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American Indians and Christian Missions
Studies in Cultural Conflict
Henry Warner Bowden
University of Chicago Press, 1985
In this absorbing history, Henry Warner Bowden chronicles the encounters between native Americans and the evangelizing whites from the period of exploration and colonization to the present. He writes with a balanced perspective that pleads no special case for native separatism or Christian uniqueness. Ultimately, he broadens our understanding of both intercultural exchanges and the continuing strength of American Indian spirituality, expressed today in Christian forms as well as in revitalized folkways.

"Bowden makes a radical departure from the traditional approach. Drawing on the theories and findings of anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, he presents Indian-missionary relations as a series of cultural encounters, the outcomes of which were determined by the content of native beliefs, the structure of native religious institutions, and external factors such as epidemic diseases and military conflicts, as well as by the missionaries' own resources and abilities. The result is a provocative, insightful historical essay that liberates a complex subject from the narrow perimeters of past discussions and accords it an appropriate richness and complexity. . . . For anyone with an interest in Indian-missionary relations, from the most casual to the most specialized, this book is the place to begin."—Neal Salisbury, Theology Today

"If one wishes to read a concise, thought-provoking ethnohistory of Indian missions, 1540-1980, this is it. Henry Warner Bowden's history, perhaps for the first time, places the sweep of Christian evangelism fully in the context of vigorous, believable, native religions."—Robert H. Keller, Jr., American Historical Review
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Anatomy of a Massacre
The Destruction of Gnadenhutten, 1782
Eric Sterner
Westholme Publishing, 2020
An Act of Unfathomable Cruelty that Presaged Post-Revolutionary America’s Treatment of Native Americans 
On March 8, 1782, a group of western settlers killed nearly one hundred unarmed and peaceful Indians who had converted to Christianity under the tutelage of missionaries from the Church of the United Brethren. The murders were cold-blooded and heartless; roughly two-thirds of those executed were women and children. Its brutality stunned Benjamin Franklin in far-away France. He wrote: “the abominable Murders committed by some of the frontier People on the poor Moravian Indians, has given me infinite Pain and Vexation. The Dispensations of Providence in this World puzzle my weak Reason. I cannot comprehend why cruel Men should have been permitted thus to destroy their Fellow Creatures.” Since that maelstrom of violence struck the small Indian village of Gnadenhutten, history has treated the episode as a simple morality tale. While there were ample incidents of good and evil on March 8, that summation does not explain what brought murderers and victims together on the banks of the Muskingum River in today’s Ohio. It was actually the culmination of a series of events among different Indian tribes, the British, Congressional authorities at Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania militia, and key individuals, all of which are lost in contemporary explanations of the massacre.
    Anatomy of a Massacre: The Destruction of Gnadenhutten, 1782 fills that void by examining the political maneuvering among white settlers, Continental officials, British officers, western Indian tribes, missionaries, and the Indians practicing Christianity that culminated in the massacre. Uniquely, it follows the developing story from each perspective, using first-person accounts from each group to understand how they saw and experienced the changes on the American frontier. Along the way it profiles some of the key individuals responsible for the way the war unfolded. It is a fresh look at an often mentioned, but seldom understood, episode in the American Revolution.
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Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars
Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China
Eugenio Menegon
Harvard University Press, 2009

Christianity is often praised as an agent of Chinese modernization or damned as a form of cultural and religious imperialism. In both cases, Christianity’s foreignness and the social isolation of converts have dominated this debate. Eugenio Menegon uncovers another story. In the sixteenth century, European missionaries brought a foreign and global religion to China. Converts then transformed this new religion into a local one over the course of the next three centuries.

Focusing on the still-active Catholic communities of Fuan county in northeast Fujian, this project addresses three main questions. Why did people convert? How did converts and missionaries transform a global and foreign religion into a local religion? What does Christianity’s localization in Fuan tell us about the relationship between late imperial Chinese society and religion?

Based on an impressive array of sources from Asia and Europe, this pathbreaking book reframes our understanding of Christian missions in Chinese-Western relations. The study’s implications extend beyond the issue of Christianity in China to the wider fields of religious and social history and the early modern history of global intercultural relations. The book suggests that Christianity became part of a preexisting pluralistic, local religious space, and argues that we have so far underestimated late imperial society’s tolerance for “heterodoxy.” The view from Fuan offers an original account of how a locality created its own religious culture in Ming-Qing China within a context both global and local, and illuminates the historical dynamics contributing to the remarkable growth of Christian communities in present-day China.

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The Anointed
Randall J. Stephens and Karl W. Giberson
Harvard University Press, 2011

American evangelicalism often appears as a politically monolithic, textbook red-state fundamentalism that elected George W. Bush, opposes gay marriage, abortion, and evolution, and promotes apathy about global warming. Prominent public figures hold forth on these topics, speaking with great authority for millions of followers. Authors Stephens and Giberson, with roots in the evangelical tradition, argue that this popular impression understates the diversity within evangelicalism—an often insular world where serious disagreements are invisible to secular and religiously liberal media consumers. Yet, in the face of this diversity, why do so many people follow leaders with dubious credentials when they have other options? Why do tens of millions of Americans prefer to get their science from Ken Ham, founder of the creationist Answers in Genesis, who has no scientific expertise, rather than from his fellow evangelical Francis Collins, current Director of the National Institutes of Health?

Exploring intellectual authority within evangelicalism, the authors reveal how America’s populist ideals, anti-intellectualism, and religious free market, along with the concept of anointing—being chosen by God to speak for him like the biblical prophets—established a conservative evangelical leadership isolated from the world of secular arts and sciences.

Today, charismatic and media-savvy creationists, historians, psychologists, and biblical exegetes continue to receive more funding and airtime than their more qualified counterparts. Though a growing minority of evangelicals engage with contemporary scholarship, the community’s authority structure still encourages the “anointed” to assume positions of leadership.

