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 evangelicalism--its 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 Professor of American Religious History, Barnard College, Columbia University, and Visiting Professor, Yale Divinity School. A prolific and highly esteemed writer, he is the author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America; God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush; and Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America. He lives in rural Connecticut.
Preface: Defining American EvangelicalismChapter 1. An Altogether Conservative Spirit: The First Amendment, Political Stability, and Evangelical VitalityChapter 2. Turning West: American Evangelicalism and the Restorationist TraditionChapter 3. Casting Aside the Ballast of History and Tradition: Protestants and the Bible in the Nineteenth CenturyChapter 4. An End to Unjust Inequality in the World: The Radical Tradition of Progressive EvangelicalismChapter 5. Thy Kingdom Come: The Argot of Apocalypticism in American CultureChapter 6. A Pentecost of Politics: Evangelicals and Public DiscourseChapter 7. A Loftier Position: American Evangelicalism and the Ideal of FemininityChapter 8. Re-create the Nation: The Religious Right and the Abortion MythChapter 9. His Own Received Him Not: Jimmy Carter, the Religious Right, and the 1980 Presidential ElectionChapter 10. Keep the Faith and Go the Distance: Promise Keepers, Feminism, and the World of SportsChapter 11. Dead Stones: The Future of American ProtestantismNotes Credits About the Author Index