The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family

Chiara Press
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Christian fundamentalism in America emerged a century ago, the faith of generations of immigrants who had experienced war and revolution, removal and upheaval. The Scots-Irish who had settled the South inherited both an evangelical legacy of abolitionism and social reform on the one hand, and complicity in human slavery and racial oppression on the other. This book brings the story of fundamentalism to life through the generations of the Rice family--immigrants, soldiers, farmers, slaveowners, refugees, and preachers. This is a work of history, memoir, and personal testimony about the changing shape of a faith that seeks to transform the world. Foreword by Parker J. Palmer
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Publisher
Chiara Press
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Published on
Apr 14, 2011
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9781453843758
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christian Church / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Many American's today are taking note of the surprisingly strong political force that is the religious right. Controversial decisions by the government are met with hundreds of lobbyists, millions of dollars of advertising spending, and a powerful grassroots response. How has the fundamentalist movement managed to resist the pressures of the scientific community and the draw of modern popular culture to hold on to their ultra-conservative Christian views? Understanding the movement's history is key to answering this question. Fundamentalism and American Culture has long been considered a classic in religious history, and to this day remains unsurpassed. Now available in a new edition, this highly regarded analysis takes us through the full history of the origin and direction of one of America's most influential religious movements. For Marsden, fundamentalists are not just religious conservatives; they are conservatives who are willing to take a stand and to fight. In Marsden's words (borrowed by Jerry Falwell), "a fundamentalist is an evangelical who is angry about something." In the late nineteenth century American Protestantism was gradually dividing between liberals who were accepting new scientific and higher critical views that contradicted the Bible and defenders of the more traditional evangelicalism. By the 1920s a full-fledged "fundamentalist" movement had developed in protest against theological changes in the churches and changing mores in the culture. Building on networks of evangelists, Bible conferences, Bible institutes, and missions agencies, fundamentalists coalesced into a major protest movement that proved to have remarkable staying power. For this new edition, a major new chapter compares fundamentalism since the 1970s to the fundamentalism of the 1920s, looking particularly at the extraordinary growth in political emphasis and power of the more recent movement. Never has it been more important to understand the history of fundamentalism in our rapidly polarizing nation. Marsen's carefully researched and engrossing work remains the best way to do just that.
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