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Battle for the Soul
Mètis Children Encounter Evangelical Protestants at Mackinaw Mission, 1823-1837
Keith R. Widder
Michigan State University Press, 1999

In 1823 William and Amanda Ferry opened a boarding school for Métis children on Mackinac Island, Michigan Territory, setting in motion an intense spiritual battle to win the souls and change the lives of the children, their parents, and all others living at Mackinac. Battle for the Soul demonstrates how a group of enthusiastic missionaries, empowered by an uncompromising religious motivation, served as agents of Americanization. The Ferrys' high hopes crumbled, however, as they watched their work bring about a revival of Catholicism and their students refuse to abandon the fur trade as a way of life. The story of the Mackinaw Mission is that of people who held differing world views negotiating to create a "middle-ground," a society with room for all.
     Widder's study is a welcome addition to the literature on American frontier missions. Using Richard White's "middle ground" paradigm, it focuses on the cultural interaction between French, British, American, and various native groups at the Mackinac mission in Michigan during the early 19th century. The author draws on materials from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions archives, as well as other manuscript sources, to trace not only the missionaries' efforts to Christianize and Americanize the native peoples, but the religious, social, and cultural conflicts between Protestant missionaries and Catholic priests in the region. Much attention has been given to the missionaries to the Indians in other areas of the US, but little to this region.

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Biblical Porn
Affect, Labor, and Pastor Mark Driscoll's Evangelical Empire
Jessica Johnson
Duke University Press, 2018
Between 1996 and 2014, Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Church multiplied from its base in Seattle into fifteen facilities spread across five states with 13,000 attendees. When it closed, the church was beset by scandal, with former attendees testifying to spiritual abuse, emotional manipulation, and financial exploitation. In Biblical Porn Jessica Johnson examines how Mars Hill's congregants became entangled in processes of religious conviction. Johnson shows how they were affectively recruited into sexualized and militarized dynamics of power through the mobilization of what she calls "biblical porn"—the affective labor of communicating, promoting, and embodying Driscoll's teaching on biblical masculinity, femininity, and sexuality, which simultaneously worked as a marketing strategy, social imaginary, and biopolitical instrument. Johnson theorizes religious conviction as a social process through which Mars Hill's congregants circulated and amplified feelings of hope, joy, shame, and paranoia as affective value that the church capitalized on to grow at all costs.
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Bread, Wine, and Money
The Windows of the Trades at Chartres Cathedral
Jane Welch Williams
University of Chicago Press, 1993
At Chartres Cathedral, for the first time in medieval art, the lowest register of stained-glass windows depicts working artisans and merchants instead of noble and clerical donors. Jane Welch Williams challenges the prevailing view that pious town tradesmen donated these windows. In Bread, Wine, and Money, she uncovers a deep antagonism between the trades and the cathedral clergy in Chartres; the windows, she argues, portray not town tradesmen but trusted individuals that the fearful clergy had taken into the cloister as their own serfs.

Williams weaves a tight net of historical circumstances, iconographic traditions, exegetical implications, political motivations, and liturgical functions to explain the imagery in the windows of the trades. Her account of changing social relationships in thirteenth-century Chartres focuses on the bakers, tavern keepers, and money changers whose bread, wine, and money were used as means of exchange, tithing, and offering throughout medieval society. Drawing on a wide variety of original documents and scholarly work, this book makes important new contributions to our knowledge of one of the great monuments of Western culture.
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The Center is Jesus Christ Himself
Essays on Revelation, Salvation, and Evangelization in Honor of Robert P. Imbelli
Andrew Meszaros
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
The polarization in the Church today can be traced back to a more fundamental crisis in theology, one which has failed to connect our mundane experiences and the mysteries of the Christian faith with the person of Jesus Christ. Ecclesial discourse on the so-called ‘hot- button issues’ of the day too often take place without considering the foundation and goal of the Church. And this is unfortunately due to a similar tendency in the academic theology that informs that ecclesial discourse. In short, much of post-conciliar Catholic theology is adrift, floating aimlessly away from the center of the Christian faith, who is Christ. The Center is Jesus Christ Himself is a collection of essays which anchor theological reflection in Jesus Christ. These diverse essays share a unified focal point, but engage with a variety of theological subdisciplines (e.g., dogmatic, moral, Biblical, etc.), areas (e.g., Christology, Pneumatology, missiology, etc.), and periods (e.g., patristic, medieval, and modern). Given the different combinations of sub-disciplines, areas, and periods, theology is susceptible to fragmentation when it is not held together by some principle of unity. A theology in which the person of Jesus Christ serves as that principle of unity is a Christocentric theology. Together, the essays illustrate not only what Christocentric theology looks like, but also what the consequences are when Christ is dislodged from the center, whether by a conspicuous silence on, or by a relativization of, his unique salvific mission. The volume is published in honor of Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College, Rev. Dr. Robert P. Imbelli, who dedicated his teaching and writing to bringing Christ back to the center of Catholic theological discourse.
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The Chance of Salvation
A History of Conversion in America
Lincoln A. Mullen
Harvard University Press, 2017

The United States has a long history of religious pluralism, and yet Americans have often thought that people’s faith determines their eternal destinies. The result is that Americans switch religions more often than any other nation. The Chance of Salvation traces the history of the distinctively American idea that religion is a matter of individual choice.

Lincoln Mullen shows how the willingness of Americans to change faiths, recorded in narratives that describe a wide variety of conversion experiences, created a shared assumption that religious identity is a decision. In the nineteenth century, as Americans confronted a growing array of religious options, pressures to convert altered the basis of American religion. Evangelical Protestants emphasized conversion as a personal choice, while Protestant missionaries brought Christianity to Native American nations such as the Cherokee, who adopted Christianity on their own terms. Enslaved and freed African Americans similarly created a distinctive form of Christian conversion based on ideas of divine justice and redemption. Mormons proselytized for a new tradition that stressed individual free will. American Jews largely resisted evangelism while at the same time winning converts to Judaism. Converts to Catholicism chose to opt out of the system of religious choice by turning to the authority of the Church.

By the early twentieth century, religion in the United States was a system of competing options that created an obligation for more and more Americans to choose their own faith. Religion had changed from a family inheritance to a consciously adopted identity.

