 Southern Baptists have been struggling to agree on symbols, beliefs, and practices as they attempt to make sense of their changing social world. Ammerman has documented their struggle. She tells the story of the Baptist reversal from a moderate to a fundamentalist outlook and speculates on the future of the denomination. Acidic paper. Paper edition (unseen), $14. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813515571
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1990
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Tatom Ammerman is a professor of the sociology of religion at the Hartford Seminary. She is author of several books, including Baptist Battles and Bible Believers (both Rutgers University Press). The research for this book was supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.
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