Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion's Presence of the Past

Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion's Presence of the Past

by Devin C Manzullo-Thomas
Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion's Presence of the Past

Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion's Presence of the Past

by Devin C Manzullo-Thomas

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Overview

Religion is a subject often overlooked or ignored by public historians. Whether they are worried about inadvertent proselytizing or fearful of contributing to America’s ongoing culture wars, many heritage professionals steer clear of discussing religion’s formative role in the past when they build collections, mount exhibits, and develop educational programming. Yet religious communities have long been active contributors to the nation’s commemorative landscape.

Exhibiting Evangelicalism provides the first account of the growth and development of historical museums created by white evangelical Christians in the United States over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Exploring the histories of the Museum of the Bible, the Billy Graham Center Museum, the Billy Sunday Home, and Park Street Church, Devin C. Manzullo-Thomas illustrates how these sites enabled religious leaders to develop a coherent identity for their fractious religious movement and to claim the centrality of evangelicalism to American history. In their zeal to craft a particular vision of the national past, evangelicals engaged with a variety of public history practices and techniques that made them major players in the field—including becoming early adopters of public history’s experiential turn.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625346513
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 06/30/2022
Series: Public History in Historical Perspective
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

DEVIN C. MANZULLO-THOMAS is director of the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies and assistant professor of American religious history and interdisciplinary studies at Messiah University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Inventing Evangelical Heritage

The Billy Sunday Home and Park Street Church, 1935-1969 26

Chapter 2 Reviving Evangelical Heritage

Planning the Billy Graham Center, 1970-1974 70

Chapter 3 Experiencing Evangelical Heritage

Emotion, Immersion, and the Production of Historical Knowledge at the Billy Graham Center Museum, 1974-2000 100

Chapter 4 Weaponizing Evangelical Heritage

Nostalgia, Christian Nationalism, and the Culture Wars at the Billy Graham Library, 2000-2017 134

Conclusion

Mainstreaming Evangelical Heritage at the Museum of the Bible 164

Notes 179

Index 217

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