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Christianity in China
Early Protestant Missionary Writings
Suzanne Wilson Barnett
Harvard University Press, 1985

These studies examine writings by Protestant missionaries in China from 1819 to 1890. The initial aim of the missionaries was religious--to bring the Gospel message to a Chinese audience. The social and cultural milieu tempered missionary efforts, however, and the scope of their writings--tracts, translations of scripture, periodicals, and books in Chinese--enlarged to include secular topics and information for the Chinese about the world outside. Simultaneously, Protestant missionaries wrote about China for American readers at home and thus became the strongest link between village China and small-town America.

Nine historians contribute to this composite picture of the missionary pioneers, the literature they produced, the changes they sustained through immersion in Chinese culture, and their efforts to interpret that culture for their constituencies at home.

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Church in the Wild
Evangelicals in Antebellum America
Brett Malcolm Grainger
Harvard University Press, 2019

A religious studies scholar argues that in antebellum America, evangelicals, not Transcendentalists, connected ordinary Americans with their spiritual roots in the natural world.

We have long credited Emerson and his fellow Transcendentalists with revolutionizing religious life in America and introducing a new appreciation of nature. Breaking with Protestant orthodoxy, these New Englanders claimed that God could be found not in church but in forest, fields, and streams. Their spiritual nonconformity had thrilling implications but never traveled far beyond their circle. In this essential reconsideration of American faith in the years leading up to the Civil War, Brett Malcolm Grainger argues that it was not the Transcendentalists but the evangelical revivalists who transformed the everyday religious life of Americans and spiritualized the natural environment.

Evangelical Christianity won believers from the rural South to the industrial North: this was the true popular religion of the antebellum years. Revivalists went to the woods not to free themselves from the constraints of Christianity but to renew their ties to God. Evangelical Christianity provided a sense of enchantment for those alienated by a rapidly industrializing world. In forested camp meetings and riverside baptisms, in private contemplation and public water cures, in electrotherapy and mesmerism, American evangelicals communed with nature, God, and one another. A distinctive spirituality emerged pairing personal piety with a mystical relation to nature.

As Church in the Wild reveals, the revivalist attitude toward nature and the material world, which echoed that of Catholicism, spread like wildfire among Christians of all backgrounds during the years leading up to the Civil War.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christians with Depression
A Practical Tool-Based Primer
Michelle Pearce
Templeton Press, 2016
Does religion belong in psychotherapy?
 
For anyone in the helping profession, whether as mental health professional or religious leader, this question is bound to arise. Many mental health professionals feel uncomfortable discussing religion. In contrast, many religious leaders feel uncomfortable referring their congregants to professionals who do not know their faith or intent to engage with it.
 
And yet Michelle Pearce, PhD, assistant professor and clinical psychologist at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland, argues that if religion is essential to a client, religion will be a part of psychotherapy, whether it is discussed or not. Clients cannot check their values at the door more than the professionals who treat them.
 
To Pearce, the question isn’t really, “does religion belong?” but rather, “how can mental health professionals help their religious clients engage with and use their faith as a healing resource in psychotherapy?”
 
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christian Clients with Depression is the answer to that question, as the book’s purpose is to educate mental health professionals and pastoral counselors about religion’s role in therapy, as well as equip them to discuss religious issues and use evidence-based, religiously-integrated tools with Christian clients experiencing depression.
 
In this book, readers will find the following resources in an easy-to-use format: 
  • An overview of the scientific benefits of integrating clients’ religious  beliefs and practices in psychotherapy
  • An organizing therapeutic approach for doing Christian CBT
  • Seven tools specific to Christian CBT to treat depression
  • Suggested dialogue for therapists to introduce concepts and tools
  • Skill-building activity worksheets for clients
  • Clinical examples of Christian CBT and the seven tools in action
Practitioners will learn the helpful (and sometimes not so beneficial) role a person’s Christian faith can play in psychotherapy. They will be equipped to discuss religious issues and use religiously-integrated tools in their work. At the same time, clergy will learn how Christianity can be integrated into an evidence-based secular mental health treatment for depression, which is sure to increase their comfort level for making referrals to mental health practitioners who provide this form of treatment.
 
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christian Clients with Depression is a practical guide for mental health professionals and pastoral counselors who want to learn how to use Christian-specific CBT tools to treat depression in their Christian clients.
 
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Come On, Humans, One More Effort …
Anthropogenesis, Christianity, Sexuation
Thierry De Duve
Diaphanes, 2024

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Communicating Faith
John Sullivan
Catholic University of America Press, 2011
This book enriches appreciation of the many ways that Christian faith is communicated. It casts light on the sensitivities, skills, and qualities necessary for the effective communication of faith, where justice is done both to the "seed" to be sown and to the "soil" being cultivated.
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Competing Kingdoms
Women, Mission, Nation, and the American Protestant Empire, 1812–1960
Barbara Reeves-Ellington, Kathryn Kish Sklar, and Connie A. Shemo, eds.
Duke University Press, 2010
Competing Kingdoms rethinks the importance of women and religion within U.S. imperial culture from the early nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth. In an era when the United States was emerging as a world power to challenge the hegemony of European imperial powers, American women missionaries strove to create a new Kingdom of God. They did much to shape a Protestant empire based on American values and institutions. This book examines American women’s activism in a broad transnational context. It offers a complex array of engagements with their efforts to provide rich intercultural histories about the global expansion of American culture and American Protestantism.

An international and interdisciplinary group of scholars, the contributors bring under-utilized evidence from U.S. and non-U.S. sources to bear on the study of American women missionaries abroad and at home. Focusing on women from several denominations, they build on the insights of postcolonial scholarship to incorporate the agency of the people among whom missionaries lived. They explore how people in China, the Congo Free State, Egypt, India, Japan, Ndebeleland (colonial Rhodesia), Ottoman Bulgaria, and the Philippines perceived, experienced, and negotiated American cultural expansion. They also consider missionary work among people within the United States who were constructed as foreign, including African Americans, Native Americans, and Chinese immigrants. By presenting multiple cultural perspectives, this important collection challenges simplistic notions about missionary cultural imperialism, revealing the complexity of American missionary attitudes toward race and the ways that ideas of domesticity were reworked and appropriated in various settings. It expands the field of U.S. women’s history into the international arena, increases understanding of the global spread of American culture, and offers new concepts for analyzing the history of American empire.

