American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism

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9780674048362: American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism
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The first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation, American Apocalypse shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it.

Matthew Avery Sutton draws on extensive archival research to document the ways an initially obscure network of charismatic preachers and their followers reshaped American religion, at home and abroad, for over a century. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces―communism and secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment―Billy Sunday, Charles Fuller, Billy Graham, and others took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was nigh, these preachers used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the nation for God’s final judgment.

By the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and conservative Republicans appropriated evangelical ideas to create a morally infused political agenda that challenged the pragmatic tradition of governance through compromise and consensus. Following 9/11, the politics of apocalypse continued to resonate with an anxious populace seeking a roadmap through a world spinning out of control. Premillennialist evangelicals have erected mega-churches, shaped the culture wars, made and destroyed presidential hopefuls, and brought meaning to millions of believers. Narrating the story of modern evangelicalism from the perspective of the faithful, Sutton demonstrates how apocalyptic thinking continues to exert enormous influence over the American mainstream today.

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About the Author:

Matthew Avery Sutton is Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of History at Washington State University.

Review:

It is to the great credit of Matthew Avery Sutton, an American historian who has spent the past seven years thinking about the end of the world , that we now have a concise, convincing and eminently readable account of the rise of the US evangelical movement, from what he describes as provocative outsiders to consummate insiders ... A valuable, timely and often entertaining account. (Tony Allen-Mills Sunday Times 2014-12-21)

The best history of American evangelicalism I've read in some time. Sutton strews his chronicle with little pleasures. . . Wonderfully provocative. If you want to understand why compromise has become a dirty word in the GOP today and how cultural politics is splitting the nation apart, American Apocalypse is an excellent place to start. (Stephen Prothero Bookforum Feb/Mar 2015)

Matthew Avery Sutton read just about everything that fundamentalists and evangelicals had to offer in preparation for his pointed argument in American Apocalypse: premillennial dispensationalism pushed conservative Protestants into public, political, national, and international action. If you want to wrestle with evangelicals, read this book. (Edward J. Blum Christian Century 2014-11-25)

Gives us our first good account of how and why evangelical political views developed the way they did. (Michael S. Hamilton Christian Century 2014-10-15)

In this sweeping history, Sutton (a historian and biographer of Pentecostal evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson) argues that apocalyptic fervor exercised an underappreciated influence on believers, churches, and institutions, helping to propel the evangelical resurgence after World War II and continuing to shape the movement ever since. (Matt Reynolds Christianity Today 2014-12-01)

An important story, and it is exceedingly well told. (Christopher McConnell Booklist 2014-11-15)

[A] valuable account of American premillennial evangelicalism... Sutton provides a wealth of documentation on premillennialists’ prophetic speculation, self-presentation, and increasing importance over the last century. (Steve Young Library Journal 2014-11-01)

[Sutton] challenges the now-accepted accounts of Christian fundamentalism that attribute its rise to conflicts with evolution and modernist theories of biblical interpretation. Rather, he argues in this elegant, judicious, and thoughtful new history, apocalypticism―or the belief in an imminent end of the world―shaped the development of fundamentalism and sustained it through generations, from the late nineteenth-century to the present day. Thus, he contends, the anticipated end-of-the-world provided an interpretation of natural disasters, geopolitical changes, and war... He deftly weaves this idea through political events from the New Deal through the Cold War and into fundamentalist response to 9/11, and he illustrates the singular power of individuals ranging from Charles Fuller and Billy Sunday to Billy Graham and Hal Lindsey to influence fundamentalist Christians to political action. Sutton’s engaging book belongs next to classic texts on the subject. (Publishers Weekly 2014-11-24)

Sutton’s ambitious book refocuses the history of twentieth-century evangelicalism on apocalypticism, offering a vivid account of how preoccupation with the end times provided the conceptual framework for evangelical political activism and stoked its emotional fervor. American Apocalypse shows brilliantly how a terror of impending doom was translated into politics on issues ranging from support for Israel to anti-abortion activism. (Robert A. Orsi, author of Thank You, St. Jude and The Madonna of 115th Street)

American Apocalypse will quickly become the definitive general account of evangelicalism’s spectacular growth as a political and cultural force in the twentieth century. It is a brilliant book, sophisticated and compelling yet also lively and entertaining. With religion continuing to play a major role in American politics and culture, American Apocalypse is a must-read that will shed new light on the nation’s past, present, and future. (Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy)

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation, American Apocalypse shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it. Matthew Avery Sutton draws on extensive archival research to document the ways an initially obscure network of charismatic preachers and their followers reshaped American religion, at home and abroad, for over a century. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces--communism and secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment--Billy Sunday, Charles Fuller, Billy Graham, and others took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was nigh, these preachers used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the nation for God s final judgment. By the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and conservative Republicans appropriated evangelical ideas to create a morally infused political agenda that challenged the pragmatic tradition of governance through compromise and consensus. Following 9/11, the politics of apocalypse continued to resonate with an anxious populace seeking a roadmap through a world spinning out of control. Premillennialist evangelicals have erected mega-churches, shaped the culture wars, made and destroyed presidential hopefuls, and brought meaning to millions of believers. Narrating the story of modern evangelicalism from the perspective of the faithful, Sutton demonstrates how apocalyptic thinking continues to exert enormous influence over the American mainstream today. Seller Inventory # AAS9780674048362

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation, American Apocalypse shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it. Matthew Avery Sutton draws on extensive archival research to document the ways an initially obscure network of charismatic preachers and their followers reshaped American religion, at home and abroad, for over a century. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces--communism and secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment--Billy Sunday, Charles Fuller, Billy Graham, and others took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was nigh, these preachers used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the nation for God s final judgment. By the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and conservative Republicans appropriated evangelical ideas to create a morally infused political agenda that challenged the pragmatic tradition of governance through compromise and consensus. Following 9/11, the politics of apocalypse continued to resonate with an anxious populace seeking a roadmap through a world spinning out of control. Premillennialist evangelicals have erected mega-churches, shaped the culture wars, made and destroyed presidential hopefuls, and brought meaning to millions of believers. Narrating the story of modern evangelicalism from the perspective of the faithful, Sutton demonstrates how apocalyptic thinking continues to exert enormous influence over the American mainstream today. Seller Inventory # AAS9780674048362

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. 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. The first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation, American Apocalypse shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it. Matthew Avery Sutton draws on extensive archival research to document the ways an initially obscure network of charismatic preachers and their followers reshaped American religion, at home and abroad, for over a century. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces--communism and secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment--Billy Sunday, Charles Fuller, Billy Graham, and others took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was nigh, these preachers used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the nation for God s final judgment. By the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and conservative Republicans appropriated evangelical ideas to create a morally infused political agenda that challenged the pragmatic tradition of governance through compromise and consensus. Following 9/11, the politics of apocalypse continued to resonate with an anxious populace seeking a roadmap through a world spinning out of control. Premillennialist evangelicals have erected mega-churches, shaped the culture wars, made and destroyed presidential hopefuls, and brought meaning to millions of believers. Narrating the story of modern evangelicalism from the perspective of the faithful, Sutton demonstrates how apocalyptic thinking continues to exert enormous influence over the American mainstream today. Seller Inventory # BTE9780674048362

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