The Evangelicals

The Evangelicals

The Struggle to Shape America

Book - 2017
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Initially a populist rebellion against the established Protestant churches, evagelicalism became the dominant religious force in the country before the Civil War, but the northerners and southerners split over the issue of slavery. After the Civil War, the northern evangelicals split, eventually causing a conflict between fundamentalists and modernists. Only after the Second World War would conservative evangelicalism gain momentum, thanks in large part to Billy Graham's countrywide revivals. FitzGerald shows how the conflict between religious conservatives and others led to national culture wars and a Southern Republican stronghold, and how a new generation of evangelicals is challenging the Christian right by preaching social justice and the common good. FitzGerald suggests that because evangelicals are splintering, America, the most religious of developed nations, will eventually look more like secular Europe.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Simon & Schuster,, [2017]
ISBN: 9781439131336
Branch Call Number: 277.3 FIT
Characteristics: ix, 740 pages,16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm

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patcarstensen
Oct 11, 2017

I have long thought that Frances Fitzgerald is one of our finest social reporters (not on the cake at the reception but on the overall social structures). The book is really good on the theology and personalities of leaders, but less good on the attractions of fundamentalism to real people.

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lukasevansherman
Jul 24, 2017

Pulitzer Prize winning author Frances Fitzgerald's huge, sweeping, and deeply engaging book "The Evangelicals" is an important work for both the religious and non-religious reader. As those who follow politics know, white evangelical voters went overwhelmingly for Trump, whose values, such as they are, seem the very antithesis of Christ's message of love, compassion, humility, and forgiveness. Fitzgerald takes us back to the beginning of America and tries to answer the vexed question "Is America a Christian nation?" We begin with one of the few important American theologians/thinkers, Jonathan Edwards, and the Great Awakening and Fizgerald follows the development of American evangelicals and, specifically, how they interacted with the larger culture and, most interestingly, with politics. For me, a lapsed evangelical, the most provocative sections were about the emergence of the religious right and the merging of mainstream evangelicals with the Republican party, one of the many things that pushed me away from religion. It's a comprehensive and detailed history, swirling with colorful, polarizing figures like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, and Rick Warren. I think this will the standard work on the subject for years to come.

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