Contributors: Beth Baron, Betty Bergland, Mary Kupiec Cayton, Derek Chang, Sue Gronewold, Jane Hunter, Sylvia Jacobs, Susan Haskell Khan, Rui Kohiyama, Laura Prieto, Barbara Reeves-Ellington, Mary Renda, Connie A. Shemo, Kathryn Kish Sklar, Ian Tyrrell, Wendy Urban-Mead

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Conversionary Sites
Transforming Medical Aid and Global Christianity from Madagascar to Minnesota
Britt Halvorson
University of Chicago Press, 2018
Drawing on more than two years of participant observation in the American Midwest and in Madagascar among Lutheran clinicians, volunteer laborers, healers, evangelists, and former missionaries, Conversionary Sites investigates the role of religion in the globalization of medicine. Based on immersive research of a transnational Christian medical aid program, Britt Halvorson tells the story of a thirty-year-old initiative that aimed to professionalize and modernize colonial-era evangelism. Creatively blending perspectives on humanitarianism, global medicine, and the anthropology of Christianity, she argues that the cultural spaces created by these programs operate as multistranded “conversionary sites,” where questions of global inequality, transnational religious fellowship, and postcolonial cultural and economic forces are negotiated.
 
A nuanced critique of the ambivalent relationships among religion, capitalism, and humanitarian aid, Conversionary Sites draws important connections between religion and science, capitalism and charity, and the US and the Global South.
 
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Cultures Colliding
American Missionaries, Chinese Resistance, and the Rise of Modern Institutions in China
John R. Haddad
Temple University Press, 2023

As incredible as it may seem, the American missionaries who journeyed to China in 1860 planning solely to spread the Gospel ultimately reinvented their entire enterprise. By 1900, they were modernizing China with schools, colleges, hospitals, museums, and even YMCA chapters. In Cultures Colliding, John R. Haddad nimbly recounts this transformative institution-building—how and why it happened—and its consequences. 

When missionaries first traveled to rural towns atop mules, they confronted populations with entrenched systems of belief that embraced Confucius and rejected Christ. Conflict ensued as these Chinese viewed missionaries as unwanted disruptors. So how did this failing movement eventually change minds and win hearts? Many missionaries chose to innovate. They built hospitals and established educational institutions offering science and math. A second wave of missionaries opened YMCA chapters, coached sports, and taught college. Crucially, missionaries also started listening to Chinese citizens, who exerted surprising influence over the preaching, teaching, and caregiving, eventually running some organizations themselves. They embraced new American ideals while remaining thoroughly Chinese.

In Cultures Colliding, Haddad recounts the unexpected origins and rapid rise of American institutions in China by telling the stories of the Americans who established these institutions and the Chinese who changed them from within. Today, the impact of this untold history continues to resonate in China.

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Deliverance and Submission
Evangelical Women and the Negotiation of Patriarchy in South Korea
Kelly H. Chong
Harvard University Press, 2008

South Korea is home to one of the most vibrant evangelical Protestant communities in the world. This book investigates the meanings of—and the reasons behind—an intriguing aspect of contemporary South Korean evangelicalism: the intense involvement of middle-class women. Drawing upon extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Seoul that explores the relevance of gender and women’s experiences to Korean evangelicalism, Kelly H. Chong not only helps provide a clearer picture of the evangelical movement’s success in South Korea, but interrogates the global question of contemporary women’s attraction to religious traditionalisms.

In highlighting the growing disjunction between the forces of social transformation that are rapidly liberalizing modern Korean society, and a social system that continues to uphold key patriarchal structures on both societal and familial levels, Chong relates women’s religious involvement to the contradictions of South Korea’s recent socio-cultural changes and complex engagement with modernity. By focusing on the ways in which women’s religious participation constitutes—both spiritually and institutionally—an important part of their effort to negotiate the problems and dilemmas of contemporary family and gender relations, this book explores the contradictory significance of evangelical beliefs and practices for women, which simultaneously opens up possibilities for gender negotiation/resistance, and for women’s redomestication.

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Dispelling the Darkness
Donald S. Lopez Jr. and Thupten Jinpa
Harvard University Press, 2017

In a remote Himalayan village in 1721, the Jesuit priest Ippolito Desideri awaited permission from Rome to continue his mission to convert the Tibetan people to Christianity. In the meantime, he forged ahead with an ambitious project: a treatise, written in classical Tibetan, that would refute key Buddhist doctrines. If he could convince the Buddhist monks that these doctrines were false, thought Desideri, he would dispel the darkness of idolatry from Tibet.

Offering a fascinating glimpse into the historical encounter between Christianity and Buddhism, Dispelling the Darkness brings Desideri’s Tibetan writings to readers of English for the first time. This authoritative study provides extended excerpts from Inquiry concerning the Doctrines of Previous Lives and Emptiness, Desideri’s unfinished masterpiece, as well as a full translation of Essence of the Christian Religion, a companion work that broadens his refutation of Buddhism. Desideri possessed an unusually sophisticated understanding of Buddhism and a masterful command of the classical Tibetan language. He believed that only careful argumentation could demolish the philosophical foundations of Buddhism, especially the doctrines of rebirth and emptiness that prevented belief in the existence of God. Donald Lopez and Thupten Jinpa’s detailed commentary reveals how Desideri deftly used Tibetan literary conventions and passages from Buddhist scriptures to make his case.

When the Vatican refused Desideri’s petition, he returned to Rome, his manuscripts in tow, where they languished unread in archives. Dispelling the Darkness brings these vital texts to light after centuries of neglect.

