Cowboy Christians examines the long history of cowboy Christians in the American West, focusing on the cowboy church movement of the present day and closely related ministries in racetrack and rodeo settings. Early chapters move from the postbellum period through the twentieth century, tracing religious life among cowboys on the range as well as its representation in popular imagery and the media. The central chapters focus on the modern cowboy church and
examine its structure, theology, and method of perpetuation, and explore future challenges the institution may face, such as its relegation of women to subordinate participant roles. The final chapter considers present day incarnations of rodeo and racetrack ministries as examples of the cowboy Christian
proclivity for blending the secular and the sacred in leisure environments. Woven throughout the text is a discussion of the religious significance of the cowboy church movement, particularly relative to twenty-first century evangelical Protestantism.
Marie W. Dallam demonstrates that the cowboy church's antecedents and influences include muscular Christianity, the Jesus movement, and new paradigm church methodology. With interdisciplinary research that blends history and sociology, Cowboy Christians draws on interviews with leaders from cowboy churches, traveling rodeo ministries, and chaplains who serve horse racing and bull riding environments, as well as incorporating Dallam's own experiences as a participant