American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving

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9780226764191: American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving

Evangelicalism is one of the strongest religious traditions in America today; 20 million Americans identify themselves with the evangelical movement. Given the modern pluralistic world we live in, why is evangelicalism so popular?

Based on a national telephone survey and more than three hundred personal interviews with evangelicals and other churchgoing Protestants, this study provides a detailed analysis of the commitments, beliefs, concerns, and practices of this thriving group. Examining how evangelicals interact with and attempt to influence secular society, this book argues that traditional, orthodox evangelicalism endures not despite, but precisely because of, the challenges and structures of our modern pluralistic environment. This work also looks beyond evangelicalism to explore more broadly the problems of traditional religious belief and practice in the modern world.

With its impressive empirical evidence, innovative theory, and substantive conclusions, American Evangelicalism will provoke lively debate over the state of religious practice in contemporary America.

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American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving by sociologist Christian Smith tells a very different story about evangelicals from the one most people believe. Most of us know that evangelical churches are growing fast. Many pundits have suggested that evangelicalism is thriving because it's an easy way out of dealing with the complexities of the modern world--it's a place where everyone is pretty much the same: not too well educated, not too upwardly mobile, and more or less frightened of the amorality that's supposedly flourishing in contemporary America. Yet Christian Smith's study, based on thousands of interviews and extensive polling, argues that evangelicalism is growing "very much because of and not in spite of its confrontation with modern pluralism." He disproves the demographic caricature of evangelicals that's been drawn by conventional wisdom, showing evangelicals to be better educated than most of those calling themselves religious liberals, and establishing that their moral concerns are mostly exercised on behalf of others--most evangelicals don't believe they or their families are really threatened by modern life. Therefore, Smith's study proposes that American evangelicals have created a subculture characterized by "both high tension and high integration into mainstream society simultaneously." And as a result, "Contemporary pluralism creates a situation in which evangelicals can perpetually maintain but never resolve their struggle with the non-evangelical world." It's a fascinating idea, and one that should prompt readers to wonder whether evangelicals actually enjoy playing a divinized version of devil's advocate in contemporary American life. --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, and director of the Center for Social Research at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers and Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Based on a national telephone survey and 300 personal interviews with evangelicals and other churchgoing Protestants, this study provides an analysis of the commitments, beliefs, concerns and practices of this group. Examining how evangelicals interact with and attempt to influence secular society, the text argues that traditional, orthodox evangelicalism endures because of the challenges and structures of our modern pluralistic environment. It also looks beyond evangelicalism to explore the problems of traditional religious belief and practice in the modern world. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226764191

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Based on a national telephone survey and 300 personal interviews with evangelicals and other churchgoing Protestants, this study provides an analysis of the commitments, beliefs, concerns and practices of this group. Examining how evangelicals interact with and attempt to influence secular society, the text argues that traditional, orthodox evangelicalism endures because of the challenges and structures of our modern pluralistic environment. It also looks beyond evangelicalism to explore the problems of traditional religious belief and practice in the modern world. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226764191

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Based on a national telephone survey and 300 personal interviews with evangelicals and other churchgoing Protestants, this study provides an analysis of the commitments, beliefs, concerns and practices of this group. Examining how evangelicals interact with and attempt to influence secular society, the text argues that traditional, orthodox evangelicalism endures because of the challenges and structures of our modern pluralistic environment. It also looks beyond evangelicalism to explore the problems of traditional religious belief and practice in the modern world. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780226764191

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