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The Divine Institution
White Evangelicalism's Politics of the Family
Sophie Bjork-James
Rutgers University Press, 2021
The Divine Institution provides an account of how a theology of the family came to dominate a white evangelical tradition in the post-civil rights movement United States, providing a theological corollary to Religious Right politics. This tradition inherently enforces racial inequality in that it draws moral, religious, and political attention away from problems of racial and economic structural oppression, explaining all social problems as a failure of the individual to achieve the strong gender and sexual identities that ground the nuclear family. The consequences of this theology are both personal suffering for individuals who cannot measure up to prescribed gender and sexual roles, and political support for conservative government policies. Exposure to experiences that undermine the idea that an emphasis on the family is the solution to all social problems is causing a younger generation of white evangelicals to shift away from this narrow theological emphasis and toward a more social justice-oriented theology. The material and political effects of this shift remain to be seen.
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The Evangelical Crackup?
The Future of the Evangelical-Republican Coalition
Edited by Paul Djupe and Ryan L. Claassen
Temple University Press, 2019

Explores a crucial question in American national politics: How durable is the close connection between the GOP and the evangelical movement?

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Evangelical News
Politics, Gender, and Bioethics in Conservative Christian Magazines of the 1970s and 1980s
Anja-Maria Bassimir
University of Alabama Press, 2022
A comprehensive study of evangelical magazine discourse during the 1970s and 1980s and how it navigated and sustained religious convictions in a time of dramatic social change

The 1970s and 1980s were a tumultuous period in US history. In tandem with a dramatic political shift to the right, evangelicalism also entered the public discourse as a distinct religious movement and was immediately besieged by cultural appropriations and internal fragmentations. Americans in general and evangelicals in particular grappled with issues and ideas such as feminism, abortion, birth control, and restructuring traditional roles for women and the family. During this time, there was a surge in readership for evangelical periodicals such as Christianity Today, Moody Monthly, Eternity, and Post-Americans/Sojourners as well as the feminist newsletter Daughters of Sarah.

While each of these magazines—and other publications and media—contributed to and participated in the overall dissemination of evangelical ideology, they also had their own outlooks and political leanings concerning hot-button issues. In Evangelical News: Politics, Gender, and Bioethics in Conservative Christian Magazines of the 1970s and 1980s, Anja-Maria Bassimir presents a nuanced view of evangelicalism in the late twentieth century through the lens of the movement’s own media.

Bassimir argues that community can be produced in discourse, especially when shared rhetoric, concepts, and perspectives signal belonging. To accomplish this, Evangelical News traces the emergence of evangelical social and political awareness in the 1970s to the height of its power as a political program. The chapters investigate such topics as how evangelicals reenvisioned gender norms and relations in light of the feminist movement, the use of childhood as a symbol of unspoiled innocence, and the place of evangelicals as political actors.


 
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Evangelicals and Democracy in America
Religion and Politics
Steven G. Brint
Russell Sage Foundation, 2009
Separation of church and state is a bedrock principal of American democracy, and so, too, is active citizen engagement. Since evangelicals comprise one of the largest and most vocal voting blocs in the United States, tensions and questions naturally arise. In the two-volume Evangelicals and Democracy in America, editors Steven Brint and Jean Reith Schroedel have assembled an authoritative collection of studies of the evangelical movement in America. Religion and Politics, the second volume of the set, focuses on the role of religious conservatives in party politics, the rhetoric evangelicals use to mobilize politically, and what the history of the evangelical movement reveals about where it may be going. Part I of Religion and Politics explores the role of evangelicals in electoral politics. Contributor Pippa Norris looks at evangelicals around the globe and finds that religiosity is a strong predictor of ideological leanings in industrialized countries. But the United States remains one of only a handful of post-industrial societies where religion plays a significant role in partisan politics. Other chapters look at voting trends, especially the growing number of higher-income evangelicals among Republican ranks, how voting is influenced both by "values" and race, and the management of the symbols and networks behind the electoral system of moral-values politics. Part II of the volume focuses on the mobilizing rhetoric of the Christian Right. Nathaniel Klemp and Stephen Macedo show how the rhetorical strategies of the Christian Right create powerful mobilizing narratives, but frequently fail to build broad enough coalitions to prevail in the pluralistic marketplace of ideas. Part III analyzes the cycles and evolution of the Christian Right. Kimberly Conger looks at the specific circumstances that have allowed evangelicals to become dominant in some Republican state party committees but not in others. D. Michael Lindsay examines the "elastic orthodoxy" that has allowed evangelicals to evolve into a formidable social and political force. The final chapter by Clyde Wilcox presents a new framework for understanding the relationship between the Christian Right and the GOP based on the ecological metaphor of co-evolution. With its companion volume on religion and society, this second volume of Evangelicals and Democracy in America offers the most complete examination yet of the social circumstances and political influence of the millions of Americans who are white evangelical Protestants. Understanding their history and prospects for the future is essential to forming a comprehensive picture of America today.
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Evangelicals and Democracy in America
Religion and Society
Steven G. Brint
Russell Sage Foundation, 2009
By the end of the nineteenth century, the vast majority of U.S. churches were evangelical in outlook and practice. America's turn toward modernism and embrace of science in the early twentieth century threatened evangelicalism's cultural prominence. But as confidence in modern secularism wavered in the 1960s and 1970s, evangelicalism had another great awakening. The two volumes of Evangelicals and Democracy in America trace the development and current role of evangelicalism in American social and political life. Volume I focuses on who evangelicals are today, how they relate to other groups, and what role they play in U.S. social institutions. Part I of Religion and Society examines evangelicals' identity and activism. Contributor Robert Wuthnow explores the identity built around the centrality of Jesus, church and community service, and the born-again experience. Philip Gorski explores the features of American evangelicalism and society that explain the recurring mobilization of conservative Protestants in American history. Part II looks at how evangelicals relate to other key groups in American society. Individual chapters delve into evangelicals' relationship to other conservative religious groups, women and gays, African Americans, and mainline Protestants. These chapters show sources of both solidarity and dissension within the "traditionalist alliance" and the hidden strengths of mainline Protestants' moral discourse. Part III examines religious conservatives' influence on American social institutions outside of politics. W. Bradford Wilcox, David Sikkink, Gabriel Rossman, and Rogers Smith investigate evangelicals' influence on families, schools, popular culture, and the courts, respectively. What emerges is a picture of American society as a consumer marketplace with a secular legal structure and an arena of pluralistic competition interpreting what constitutes the public good. These chapters show that religious conservatives have been shaped by these realities more than they have been able to shape them. Evangelicals and Democracy in America, Volume I is one of the most comprehensive examinations ever of this important current in American life and serves as a corrective to erroneous popular representations. These meticulously balanced studies not only clarify the religious and social origins of evangelical mobilization, but also detail both the scope and limits of evangelicals' influence in our society. This volume is the perfect complement to its companion in this landmark series, Evangelicals and Democracy in America, Volume II: Religion and Politics.
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The Foreign Missionary Enterprise at Home
Explorations in North American Cultural History
Edited by Daniel H. Bays and Grant Wacker
University of Alabama Press, 2010

This volume is the first to examine at length and in detail the impact of the missionary experience on American cultural, political, and religious history.

