American Evangelicals: A Contemporary History of a Mainstream Religious Movement (Critical Issues in American History)

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9780742570252: American Evangelicals: A Contemporary History of a Mainstream Religious Movement (Critical Issues in American History)

There may be no group in American society that is more talked about but so little understood as Evangelical Christians. Sometimes dismissed as violent fundamentalists and ignorant flat earthers, few can doubt the political, cultural, and religious significance of the Evangelicals. Barry Hankins puts the Evangelical movement in historical perspective, reaching back to its roots in the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century and leading up to the formative moments of contemporary conservative Protestantism. Taking on key topics such as the standing of science, the authority of scripture, and gender and racial equality, Hankins analyzes what is most essential for us to understand today about this potent movement.

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About the Author:

Barry Hankins is professor of history and church-state studies at Baylor University. He is author of Uneasy in Babylon: Southern Baptist Conservatives and American Culture and God's Rascal: J. Frank Norris and the Beginnings of the Southern Fundamentalism.

Review:

[Hankins] draws from the best secondary sources to explicate the evangelical intersection with theological liberalism and the beginnings of fundamentalism. . . . Recommended.

(CHOICE)

In this informed, sympathetic, and critical book, Barry Hankins combats our culture's ongoing tendency to reduce evangelicals to unquestioning devotees of the religious Right, revealing them instead to be part of a movement with a rich and varied history. The book judiciously summarizes the major scholarship from the past generation, filtering it for an audience of nonspecialists. Hankins' book is one of the best and most accessible introductions to the history of American evangelicalism available for undergraduate courses. (Kurt Peterson Journal of American History)

Most [evangelical studies] focus on doctrinal or theological standards . . . and the evolving definitional and identity crisis. Barry Hankins's American Evangelicals breaks in some ways with this pattern, offering instead a more historical approach to evangelical Christianity within the United States. . . . Hankins supports his claims quite well by drawing on evangelical biographies, regional studies, and numerous secondary works in the field of American evangelicalism. . . . Hankins affords rich insights into the diversity and complexity within the evangelical subculture as a whole, giving some attention to the ways in which fundamentalists and evangelicals critique each other. . . . Hankins writes well and has a strong grasp of the many issues and problems as they have unfolded in the history of American evangelicalism. The book has something to offer those who have little knowledge of evangelical Christianity, and it is most suitable for undergraduate courses on the subject and for ordinary persons in churches. It serves quite well as an introduction to the history of American evangelicalism.

(Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture)

Those who wish to gain a better picture of evangelical presence in American culture would do well to at least browse the book. (Stone-Campbell International)

Historically informed, well balanced, and richly detailed, this book is an essential guide to American evangelicals' cultural and political concerns. Hankins goes beyond the headlines of the contemporary culture wars to explain what evangelicals really believe and practice. (Daniel K. Williams, University of West Georgia)

Hankins has a way of turning movements into readable stories; this storytelling ability is what makes this book enjoyable.

(Journal of Church and State)

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