The Age of Evangelicalism: America's Born-Again Years

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9780199777952: The Age of Evangelicalism: America's Born-Again Years

At the start of the twenty-first century, America was awash in a sea of evangelical talk. The Purpose Driven Life. Joel Osteen. The Left Behind novels. George W. Bush. Evangelicalism had become so powerful and pervasive that political scientist Alan Wolfe wrote of "a sense in which we are all evangelicals now."

Steven P. Miller offers a dramatically different perspective: the Bush years, he argues, did not mark the pinnacle of evangelical influence, but rather the beginning of its decline. The Age of Evangelicalism chronicles the place and meaning of evangelical Christianity in America since 1970, a period Miller defines as America's "born-again years." This was a time of evangelical scares, born-again spectacles, and battles over faith in the public square. From the Jesus chic of the 1970s to the satanism panic of the 1980s, the culture wars of the 1990s, and the faith-based vogue of the early 2000s, evangelicalism expanded beyond churches and entered the mainstream in ways both subtly and obviously influential.

Born-again Christianity permeated nearly every area of American life. It was broad enough to encompass Hal Lindsey's doomsday prophecies and Marabel Morgan's sex advice, Jerry Falwell and Jimmy Carter. It made an unlikely convert of Bob Dylan and an unlikely president of a divorced Hollywood actor. As Miller shows, evangelicalism influenced not only its devotees but its many detractors: religious conservatives, secular liberals, and just about everyone in between. The Age of Evangelicalism contained multitudes: it was the age of Christian hippies and the "silent majority," of Footloose and The Passion of the Christ, of Tammy Faye Bakker the disgraced televangelist and Tammy Faye Messner the gay icon. Barack Obama was as much a part of it as Billy Graham.

The Age of Evangelicalism tells the captivating story of how born-again Christianity shaped the cultural and political climate in which millions Americans came to terms with their times.

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About the Author:


Steven P. Miller is the author of Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South, as well as numerous articles about the history of American religion and politics. He resides in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he teaches at Webster University and Washington University.

Review:


"In this provocative and beautifully written book, Steven P. Miller reveals an uncomfortable truth: that this is the evangelicals' world and the rest of us just live in it. With keen insight and smart analysis, Miller demonstrates how for the past forty years, from Tammy Faye's eyelashes to Jeremiah Wright's 'God Damn America!, ' Americans of all stripes saw their culture through born-again glasses. Scholars and general readers alike will be wrestling with his incisive arguments for years to come." --Matthew Avery Sutton, author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of ChristianAmerica


"The Age of Evangelicalism is the most cogent and illuminating narrative I have ever read about one of the most significant religious--and, yes, political--movements of our time. It is a short book that fulfills a big ambition." --Michael Kazin, author of American Dreamers: How the Left Changed aNation


"Compelling, intelligent, elegantly written-there aren't enough superlatives for this book. The Age of Evangelicalism will become the standard account of evangelicalism's presence at the center of American culture and its passage in and out of the halls of power." --John G. Turner, author of BrighamYoung: Pioneer Prophet


"In Miller's political and cultural history-and contrary to the popular narrative-the age of evangelicalism is in decline. [Miller] writes that it had its glory days in the post-Carter 1980s and 90s, when conservative evangelicals so successfully consolidated political power and influence that most Americans came to see the Religious Right as the only kind of political evangelicalism there ever had been or would be... Especially significant in Miller's account are the influences of evangelical scholars, who have historicized the Religious Right and, in the process, drawn attention to alternative evangelicalisms. Miller highlights several such "thoughtful evangelicals," including Balmer himself, Martin E. Marty, George Marsden, and Mark A.
"An ideal text for understanding the 1970s to the present. Miller's well-written and extensively researched narrative demonstrates the centrality of religion in the last forty-five years of America life."- Journal of Southern Religion


"Attractive, informed, and accessible contemporary history ideally suited for assignment in surveys of postwar America."-American Historical Review


"Mr. Miller's account of the rise and recent decline of evangelicalism in American politics and society is consistently incisive and well-researched... The Age of Evangelicalism is one of the most efficient and well-rounded accounts of the evangelical movement in America to appear in recent years. It deserves a wide non-specialist audience." --Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal


"Whether expressing nostalgia or bidding good riddance, such a title invites us to pay serious attention to the thing as it passes or, as the case may be, falls apart. Miller's is just such an invitation... When we consider evangelicalism as an age, not a subculture, we realize that evangelicals are by no means its only or even primary protagonists. Approaching the age of evangelicalism in this way changes everything." --Timothy Beal, Chronicle Review


"[Miller] writes with both gravitas and playfulness, with deep seriousness about America's born-again dispensation and an energizing wit that entices us to follow along. The result of Miller's sparkling skill is a short but enthralling book which... will be seen as conversation-shifting." --Darren Dochuk, Books & Culture


"Histories of American evangelicalism abound, but the uniqueness of The Age of Evangelicalism is its insistence that born-again history is not simply the story of evangelicals themselves. While most histories of American evangelicalism focus on its most prominent voices -- the Billy Grahams, Jimmy Carters, Pat Robertsons, Rick Warrens, and Jim Wallises -- Miller begins with a different inquiry: what has evangelicalism meant and how has it been understood by American society?" - Betsy Shirley, Englewood Review of Books


"Miller's designation of an 'age of evangelicalism' is important... The shift from 'subculture' to 'age' allows Miller to engage evangelicalism from within and without." --Edward J. Blum, Christian Century


"[S]eminal... I do not know of another book that more effectively tells the story of American evangelicalism's ascendancy and (perhaps) its political collapse, from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama." --Thomas S. Kidd, The Gospel Coalition


"If you want an event-by-event account of the evangelical relationship to the State, this book is it -- richly documented, balanced in judgment, and wide in scope . . ." --Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed


"In this provocative and beautifully written book, Steven P. Miller reveals an uncomfortable truth: that this is the evangelicals' world and the rest of us just live in it. With keen insight and smart analysis, Miller demonstrates how for the past forty years, from Tammy Faye's eyelashes to Jeremiah Wright's 'God Damn America!, ' Americans of all stripes saw their culture through born-again glasses. Scholars and general readers alike will be wrestling with his incisive arguments for years to come." --Matthew Avery Sutton, author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America


"The Age of Evangelicalism is the most cogent and illuminating narrative I have ever read about one of the most significant religious--and, yes, political--movements of our time. It is a short book that fulfills a big ambition." --Michael Kazin, author of American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation


"Compelling, intelligent, elegantly written-there aren't enough superlatives for this book. The Age of Evangelicalism will become the standard account of evangelicalism's presence at the center of American culture and its passage in and out of the halls of power." --John G. Turner, author of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet


"Offers a compelling and provocative guide to anyone seeking to understand the prominence and power of evangelicalism in modern America." -Neil J. Young, Marginalia


"An ideal text for understanding the 1970s to the present. Miller's well-written and extensively researched narrative demonstrates the centrality of religion in the last forty-five years of America life."- Journal of Southern Religion


"Attractive, informed, and accessible contemporary history ideally suited for assignment in surveys of postwar America."-American Historical Review


"Mr. Miller's account of the rise and recent decline of evangelicalism in American politics and society is consistently incisive and well-researched... The Age of Evangelicalism is one of the most efficient and well-rounded accounts of the evangelical movement in America to appear in recent years. It deserves a wide non-specialist audience." --Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal


"Whether expressing nostalgia or bidding good riddance, such a title invites us to pay serious attention to the thing as it passes or, as the case may be, falls apart. Miller's is just such an invitation... When we consider evangelicalism as an age, not a subculture, we realize that evangelicals are by no means its only or even primary protagonists. Approaching the age of evangelicalism in this way changes everything." --Timothy Beal, Chronicle Review


"[Miller] writes with both gravitas and playfulness, with deep seriousness about America's born-again dispensation and an energizing wit that entices us to follow along. The result of Miller's sparkling skill is a short but enthralling book which... will be seen as conversation-shifting." --Darren Dochuk, Books & Culture


"Histories of American evangelicalism abound, but the uniqueness of The Age of Evangelicalism is its insistence that born-again history is not simply the story of evangelicals themselves. While most histories of American evangelicalism focus on its most prominent voices -- the Billy Grahams, Jimmy Carters, Pat Robertsons, Rick Warrens, and Jim Wallises -- Miller begins with a different inquiry: what has evangelicalism meant and how has it been understood by American society?" - Betsy Shirley, Englewood Review of Books