This collection of 15 essays provides a fully developed account of the domestic significance of foreign missions from the 19th century through the Vietnam War. U.S. and Canadian missions to China, South America, Africa, and the Middle East have, it shows, transformed the identity and purposes of their mother countries in important ways. Missions provided many Americans with their first significant exposure to non-Western cultures and religions. They helped to establish a variety of new academic disciplines in home universities—linguistics, anthropology, and comparative religion among them. Missionary women helped redefine gender roles in North America, and missions have vitalized tiny local churches as well as entire denominations, causing them to rethink their roles and priorities, both here and abroad. In fact, missionaries have helped define our own national identity by influencing our foreign, trade, military, and immigration policies over the last two centuries.

Topics in the collection range from John Saillant's essay on the missions of free African Americans to Liberia in the 19th century to Grant Wacker's essay on the eventual disillusionment of noted writer Pearl S. Buck. Kathryn T. Long’s essay on the “Auca martyrs” offers a sobering case study of the missionary establishment's power to, in tandem with the evangelical and secular press, create and record the stories of our time. William L. Svelmoe documents the improbable friendship between fundamentalist Bible translator William Cameron Townsend and Mexico’s secular socialist president Lázaro Cárdenas. And Anne Blue Wills details the ways many American groups—black, Protestant, Catholic, and Mormon—sought to convert one another, stead-
fastly envisioning “others” as every bit as “heathen” as those in far-off lands.

The Foreign Missionary Enterprise at Home is an insightful, provocative collection that will stimulate much discussion and debate. It is valuable for academic libraries and seminaries, scholars of religious history and American studies, missionary groups, cultural historians and ethnographers, and political scientists.

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The Glass Church
Robert H. Schuller, the Crystal Cathedral, and the Strain of Megachurch Ministry
Mark T. Mulder
Rutgers University Press, 2020

Robert H. Schuller’s ministry—including the architectural wonder of the Crystal Cathedral and the polished television broadcast of Hour of Power—cast a broad shadow over American Christianity. Pastors flocked to Southern California to learn Schuller’s techniques. The President of United States invited him sit prominently next to the First Lady at the State of the Union Address. Muhammad Ali asked for the pastor’s autograph. It seemed as if Schuller may have started a second Reformation. And then it all went away. As Schuller’s ministry wrestled with internal turmoil and bankruptcy, his emulators—including Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Joel Osteen— nurtured megachurches that seemed to sweep away the Crystal Cathedral as a relic of the twentieth century. How did it come to this?

Certainly, all churches depend on a mix of constituents, charisma, and capital, yet the size and ambition of large churches like Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral exert enormous organizational pressures to continue the flow of people committed to the congregation, to reinforce the spark of charismatic excitement generated by high-profile pastors, and to develop fresh flows of capital funding for maintenance of old projects and launching new initiatives. The constant attention to expand constituencies, boost charisma, and stimulate capital among megachurches produces an especially burdensome strain on their leaders. By orienting an approach to the collapse of the Crystal Cathedral on these three core elements—constituency, charisma, and capital—The Glass Church demonstrates how congregational fragility is greatly accentuated in larger churches, a notion we label megachurch strain, such that the threat of implosion is significantly accentuated by any failures to properly calibrate the inter-relationship among these elements.

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A Guide to Formation Advising for Seminarians
Edward J. McCormack
Catholic University of America Press, 2020
The future of the Church depends, in part, on forming future priests and ministers who are ready to accompany, lead, and love the People of God. Formation advising is one important part of that work. A Guide to Formation Advising for Seminarians/Seminary Faculty offers a practical guide to formation advising as a ministry of accompaniment, participation, and evaluation. Deacon Edward McCormack offers a comprehensive introduction to the ministry of formation advising for seminarians studying for priestly ministry. These volumes are for men and women who are new to the ministry of formation advising. The recent Vatican guidelines for seminary formation call for professional accompaniment of seminarians throughout their formation. This book explains in concrete detail how to do this through the entire formation process. Beginning with an overview of the formation process, A Guide to Formation Advising for Seminarians/Seminary Faculty explains the role of the formation advisor and the skills required for that ministry. It describes the various ways the formation advisor accompanies a person through the formation process. McCormack also provides concrete suggestions for how to promote in seminarians’ active participation in the process. Formators will also find explanation of the evaluation process with a style sheet and examples of written evaluations. The handbook contains an annotated bibliography on all the major topics a formation advisor comes across.
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Handbook for Curates
A Late Medieval Manual on Pastoral Ministry
Guido of Monte Rochen
Catholic University of America Press, 2011
Guido of Monte Rochen's Handbook for Curates became the most popular pastoral manual at the close of the Middle Ages as thousands of copies were printed in Europe.
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Helping Groups Heal
Leading Groups in the Process of Transformation
Jan Paul Hook
Templeton Press, 2017
Life with others is messy. The bonds we form are often the source that drives us to helping professionals like therapists and pastors in the first place. And yet, it is from these relation­ships that our greatest moments of healing spring. Recogniz­ing the value of relationships, pastors and therapists have been leading small therapeutic groups for years. Yet few lead­ers have a specific, easy-to-follow, and researched framework to structure their groups.
Helping Groups Heal presents “The Healing Cycle,” a grace-based model that facilitates healing and growth in groups. It has been tested with a variety of settings, and can be adapted to nearly any small group, from sex addiction therapy to marriage therapy to Bible studies.
The basic components of “The Healing Cycle” are grace, safety, vulnerability, truth, ownership, and confession. Helping Groups Heal guides the reader through these elements, offering case studies and practical advice from the voices of researchers and practitioners. Each chapter shows how “The Healing Cycle” moves its members to share their truth, own it, and make positive change in their lives. Each step of the process allows participants to move past surface issues and find depth in their understanding of their pain.
Whether you have been leading small groups for years or are about to lead your first session, Helping Groups Heal is an accessible, easy-to-follow guide through “The Healing Cycle” that will give each group member what’s needed to grow, relate, and heal. 
 
