Between the Times: The Travail of the Protestant Establishment in America, 1900-1960

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During the first six decades of this century, the so-called mainline Protestant denominations in America were compelled to accommodate to the growing influences of diverse religions and growing secularization. In this book, twelve historians examine the nature of the American Protestant establishment and its response to the growing pluralism of the times. The goals of the establishment are first examined from the inside, as they were voiced from the pulpit, expressed in education and through the media, and applied in ecumenical and social-reforming ventures. The establishment is then viewed through the eyes of outsiders--Jews and Catholics--and those at the periphery of the establishment's core--blacks and women.

The authors conclude that the period surveyed forms a distinct epoch in the evolution of American Protestantism. The days when Protestant cultural authority could be taken for granted were certainly over, but a new era in which religious pluralism would be widely accepted had not yet arrived.

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Editorial Reviews

On the resolution of counter transference problems, and the drama of life surrounding the practice of therapy. Twelve historians examine the nature of the Protestant establishment and its response to the growing pluralism of the times. They review the expressed aims of the main denominations, and present views of the establishment by Jewish, Catholic, black and women outsiders. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"It should be clear from my remarks that I consider this a pioneering and already landmark achievement." Martin E. Marty, Christian Century

"Because of its insightful, systematic, and in-depth treatment, this book adds considerably to one's understanding of the American Protestant establishment during the period 1900-60..." Choice

"William Hutchison and his collaborators offer a rich and stimulating series of essays...Between the Times not only defines an era; it also explores a central transformation in twentieth-century American culture." John F. Wilson, Princeton University

"The central themes which emerge are critical to understanding what happened to American mainstream Protestant churches in the twentieth century and their future...The essays offer a fascinating kaleidoscope of perspectives on aspects of this Protestant establishment and its 'travail' in maintaining authority...Facile generalizations about the importance of the 1960s will have to be modified by these thoughful reassessments of the Protestant establishment at its zenith." Presbyterian Outlook

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface: From Protestant to Pluralist America vii
List of Contributors xvi
I Introduction 1
1 Protestantism as Establishment 3
II The Protestant Agenda: Old Business 19
2 The Pulpit and the Pews 21
3 Ministry on the Margin: Protestants and Education 48
4 Reaching Out: Mainline Protestantism and the Media 72
III The Protestant Agenda: Matters Arising 93
5 Voice of Many Waters: Church Federation in the Twentieth Century 95
6 The Reform Establishment and the Ambiguities of Influence 141
IV Outsiders and "Junior Partners" 141
7 United and Slighted: Women as Subordinated Insiders 143
8 An Enduring Distance: Black Americans and the Establishment 168
9 A Wary Collaboration: Jews, Catholics, and the Protestant Goodwill Movement 193
V External Challenges 231
10 Secularization: Religion and the Social Sciences 233
11 A Plural World: The Protestant Awakening to World Religions 253
12 The Rise of the "New Evangelicalism": Shock and Adjustment 278
VI Conclusion 301
13 Discovering America 303
Index 311
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