Benjamin L. Hartley brings to light the little-known story of relative latecomers to Boston's religious scene: Methodist, Salvation Army, Baptist, and nondenominational Christians. These groups have been largely overlooked by Boston urban historians focusing on Congregationalists and Roman Catholics. In contrast, Hartley sheds light on the role of immigrant evangelical leaders from Italy, Sweden, and elsewhere in revivalism and social reform in postbellum Boston. Further, examining the contested nature of revivalism and social reform in a particular, local nineteenth-century context provides a basis for understanding the roots of current divisions in American Protestantism and the contentious role of evangelical religion in American politics. Hartley documents the importance of the American holiness movement as a precursor to the significant presence of Pentecostal groups in urban America, adding an important historical context for evangelical social action today.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction D. L. Moody Arrives in a Changing Boston - "There Is a Magnetism in His Voice"
The Early Years of Evangelical Institution Building, 1858-1883 - "Good! You've Got the Fire in You"
Evangelicals and Boston Politics - "The Next Protestant Move Will Be No Boys' Play"
The Salvation Army and Other Evangelical Organizations Led by Women, 1884-1892 - "Aggressive Christianity"
Evangelical Consensus and Division - "All of This Confusion and Hurt"
The North End and the South End in the 1890s - "Let Us Re-take the North End for Methodism"
Conclusion - "The Most Marvelous Revival of All of Her History"
Notes Bibliography Index
What People are Saying About This
“Concentrating on the upstart revivalism and social reform of the Methodists, Baptists, and Salvationists in late nineteenth-century Boston, Hartley’s carefully researched and well-written book is a landmark study of urban evangelicalism in post-Civil War America. In particular, he shows how eclectic, cantankerous, and contentious evangelicals, both men and women, brought together revivalism and social reform, anti-Catholic and labor politics, and local revivals and international mission. Evangelicals built institutions, addressed the evils of the city, fought with each other over doctrines and priorities, and eventually saw their influence ebb in the face of new forces at the beginning of the twentieth century. Hartley’s terse and persuasive analysis of urban evangelicalism before fundamentalism gathered traction fills a significant gap in our knowledge.”