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The Home Base of American China Missions, 1880–1920
Valentin H. Rabe
Harvard University Press, 1978

During the closing decades of the nineteenth century, approximately two dozen Protestant mission societies, which since 1812 had been sending Americans abroad to evangelize non-Christians, coordinated their enterprise and expanded their operations with unprecedented urgency and efficiency. Ambitious innovations characterized the work in traditional and new foreign mission fields, but the most radical changes occurred in the institutionalization of what contemporaries referred to as the home base of the mission movement.

Valentin Rabe focuses on the recruitment of personnel, fundraising, administration, promotional propaganda, and other logistical problems faced by the agencies in the United States. When generalizations concerning the American base require demonstration or references to the field of operations, China—the country in which American missionaries applied the greatest proportion of the movement's resources by the 1920s—is used as the primary illustration.

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It's a New Day
Race and Gender in the Modern Charismatic Movement
Scott Billingsley
University of Alabama Press, 2008
It’s a New Day chronicles the rise of women and African American evangelists in the independent charismatic movement in post-World War II America. Billingsley observes  current figures such as T. D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and Creflo Dollar, who were deeply influenced by charismatic pioneers Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin. The evangelists adopted their ministry-building and prosperity gospel tactics and are notable for megachurches, televangelism, and health-and-wealth doctrines.
 
The modern charismatic movement has grown far more sophisticated and has become a truly international phenomenon, and Pentecostals and charismatics hold a wide variety of views on race and gender.  Charismatic women ministers take to the pulpit, manage publishing empires, and lead the faithful in modern America. Similarly, both black and white charismatic ministers preach to integrated churches and hold integrated revivals, even while racial divides endure in the larger society. It’s a New Day contributes to our understanding and appreciation of one of the most vital sectors in current American religious life.
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Journey to the East
Liam Matthew Brockey
Harvard University Press, 2008

It was one of the great encounters of world history: highly educated European priests confronting Chinese culture for the first time in the modern era. This “journey to the East” is explored by Liam Brockey as he retraces the path of the Jesuit missionaries who sailed from Portugal to China, believing that, with little more than firm conviction and divine assistance, they could convert the Chinese to Christianity. Moving beyond the image of Jesuits as cultural emissaries, his book shows how these priests, in the first concerted European effort to engage with Chinese language and thought, translated Roman Catholicism into the Chinese cultural frame and eventually claimed two hundred thousand converts.

The first narrative history of the Jesuits’ mission from 1579 until the proscription of Christianity in China in 1724, this study is also the first to use extensive documentation of the enterprise found in Lisbon and Rome. The peril of travel in the premodern world, the danger of entering a foreign land alone and unarmed, and the challenge of understanding a radically different culture result in episodes of high drama set against such backdrops as the imperial court of Peking, the villages of Shanxi Province, and the bustling cities of the Yangzi Delta region. Further scenes show how the Jesuits claimed conversions and molded their Christian communities into outposts of Baroque Catholicism in the vastness of China. In the retelling, this story reaches across continents and centuries to reveal the deep political, cultural, scientific, linguistic, and religious complexities of a true early engagement between East and West.

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Kincraft
The Making of Black Evangelical Sociality
Todne Thomas
Duke University Press, 2021
In Kincraft Todne Thomas explores the internal dynamics of community life among black evangelicals, who are often overshadowed by white evangelicals and the common equation of the “Black Church” with an Afro-Protestant mainline. Drawing on fieldwork in an Afro-Caribbean and African American church association in Atlanta, Thomas locates black evangelicals at the center of their own religious story, presenting their determined spiritual relatedness as a form of insurgency. She outlines how church members cocreate themselves as spiritual kin through what she calls kincraft—the construction of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Kincraft, which Thomas traces back to the diasporic histories and migration experiences of church members, reflects black evangelicals' understanding of Christian familial connection as transcending racial, ethnic, and denominational boundaries in ways that go beyond the patriarchal nuclear family. Church members also use their spiritual relationships to navigate racial and ethnic discrimination within the majority-white evangelical movement. By charting kincraft's functions and significance, Thomas demonstrates the ways in which black evangelical social life is more varied and multidimensional than standard narratives of evangelicalism would otherwise suggest.
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King's Vibrato
Modernism, Blackness, and the Sonic Life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Maurice O. Wallace
Duke University Press, 2022
In King’s Vibrato Maurice O. Wallace explores the sonic character of Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice and its power to move the world. Providing a cultural history and critical theory of the black modernist soundscapes that helped inform King’s vocal timbre, Wallace shows how the qualities of King’s voice depended on a mix of ecclesial architecture and acoustics, musical instrumentation and sound technology, audience and song. He examines the acoustical architectures of the African American churches where King spoke and the centrality of the pipe organ in these churches, offers a black feminist critique of the influence of gospel on King, and outlines how variations in natural environments and sound amplifications made each of King’s three deliveries of the “I Have a Dream” speech unique. By mapping the vocal timbre of one of the most important figures of black hope and protest in American history, Wallace presents King as the embodiment of the sound of modern black thought.
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Language Learning and Teaching in Missionary and Colonial Contexts
L'apprentissage et l'enseignement des langues en contextes missionnaire et colonial
Dan Savatovsky
Amsterdam University Press, 2023
This volume assembles texts dedicated to the linguistic and educational aspects of missionary and colonial enterprises, taking into account all continents and with an extended diachronic perspective (15th–20th centuries). Strictly speaking, this “linguistics” is contemporary to the colonial era, so it is primarily the work of missionaries of Catholic orders and Protestant societies. It can also belong to a retrospective outlook, following decolonization. In the first category, one mostly finds transcription, translation, and grammatization practices (typically, the production of dictionaries and grammar books). In the second category, one finds in addition descriptions of language use, of situations of diglossia, and of contact between languages. Within this framework, the volume focuses on educational and linguistic policies, language teaching and learning, and the didactics that were associated with them.
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Learning from Case Studies in Chaplaincy
Towards Practice Based Evidence and Professionalism
Edited by Renske Kruizinga, Jacques Körver, Martin Walton, and Martjin Stoutjesdijk
Eburon Academic Publishers, 2020

