Download American Christianity: The Continuing Revolution by Stephen Cox PDF

By Stephen Cox

Christianity takes an fabulous number of varieties in the USA, from church buildings that cherish conventional modes of worship to evangelical church buildings and fellowships, Pentecostal church buildings, social-action church buildings, megachurches, and apocalyptic churches—congregations ministering to believers of numerous ethnicities, social periods, and sexual orientations. neither is this range a up to date phenomenon, regardless of many Americans’ nostalgia for an undeviating “faith of our fathers” within the days of yore. relatively, as Stephen Cox argues during this thought-provoking ebook, American Christianity is a revolution that's constantly occurring, and continuously must take place. The old-time faith consistently should be made new, and that's what american citizens were doing all through their history.

American Christianity is an interesting publication, huge ranging and good educated, involved with the residing fact of America’s different traditions and with the magnificent ways that they've got built. Radical and unpredictable swap, Cox argues, is likely one of the few accountable beneficial properties of Christianity in the US. He explores how either the Catholic Church and the mainline Protestant church buildings have advanced in ways in which might lead them to appear alien to their adherents in earlier centuries. He strains the increase of uniquely American hobbies, from the Mormons to the Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and brings to existence the bright personalities—Aimee Semple McPherson, Billy Sunday, and lots of others—who have taken the gospel to the loads. He sheds new gentle on such matters as American Christians’ extreme yet regularly altering political involvements, their debatable revisions within the sort and substance of worship, and their power expectation that God is ready to interfere conclusively in human lifestyles. saying that “a church that doesn’t promise new beginnings can by no means prosper in America,“ Cox demonstrates that American Christianity has to be noticeable no longer as a sociological phenomenon yet because the ever-changing tale of person humans looking their very own connections with God, always reinventing their faith, making it extra risky, extra colourful, and extra interesting.

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Extra resources for American Christianity: The Continuing Revolution (Discovering America)

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Churches avidly competed for members from the same social-economic groups. 9 Even the Episcopal church, the supposed resort of substantial wealth, had trouble paying its bills. Like the great majority of nineteenth-century churches, it took in enough during a normal year to provide a meager salary for its minister, and not much else. To raise money for their first building, completed in 1840, Jackson’s Episcopalians followed the example of most other congregations and sold pews in the prospective structure.

A third explanation is that other Christian denominations stopped focusing on damnation and started letting their members assume that everyone (or nearly everyone) might be saved. 17 Such after-the-fact explanations may or may not be true. What is certainly true is that in 1961, the Universalist denomination ceased to exist, being institutionally absorbed by the Unitarians. It is interesting, however, that none of the proposed explanations has to do with social classes or economic trends. True or false, they are all appropriately religious explanations of a religious phenomenon.

26 It hopes that its measures will attract more people than they repel—something that isn’t easy to calculate. The measures are therefore subject to revision. And whatever the churches do, there will still be Christians, ardent Christians, who aren’t affiliated with any church at all. indd 27 1/16/14 11:08 AM = AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY = To say this is to recognize that there is a place where institutional histories and social theories stop, and the histories of individual men and women start. Consider the story of Frances Jane (Fanny) Crosby, one of the greatest celebrities of nineteenth-century Christianity.

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