Lost Soul Of American Protestantism

Lost Soul Of American Protestantism

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by D. G. Hart
     
 

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In The Lost Soul of American Protestantism, D. G. Hart examines the historical origins of the idea that faith must be socially useful in order to be valuable. Through specific episodes in Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Reformed history, Hart presents a neglected form of Protestantism—confessionalism—as an alternative to prevailing religious theory. He

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Overview

In The Lost Soul of American Protestantism, D. G. Hart examines the historical origins of the idea that faith must be socially useful in order to be valuable. Through specific episodes in Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Reformed history, Hart presents a neglected form of Protestantism—confessionalism—as an alternative to prevailing religious theory. He deftly argues that the history of confessional Protestantism is vitally important to current discussions on the role of religion in American life, as it is more concerned with the prosperity of the community of believers than with the spiritual health of the nation as a whole. Hart suggests that, contrary to the legacy of revivalism, faith may be most vital and influential when it is not practical.

Editorial Reviews

David Watt
D. G. Hart’s argument is original, important, and provocative. The book forces us to re-examine our assumptions concerning the fissures that define the history of American Protestantism. It points us toward a fundamental reassessment of Protestantism’s role in the formation of modern American culture.
Harry S. Stout
D. G. Hart's The Lost Soul of American Protestantism is the first book to flesh out the theology of 'Confessional Protestantism,' a concept formerly discussed primarily, if not exclusively, within the ethnic and political confines of 'ethno-cultural' political history. In this remarkable volume readers will encounter a third way in Protestantism that is neither 'evangelical' nor 'liberal,' but a tradition grounded in liturgy and historic creeds and confessions. This is a thoroughly useful, entirely readable, and historically notable volume of interest to scholars and informed lay readers alike. It is a splendid example of innovative argument and has a few surprising conclusions.
Journal of Church & State
Good historical writing calls our attention to something that allows us to ponder it. It may or may not offer a guide for change or summon us to action, but by merely allowing us to look afresh at something we think we know that which was familiar can become intriguing. Such is the service The Lost Soul of American Protestantism provides. In this volume D. G. Hart offers an illuminating new way of looking at the schismatic arena of American Protestantism.
Mark A. Noll
D. G. Hart wants participants in, and observers of, American religion to realize that dividing things up between 'liberals' and 'conservatives' is simply too simple. Hart asserts that there is a category of religious believers—he calls them 'confessionalists'—who differ fundamentally from both liberals and conservatives. Who these confessionalists are, and why they are important for all who want to resist the trivialization of religion, is the well-told story of this important book.
Bruce Kuklick
For those interested in the history of American Protestantism, this is D. G. Hart at his best—intelligent, cranky, and iconoclastic. He writes from the perspective of Old School Calvinism and as an opponent of many Christian historians in the academy.
The Weekly Standard
Scholarly and important work . . . his [Hart's] warnings about the dangers of seeking to gain the world while losing one's soul should be welcomed by all who sense that something is fundamentally wrong in the way religion appears today on the American scene.
CHOICE
This book has a provocative thesis that engages the question of the corpus Christianum in a new and engaging manner. Recommended.
Journal Of Church and State
Good historical writing calls our attention to something that allows us to ponder it. It may or may not offer a guide for change or summon us to action, but by merely allowing us to look afresh at something we think we know that which was familiar can become intriguing. Such is the service The Lost Soul of American Protestantism provides. In this volume D. G. Hart offers an illuminating new way of looking at the schismatic arena of American Protestantism.
American Historical Review
We can thank Hart for opening up a stimulating discussion.
Theology Today
Deeply informed.
Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly
Students of church history and American religion can find much food for thought in this volume.
Lutheran Quarterly
Hart offers numerous historical illustrations. . . . Hart's examples provide an interesting and original mix of materials.
Choice
This book has a provocative thesis that engages the question of the corpus Christianum in a new and engaging manner. Recommended.
Journal of Church and State
Good historical writing calls our attention to something that allows us to ponder it. It may or may not offer a guide for change or summon us to action, but by merely allowing us to look afresh at something we think we know that which was familiar can become intriguing. Such is the service The Lost Soul of American Protestantism provides. In this volume D. G. Hart offers an illuminating new way of looking at the schismatic arena of American Protestantism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742507692
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2004
Series:
American Intellectual Culture Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
321,297
Product dimensions:
0.53(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

What People are saying about this

David Watt
D. G. Hart’s argument is original, important, and provocative. The book forces us to re-examine our assumptions concerning the fissures that define the history of American Protestantism. It points us toward a fundamental reassessment of Protestantism’s role in the formation of modern American culture.
Bruce Kuklick
For those interested in the history of American Protestantism, this is D. G. Hart at his best—intelligent, cranky, and iconoclastic. He writes from the perspective of Old School Calvinism and as an opponent of many Christian historians in the academy.
Harry S. Stout
D. G. Hart's The Lost Soul of American Protestantism is the first book to flesh out the theology of 'Confessional Protestantism,' a concept formerly discussed primarily, if not exclusively, within the ethnic and political confines of 'ethno-cultural' political history. In this remarkable volume readers will encounter a third way in Protestantism that is neither 'evangelical' nor 'liberal,' but a tradition grounded in liturgy and historic creeds and confessions. This is a thoroughly useful, entirely readable, and historically notable volume of interest to scholars and informed lay readers alike. It is a splendid example of innovative argument and has a few surprising conclusions.
Mark A. Noll
D. G. Hart wants participants in, and observers of, American religion to realize that dividing things up between 'liberals' and 'conservatives' is simply too simple. Hart asserts that there is a category of religious believers—he calls them 'confessionalists'—who differ fundamentally from both liberals and conservatives. Who these confessionalists are, and why they are important for all who want to resist the trivialization of religion, is the well-told story of this important book.

Read More

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