On The Boundaries Of American Evangelicalism

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American Evangelicalism is a vast and nearly indefinable coalition movement of sometimes competing, sometimes cooperating denominations and independent churches whose ideological boundaries have been shifting since its postwar reemergence. On the Boundaries of American Evangelicalism seeks to account for the emergence of this coalition of moderate Protestants in the 1940s and 1950s, as distinct from fundamentalism on the right and liberalism on the left, and speculate on the reasons for the fracturing and decline of that coalition in the 1960s to the 1990s. Beyond recounting the history of postwar evangelicalism, this volume's contribution is to our understanding of how movements define their coalitional boundaries and how coalitions change and reconstitute their boundaries over time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Because of its thoughtful insights and accessible prose, Stone’s study is an excellent introduction to the history of American Evangelicalism.” —Publishers Weekly

“[T]he author succeeds in . . . storytelling, as any good history demands, to keep the book flowing.” —Washington Times

Library Journal
Stone (Univ. of California, Berkeley; A Guide to the End of the World: Popular Eschatology in America, LJ 6/1/93) asserts that "evangelicalism is a fiction," observing that evangelicals have expended considerable energy to establish an identity. He notes that most studies take one of three approaches to the subject. The descriptive approach offers metaphorical images (e.g., Timothy Smith's "kaleidoscope" or "mosaic") rather than accounting for evangelicalism's diversity and complexity. Others attempt to define evangelicalism theologically or to employ a liberal-conservative dichotomy. Noting the inadequacy of such models, Stone proposes instead a social structural modela sociological examination of "the role [that] group boundary dynamics came to play in defining the new evangelical coalition" that emerged in the Forties and Fifties. He draws on evangelical periodicals and the published works of evangelical leaders to show the degree to which evangelicals were concerned with defining the limits. Stone concludes that these boundaries were fluid, expanding or contracting as evangelicals attempted to establish new ground between traditional faith and modernism. This work adds a new twist to the considerable recent scholarship on American religion. Students should also find the lengthy bibliography useful. Recommended for academic libraries.Linda V. Carlisle, Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville
Stone (religious studies and American culture, U. of California- Berkeley) seeks to account for the emergence of the coalition among denominations and independent churches during the 1940s and 1950s that defined the postwar evangelical movement, and the fracturing and decline of that coalition from the 1960s to the 1990s. He focuses on the moderate protestants, as distinct from the fundamentalist on the right and liberals on the left. He offers insight into both the historical period and the mechanisms of ideological movements and shifts over time. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Seeking an understanding of ideological movements and the construction of boundaries and shifts that occur within them over time, Stone (undergraduate and interdisciplinary studies, University of California -Berkeley) traces the emergence of the American Evangelical movement, a coalition of denominations and independent churches whose ideological boundaries have been shifting since its postwar origins. He examines this coalition of moderate Protestants in the 1940s and 1950s, and speculates on the reasons for its fracture and decline in the period from the 1960s to the 1990s. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312224622
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon R. Stone teaches in the Division of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

Defining Evangelical Diversity
• A Boundary Approach to the Study of American Evangelical Protestantism
• The Liberal and Conservative Divide in American Protestantism, 1880-1930
• The Emergence of a "New" Evangelicalism, 1940-1965
• The Evangelical Boundary Dilemma: Checking the Drift Toward Liberalism, 1940-1965
• The End of the New Evangelical Coalition, 1965-1990
• Notes
• References and Sources
• List of Referenced Christian Periodicals
• Index

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