That Old-Time Religion In Modern America

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Overview

Many Americans commonly associate evangelical Protestants with the scoldings of the religious right and solicitations of money by televangelists. Whether or not these associations are particularly flattering, it is true that a concern for preserving a moral social order as well as an unrelenting desire to make new converts are traits that have defined evangelicalism throughout American history. In this cogent account, D. G. Hart unpacks evangelicalism’s current reputation by tracing its development over the ...
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Overview

Many Americans commonly associate evangelical Protestants with the scoldings of the religious right and solicitations of money by televangelists. Whether or not these associations are particularly flattering, it is true that a concern for preserving a moral social order as well as an unrelenting desire to make new converts are traits that have defined evangelicalism throughout American history. In this cogent account, D. G. Hart unpacks evangelicalism’s current reputation by tracing its development over the course of the twentieth century. He shows how evangelicals entered the century as full partners in the Protestant denominations and agencies that molded American cultural and intellectual life. Although the fundamentalist controversy of the 1920s marginalized evangelicals in America’s largest denominations, their views about the individual, society, and families went virtually unchallenged in American society because of the ongoing dominance of Protestant churches and institutions. After 1960, when the United States entered a period sometimes called “post-Protestant,” evangelicals began to assert themselves more aggressively in politics and culture, seeking to preserve a Christian society. These evangelical responses to Protestantism’s waning influence in America reveal a curious feature of twentieth-century life: despite its conformity to American ideals, since the 1970s evangelical Protestantism has been perceived as alien to other Americans. Mr. Hart’s illuminating study offers an explanation for this change in evangelicalism’s fortunes by showing the success and limitations of this popular religious movement.
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Times
Not until the 1960s however, did evangelicals start to engage culture. They, did so D.G. Hart explains, in respons to well-known secularizing trends.
— Terry Eastland
Wall Street Journal
Well-informed, tightly written and provocative.
Weekly Standard
Fascinating...clearly coherent.... Hart's warnings...should be welcomed.
The Historian
…An excellent introduction to modern evangelicalism.
Choice
Art has written a concise and insightful history of evangelicalism's rise, decline, and resurgence in the 20th century.
— F. Arriola
Chicago Sun-Times
Compact, instructive and well-argued.
Midwest Book Review
An excellent survey which provides much focus on 20th century evangelical effects on modern society.
Journal Of Presbyterian History
Hart delivers a wonderfully readable narrative of twentieth-century evangelicalism...a rich and thoughtful introduction to a fertile religious tradition.
New York Resident
Hart's text is wonderfully researched and historically illuminating in its blending of theological, social, and emotional experiences into a remarkable American odyssey. Even those who view Evangelicalism with skepticism or worse will find That Old-Time Religion a compelling journey to take.
Religious Studies Review
…A nice job of explaining evangelical political positions…. Suggests that the common understanding of evangelicalism...needs some revision.
Anglican Theological Review
…Both well written and intellectually substantial…. Hart has written a masterful account of modern evangelicalism.
— Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr.
The Wall Street Journal
Well-informed, tightly written and provocative.
CHOICE
Art has written a concise and insightful history of evangelicalism's rise, decline, and resurgence in the 20th century.
— F. Arriola
The Weekly Standard
Fascinating...clearly coherent.... Hart's warnings...should be welcomed.
The Washington Times
Not until the 1960s however, did evangelicals start to engage culture. They, did so D.G. Hart explains, in respons to well-known secularizing trends.
— Terry Eastland
Journal of Presbyterian History
Hart delivers a wonderfully readable narrative of twentieth-century evangelicalism...a rich and thoughtful introduction to a fertile religious tradition.
The Washington Times - Terry Eastland
Not until the 1960s however, did evangelicals start to engage culture. They, did so D.G. Hart explains, in respons to well-known secularizing trends.
Leo Ribuffo
No one understand the history of evangelicalism better than D. G. Hart, and no one offers a more balanced analysis of the key issues.
Mark Noll
A mature historical account of a subject as rich as it is complex. The book is carefully learned, authoritatively balanced, and yet entirely accessible to a wide audience.
CHOICE - F. Arriola
Art has written a concise and insightful history of evangelicalism's rise, decline, and resurgence in the 20th century.
David E. Harrell
Compelling...sweeping in reach, erudite in research, and driven by an admirable appreciation for his subjects.
Anglican Theological Review - Gardiner H. Shattuck
…Both well written and intellectually substantial…. Hart has written a masterful account of modern evangelicalism.
From The Critics
...A nice job of explaining evangelical political positions.... Suggests that the common understanding of evangelicalism...needs some revision.
The Historian
...An excellent introduction to modern evangelicalism.
Religious Studies Review
...A nice job of explaining evangelical political positions.... Suggests that the common understanding of evangelicalism...needs some revision.
James P. Byrd
"A persuasive assessment of evangelicalism's traditionalist yet innovative presence in America."
Journal of American History
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
An excellent survey which provides much focus on 20th century evangelical effects on modern society.
JOURNAL OF PRESBYTERIAN HISTORY
Hart delivers a wonderfully readable narrative of twentieth-century evangelicalism. A rich and thoughtful introduction to a fertile religious tradition.
JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY
...Its treatment of evangelicalism's engagement with popular culture is a timely addition to scholarship.... A persuasive assessment...
Anglican Theological Review
...Both well written and intellectually substantial.... Hart has written a masterful account of modern evangelicalism.
Chicago Sun-Times
Compact, instructive and well-argued.
Choice
Recommended...Hart has written a concise and insightful history of evangelicalism's rise, decline, and resurgence in the 20th century.
New York Resident
Hart's text is wonderfully researched and historically illuminating in its blending of theological, social, and emotional experiences into a remarkable American odyssey. Even those who view Evangelicalism with skepticism or worse will find That Old-Time Religion a compelling journey to undertake.
Library Journal
As demonstrated in this book by Hart (The University Gets Religion), in its great variety modern evangelicalism is beyond definition. This book presents a view of 20th-century evangelicals and how they have adapted to changes in American society. Hart's book "begins with the premise that evangelicalism is the most American version of Christianity." He shows how evangelicals, who were prominent in the formation of our early secular government, nearly vanished and became a Protestant fringe in the 1930s. Later, in the Forties, a subculture developed with a renewed evangelical worldview, which became a political force known as the religious Right. At the same time, however, evangelicals were still an awkward part of society. One evangelical element, the charismatics, succeeded in using the questionable idiom of rock music to enable them to fit into popular culture. Others adopted TV as a platform or established mega-churches and educational institutions, while some entered secular academia. Increasingly, Hart argues, evangelicals have been absorbed into society, but they find themselves uneasy in a society that has many other voices. The challenge is that America has changed, and no single religion can easily command special importance. Hart has given us a look at both the diversity and the challenges evangelicals are facing. Written for a general audience, this book is appropriate for large public libraries and for students of religion and sociology.-George Westerlund, formerly with Providence P.L. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566634595
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Series: American Ways Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 909,454
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

