Fundamentalists in the City: Conflict and Division in Boston's Churches, 1885-1950 (Religion in America)

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9780195173901: Fundamentalists in the City: Conflict and Division in Boston's Churches, 1885-1950 (Religion in America)

Fundamentalists in the City is a story of religious controversy and division, set within turn of the century and early twentieth-century Boston. It offers a new perspective on the rise of fundamentalism, emphasizing the role of local events, both sacred and secular, in deepening the divide between liberal and conservative Protestants. The first part of the narrative, beginning with the arrest of three clergymen for preaching on the Boston Common in 1885, shows the importance of anti-Catholicism as a catalyst for change. The second part of the book deals with separation, told through the events of three city-wide revivals, each demonstrating a stage of conservative Protestant detachment from their urban origins.

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About the Author:

Margaret Lamberts Bendroth is at American Congregational Association.

Review:


"[Margaret Bendroth's] alert eye to the changing religious landscape and her sensitive rendering of the particular political, social, and spatial challenges in that city provide a model for examining the local context of a national movement. Benroth tells a great story; this book is a joy to read." --Choice


"The study of Fundamentalists, like the study of Puritans and of Mormons, has won the attention of some of the finest historians in the profession. Bendroth's assessment of Fundamentalists in Boston from 1885 to 1950 represents a luminous addition to an already distinguished body of scholarly literature. Written with wit and grace, Bendroths examination of a national religious movement, in a precisely defined geographic context, opens new vistas of interpretation. Better yet, she knows how to tell a first rate story of failure and success, disappointment and aspirationthe essence of lived religion." --Grant Wacker, author of Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture


"'All religion is, in the end, local,' observes Margaret Bendroth in this important study. Bendroth provides an engaging history of revivalist Protestantism in Boston in the era from Dwight L. Moody to Billy Graham. She shows that in the formerly Puritan city the movement that in the 1920s became known as 'fundamentalist' had a distinctive local background and eventually helped shape a broader 'new evangelicalism,' associated with Graham." -- George Marsden, author of Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925


"In Fundamentalists in the City, Margaret Bendroth has produced the finest history of evangelicalism in the Northeast to date. Written with grace and wit, with careful attention to geography, sociology, politics, and, notably, to the important contributions of women, this book stands as a model of judicious scholarship." -- Randall Balmer, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America


"Margaret Bendroth reveals that Boston has been the home of a robust conservative evangelical movement. This is a rich and satisfying account, with many new insights. It shows the links between fundamentalists and the antebellum abolitionists, the role of anti-Catholicism in shaping the fundamentalist-modernist controversies, and the failed attempts of fundamentalists to link revivalism and Progressive-era urban reform. Bendroth insists that all religious history is in the end local; widespread movements must navigate local economies, demographics, institutions and perspectives. The history of fundamentalism is no exception; like the history of the Puritanism a generation ago, it is now generating community studies. As historians take up the task of studying fundamentalism in local contexts, they would do well to model their work after Fundamentalists in the City." --Joel A. Carpenter, co-editor of The Changing Face of Christianity: Africa, the West, and the World


"Margaret Bendroth's deeply researched and elegantly written study of Boston turns up surprising and suggestive insights about the implications of Catholic power and urban geography for the rise of Protestant fundamentalism as a twentieth-century political force. Thoroughly at home in Boston's shifting urban religious landscape, Bendroth guides us through the transformation of Boston fundamentalism from a conservative Protestantism mobilized to recall civic virtue in an Irish Catholic city, to a neo-evangelicalism embarking from New England on an international crusade for Christ."--Peter D'Agostino, Associate Professor, Department of History & Catholic Studies Program, University of Illinois at Chicago and author of Rome in America: Transnational Catholic Ideology from the Risorgimento to Fascism


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