"Miller's designation of an 'age of evangelicalism' is important... The shift from 'subculture' to 'age' allows Miller to engage evangelicalism from within and without." --Edward J. Blum, Christian Century


"[S]eminal... I do not know of another book that more effectively tells the story of American evangelicalism's ascendancy and (perhaps) its political collapse, from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama." --Thomas S. Kidd, The Gospel Coalition


"If you want an event-by-event account of the evangelical relationship to the State, this book is it -- richly documented, balanced in judgment, and wide in scope . . ." --Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed


"In this provocative and beautifully written book, Steven P. Miller reveals an uncomfortable truth: that this is the evangelicals' world and the rest of us just live in it. With keen insight and smart analysis, Miller demonstrates how for the past forty years, from Tammy Faye's eyelashes to Jeremiah Wright's 'God Damn America!, ' Americans of all stripes saw their culture through born-again glasses. Scholars and general readers alike will be wrestling with his incisive arguments for years to come." --Matthew Avery Sutton, author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America


"The Age of Evangelicalism is the most cogent and illuminating narrative I have ever read about one of the most significant religious--and, yes, political--movements of our time. It is a short book that fulfills a big ambition." --Michael Kazin, author of American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation


"Compelling, intelligent, elegantly written-there aren't enough superlatives for this book. The Age of Evangelicalism will become the standard account of evangelicalism's presence at the center of American culture and its passage in and out of the halls of power." --John G. Turner, author of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet


"Slim but foreceful...a compelling and provocative guide to anyone seeking to understand the prominence and power of evangelicalism in modern America." -Marginalia Review of Books


"An ideal text for understanding the 1970s to the present. Miller's well-written and extensively researched narrative demonstrates the centrality of religion in the last forty-five years of America life."- Journal of Southern Religion


"Attractive, informed, and accessible contemporary history ideally suited for assignment in surveys of postwar America."-American Historical Review


"Mr. Miller's account of the rise and recent decline of evangelicalism in American politics and society is consistently incisive and well-researched... The Age of Evangelicalism is one of the most efficient and well-rounded accounts of the evangelical movement in America to appear in recent years. It deserves a wide non-specialist audience." --Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal


"Whether expressing nostalgia or bidding good riddance, such a title invites us to pay serious attention to the thing as it passes or, as the case may be, falls apart. Miller's is just such an invitation... When we consider evangelicalism as an age, not a subculture, we realize that evangelicals are by no means its only or even primary protagonists. Approaching the age of evangelicalism in this way changes everything." --Timothy Beal, Chronicle Review


"[Miller] writes with both gravitas and playfulness, with deep seriousness about America's born-again dispensation and an energizing wit that entices us to follow along. The result of Miller's sparkling skill is a short but enthralling book which... will be seen as conversation-shifting." --Darren Dochuk, Books & Culture


"Histories of American evangelicalism abound, but the uniqueness of The Age of Evangelicalism is its insistence that born-again history is not simply the story of evangelicals themselves. While most histories of American evangelicalism focus on its most prominent voices -- the Billy Grahams, Jimmy Carters, Pat Robertsons, Rick Warrens, and Jim Wallises -- Miller begins with a different inquiry: what has evangelicalism meant and how has it been understood by American society?" - Betsy Shirley, Englewood Review of Books


"Miller's designation of an 'age of evangelicalism' is important... The shift from 'subculture' to 'age' allows Miller to engage evangelicalism from within and without." --Edward J. Blum, Christian Century


"[S]eminal... I do not know of another book that more effectively tells the story of American evangelicalism's ascendancy and (perhaps) its political collapse, from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama." --Thomas S. Kidd, The Gospel Coalition


"If you want an event-by-event account of the evangelical relationship to the State, this book is it -- richly documented, balanced in judgment, and wide in scope . . ." --Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed


"In this provocative and beautifully written book, Steven P. Miller reveals an uncomfortable truth: that this is the evangelicals' world and the rest of us just live in it. With keen insight and smart analysis, Miller demonstrates how for the past forty years, from Tammy Faye's eyelashes to Jeremiah Wright's 'God Damn America!, ' Americans of all stripes saw their culture through born-again glasses. Scholars and general readers alike will be wrestling with his incisive arguments for years to come." --Matthew Avery Sutton, author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America