D. G. Hart is Director for Honors Programs and Faculty Development at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware. Among his other books are The University Gets Religion and Defending the Faith.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgements ix Part 2 INTRODUCTION: UNDERSTANDING EVANGELICALISM 3 Chapter 3 Insiders who feel like outsiders. Revivalism and born-again devotion. Nineteenth-century developments and influence. Contemporary unease. Part 4 PART ONE. AN EVANGELICAL GHETTO IN WASP AMERICA, 1920–1960 Part 5 A PECULIAR PEOPLE, A DIVINE BOOK 25 Chapter 6 The Bible's iconic status. Biblical criticism. Dispensationalism. Evolution and creation. Protestantism divided. Bible colleges. Part 7 THE FORMATION OF AN EVAGELICAL SUBCULTURE 54 Chapter 8 Separatism. The formation of new institutions. Evangelical mores. Families, young people, and wholesome fun. Part 9 EVANGELICALS AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY 84 Chapter 10 The social relevance of the gospel. Portestantism in American public life. Dispensationalism, international affairs, and conspiracy. Part 11 PART TWO. PRESERVING A CHRISTIAN SOCIETY, 1960–2000 Part 12 THE RENEWAL OF THE EVANGELICAL MIND 115 Chapter 13 The crisis of the West. Scholarly evangelicals. The threat of secularization. An intellectual defense of the West. Part 14 EVANGELICAL POLITICS AND THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT 144 Chapter 15 Piety and politcs. Sexual liberation and family values. A Christian worldview. The Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition. Part 16 EVANGELICALS AND POPULAR CULTURE 172 Chapter 17 Family entertainment. Entertainment as evangelism. Contemporary Christian music. Praie & Worship worship. Part 18 EVANGELICAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS 201 Chapter 19 Evangelicalism: conservative or innovative? The legacy of pietism. The dilemma of contemporary evangelicalism. Part 20 A Note on Sources 223 Part 21 Index 237
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