Christian T. Collins Winn is Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is author of "Jesus is Victor!" The Significance of the Blumhardts for the Theology of Karl Barth (2008) and Series Editor for the Blumhardt Series (Cascade Books). Christopher Gehrz is Associate Professor of History and coordinator of the Christianity and Western Culture program at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. G. William Carlson is Professor of History and Political Science at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of numerous articles on Baptist General Conference history, Swedish Pietism, religion in the Soviet Union, and comparative evangelical political thought. Eric Holst is a graduate of Bethel Seminary, with an interest in contextual theology and theories of Christian education.
The Pietist Impulse in Christianityby Christian T. Collins Winn
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From intellectual inquiry to spiritual practice to social reform, Pietism has exerted an enormous influence on various forms of Christianity and on Western culture more generally. However, this contribution remains largely unacknowledged or misunderstood in Anglo-American contexts because negative stereotypes--some undeserved, others deserved--tend to cast Pietism as a quietistic and sectarian form of religion interested in a narrow set of individualistic and spiritual concerns. In this volume, scholars from a variety of disciplines offer a corrective to this misunderstanding, highlighting the profound theological, cultural, and spiritual contribution of Pietism and what they term the "pietist impulse." The essays in this volume demonstrate that Pietism was a movement of great depth and originality that was not merely concerned with the "pious soul and its God." Rather, Pietists were from the beginning concerned with issues of social and ecclesial reform, the nature of history and historical inquiry, the shape and purpose of theology and theological education, the missional task of the church, and social justice and political engagement. In addition, the essays collected here fruitfully raise the question of the ongoing relevance of Pietism and the "pietist impulse" for contemporary problems and questions across disciplines and in the church at large.
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