Uneasy in Babylon: Southern Baptist Conservatives and American Culture

Overview

The first book-length interpretation of the new conservative leaders of America's largest Protestant denomination.

Uneasy in Babylon is based on extensive interviews with the most important Southern Baptist conservatives who have assumed control of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Known to many Americans from their appearances on national TV talk shows, such as Larry King Live and Fox News, they advocate a return to traditional values throughout the country. Hankins shows ...

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Overview

The first book-length interpretation of the new conservative leaders of America's largest Protestant denomination.

Uneasy in Babylon is based on extensive interviews with the most important Southern Baptist conservatives who have assumed control of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Known to many Americans from their appearances on national TV talk shows, such as Larry King Live and Fox News, they advocate a return to traditional values throughout the country. Hankins shows how differing cultural perceptions help explain the great chasm that developed between fundamentalists in the SBC and the moderates who preceded them as leaders of the denomination.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In examining the recent developments in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Hankins (history, Baylor Univ.) suggests how much things have changed since Rufus B. Spain wrote At Ease in Zion: A Social History of Southern Baptists, 1865-1900 (Vanderbilt Univ., 1967). While Spain discussed the close moral and political affinity between Southern Baptists and Southern culture, Hankins reveals that Southern Baptists now see themselves at odds with current American culture in all parts of the country. This has led to a hardening of positions. Hankins provides a detailed account of the recent takeover of SBC by its most conservative members, who see themselves as cultural warriors combating a decadent society. Various chapters discuss the denomination's positions on abortion, women, church and state issues, and racism. The author is sympathetic and fair, though he espouses a more moderate approach to many issues. A good look at current trends in this the largest Protestant denomination in America, this is recommended for public and academic libraries. C. Robert Nixon, MLS, Lafayette, IN Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"This richly detailed and closely narrated work is a fascinating study of key figures in the bitter struggle from 1979 to the 1990s for control of the nation's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. . . . [It is] a unique work and essential reading for those interested in contemporary 'culture wars.'"—Paul Harvey, Religious Studies Review

"Those who wish to understand the rift in the SBC in recent decades will find Hankin's book a fair and first-rate account."—Douglas Carl Abrams, Georgia Historical Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817350819
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Series: Religion and American Culture Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Hankins is Associate Professor of History and Church-State Studies at Baylor University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Moving off the Plantation: Southern Baptist Conservatives become American Evangelicals 14
2 "The War of the Worlds": Southern Baptist Conservatives as Culture Warriors 41
3 From Christianity Today to World Magazine: Southern Baptist Conservatives Take Their Stand in Louisville 74
4 The Search for a Useable Past: Religious Liberty in a Hostile Culture 107
5 Using a Useable Past: Church-State Positions 139
6 No One Has Been Shot Yet: Southern Baptists and the Abortion Controversy 165
7 Graciously Submissive: Southern Baptist Conservatives and Women 200
8 Conservatives Can Be Progressive Too: Southern Baptist Conservatives and Race 240
Conclusion 272
Notes 279
Bibliography 317
Index 333
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2002

    God is not in This Place

    Baylor proff Barry Hankins has done religious and secular students of America's religious scene a great service with Uneasy in Babylon. For me the most telling anecdote in the work is a remark by David Gushee,well known in Baptist circles to be a young scholar of considerable Virtue; Gushee, a conservative evangelical himself after teaching a few years in the mid 90's at Southern Seminary came the conclusion that "God is not in This Place." This book is must reading for anyone concerned about the unraveling of America's civic fabric.

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