Evangelicalism has left its indelible mark on American history, politics, and culture. It is also true that currents of American populism and politics have shaped the nature and character of evangelicalism. This story of evangelicalism in America is thus riddled with paradox. Despite the fact that evangelicals, perhaps more than any other religious group, have benefited from the First Amendment and the separation of church and state, several prominent evangelical leaders over the past half century have tried to abrogate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. And despite evangelicalism's legacy of concern for the poor, for women, and for minorities, some contemporary evangelicals have repudiated their own heritage of compassion and sacrifice stemming from Jesus' command to love the least of these. In Evangelicalism in America Randall Balmer chronicles the history of evangelicalismaits origins and development as well as its diversity and contradictions. Within this lineage Balmer explores the social varieties and political implications of evangelicalism's inception as well as its present and paradoxical relationship with American culture and politics. Balmer debunks some of the cherished myths surrounding this distinctly American movement while also prophetically speaking about its future contributions to American life.
Randall Balmer is John Phillips Professor in Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, including, most recently, God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush (2008), Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America (2006), and Protestantism in America (with Lauren F. Winner, 2005).
Preface: Defining American Evangelicalism Chapter 1. An Altogether Conservative Spirit: The First Amendment, Political Stability, and Evangelical Vitality Chapter 2. Turning West: American Evangelicalism and the Restorationist Tradition Chapter 3. Casting Aside the Ballast of History and Tradition: Protestants and the Bible in the Nineteenth Century Chapter 4. An End to Unjust Inequality in the World: The Radical Tradition of Progressive Evangelicalism Chapter 5. Thy Kingdom Come: The Argot of Apocalypticism in American Culture Chapter 6. A Pentecost of Politics: Evangelicals and Public Discourse Chapter 7. A Loftier Position: American Evangelicalism and the Ideal of Femininity Chapter 8. Re-create the Nation: The Religious Right and the Abortion Myth Chapter 9. His Own Received Him Not: Jimmy Carter, the Religious Right, and the 1980 Presidential Election Chapter 10. Keep the Faith and Go the Distance: Promise Keepers, Feminism, and the World of Sports Chapter 11. Dead Stones: The Future of American Protestantism Notes Credits About the Author Index