"The Age of Evangelicalism is the most cogent and illuminating narrative I have ever read about one of the most significant religious--and, yes, political--movements of our time. It is a short book that fulfills a big ambition." --Michael Kazin, author of American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation


"Compelling, intelligent, elegantly written-there aren't enough superlatives for this book. The Age of Evangelicalism will become the standard account of evangelicalism's presence at the center of American culture and its passage in and out of the halls of power." --John G. Turner, author of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet


..".[An] informative and entertaining romp through the past half-century of American religious and political history." --Journal of Church and State


"Mr. Miller's account of the rise and recent decline of evangelicalism in American politics and society is consistently incisive and well-researched... The Age of Evangelicalism is one of the most efficient and well-rounded accounts of the evangelical movement in America to appear in recent years. It deserves a wide non-specialist audience." --Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal


"Whether expressing nostalgia or bidding good riddance, such a title invites us to pay serious attention to the thing as it passes or, as the case may be, falls apart. Miller's is just such an invitation... When we consider evangelicalism as an age, not a subculture, we realize that evangelicals are by no means its only or even primary protagonists. Appr...

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For years, evangelicalism has figured prominently in the American cultural and political landscape, seen everywhere from the election of openly devout President George W. Bush to the wild popularity of Christian self-help books and end-times thrillers like the Left Behind series and prompting sociologist Alan Wolfe to write, in 2003, We are all evangelicals now. In fact, Wolfe responded not at the emergence or height of the phenomenon, but near its conclusion. Evangelical Christianity became central to American culture over several decades, beginning as early as the 1970s, but by 2008, that historical moment was ending. Steven P. Miller offers an in-depth exploration of the place and meaning of evangelical Christianity in the United States between 1970 and 2008, America s born-again years, when evangelical Christianity entered the American mainstream in ways both obviously and subtly influential. The Age of evangelicalism began in the 1970s, propelled by the rapid ascendance of an avowedly born-again president, Jimmy Carter, and the equally rapid emergence of the Christian Right. It climaxed three decades later with the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, who synthesized Carter s Jesus talk and the Christian Right s cultural activism. During this period, the influence of evangelical Christianity extended well beyond its churches. Evangelicalism-broad enough to include both Hal Lindsey s best-selling 1970 prophecy guide, The Late, Great Planet Earth and, thirty years later, Tammy Faye Bakker Messner s emergence as a gay icon-meant that it influenced even its many detractors and bemused bystanders, who resided in an increasingly secular nation. During the Age of Evangelicalism, Miller demonstrates, born-again Christianity was far from a subculture. It provided a language, medium, and foil by which millions of Americans came to terms with the end of the American Century. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780199777952

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For years, evangelicalism has figured prominently in the American cultural and political landscape, seen everywhere from the election of openly devout President George W. Bush to the wild popularity of Christian self-help books and end-times thrillers like the Left Behind series and prompting sociologist Alan Wolfe to write, in 2003, We are all evangelicals now. In fact, Wolfe responded not at the emergence or height of the phenomenon, but near its conclusion. Evangelical Christianity became central to American culture over several decades, beginning as early as the 1970s, but by 2008, that historical moment was ending. Steven P. Miller offers an in-depth exploration of the place and meaning of evangelical Christianity in the United States between 1970 and 2008, America s born-again years, when evangelical Christianity entered the American mainstream in ways both obviously and subtly influential. The Age of evangelicalism began in the 1970s, propelled by the rapid ascendance of an avowedly born-again president, Jimmy Carter, and the equally rapid emergence of the Christian Right. It climaxed three decades later with the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, who synthesized Carter s Jesus talk and the Christian Right s cultural activism. During this period, the influence of evangelical Christianity extended well beyond its churches. Evangelicalism-broad enough to include both Hal Lindsey s best-selling 1970 prophecy guide, The Late, Great Planet Earth and, thirty years later, Tammy Faye Bakker Messner s emergence as a gay icon-meant that it influenced even its many detractors and bemused bystanders, who resided in an increasingly secular nation. During the Age of Evangelicalism, Miller demonstrates, born-again Christianity was far from a subculture. It provided a language, medium, and foil by which millions of Americans came to terms with the end of the American Century. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780199777952

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