The recent body of case-study work on chaplaincy care synthesizes the inherent narrative nature of chaplaincy with the structured rigors of contemporary care research. This volume is composed of contributions from both practitioners and academic researchers, joining reflections on the challenges of case studies in chaplaincy care with specific results. Drawing on reflections on methodology and professionalization in chaplaincy, the volume hopes to contribute to answering the question of how and why chaplaincy works.

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Liberty and Law
Brian Tierney
Catholic University of America Press, 2014
Liberty and Law examines a previously underappreciated theme in legal history - the idea of permissive natural law. The idea is mentioned only peripherally, if at all, in modern histories of natural law. Yet it engaged the attention of jurists, philosophers, and theologians over a long period and formed an integral part of their teachings. This ensured that natural law was not conceived of as merely a set of commands and prohibitions that restricted human conduct, but also as affirming a realm of human freedom, understood as both freedom from subjection and freedom of choice. Freedom can be used in many ways, and throughout the whole period from 1100 to 1800 the idea of permissive natural law was deployed for various purposes in response to different problems that arose. It was frequently invoked to explain the origin of private property and the beginnings of civil government.
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Life and Death in a Venetian Convent
The Chronicle and Necrology of Corpus Domini, 1395-1436
Sister Bartolomea Riccoboni
University of Chicago Press, 2000
These works by Sister Bartolomea Riccoboni offer an intimate portrait of the women who inhabited the Venetian convent of Corpus Domini, where they shared a religious life bounded physically by the convent wall and organized temporally by the rhythms of work and worship. At the same time, they show how this cloistered community vibrated with news of the great ecclesiastical events of the day, such as the Great Western Schism and the Council of Constance.

While the chronicle recounts the history of the nuns' collective life, the necrology provides highly individualized biographies of nearly fifty women who died in the convent between 1395 and 1436. We follow the fascinating stories that led these women, from adolescent girls to elderly widows, to join the convent; and we learn of their cultural backgrounds and intellectual accomplishments, their ascetic practices and mystical visions, their charity and devotion to each other and their fortitude in the face of illness and death.

The personal and social meaning of religious devotion comes alive in these texts, the first of their kind to be translated into English.

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Madness and Grace
A Practical Guide for Pastoral Care and Serious Mental Illness
Matthew Stanford
Templeton Press, 2021

Research tells us that when most people suffer from a mental health crisis, the first person they turn to for help is not a physician, a psychiatrist, or a social worker, but a pastor, a priest, or a minister. In other words, a leader in their church. Unfortunately, many church leaders are not trained to recognize mental illness and don’t know when to refer someone to a mental health professional. The consequence—unintended yet tragic—is continued and unnecessary suffering.

Madness and Grace is a comprehensive guide for church ministry to alleviate this situation. Written by Dr. Matthew Stanford, the book is carefully constructed to help build competency in detecting a wide spectrum of mental disorders, such as knowing when a person is contemplating suicide based on telltale patterns of speech. It also explodes common discriminatory myths that stigmatize people with mental illness, such as the myth that they are more prone to violence than others.

Dr. Stanford has treated clients throughout his career who were afflicted with all manner of mental disorders. In Madness and Grace, he takes the full extent of his experience and makes it accessible and actionable for the lay reader. He begins by explaining what constitutes a mental illness and how these disorders are classified according to science. He next teaches how to notice the presence of a mental illness by listening carefully to phraseology, observing behavior, and asking discerning questions. He goes on to discuss methods of treatment, common religious concerns about mental health, and ways church communities can support people on the road to recovery.

As a Christian, Dr. Stanford wants his fellow believers to know that acknowledging and seeking help for a mental illness is not a sign of weak faith. That’s why, in addition to sharing his medical expertise with church leaders, he commends pertinent biblical passages that underscore God’s concern for our mental wellbeing. These passages provide strength and comfort as complements to clinically-derived treatment and are essential to Dr. Stanford’s approach. “When working with those in severe psychological distress,” he writes, “compassion and grace are always the first line of pastoral care.”

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Making Men, Making Class
The YMCA and Workingmen, 1877-1920
Thomas Winter
University of Chicago Press, 2002
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the United States transformed from an essentially agrarian society into an urban, industrialized economy. In Making Men, Making Class, Thomas Winter explores the impact of these profound changes on constructions of manhood, using the YMCA's new efforts to reach out to railroad and industrial workers as a case study.

Starting in the 1870s, the leaders ("secretaries") of the YMCA sought to reduce political radicalism and labor unrest by instilling new ideals of manliness among workers. By involving workingmen in a range of activities on the job and off, the YMCA hoped to foster team spirit, moral conduct, and new standards of manhood that would avoid conflict and instead encourage cooperation along the lines of a Christian, pious manliness. In their efforts to make better men, the secretaries of the YMCA also crafted new ideals of middle-class manliness for themselves that involved a sense of mission and social purpose. In doing so, they ended up "making" class, too, as they began to speak a language of manhood structured by class differences.
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The Megachurch and the Mainline
Remaking Religious Tradition in the Twenty-first Century
Stephen Ellingson
University of Chicago Press, 2007

Religious traditions provide the stories and rituals that define the core values of church members. Yet modern life in America can make those customs seem undesirable, even impractical. As a result, many congregations refashion church traditions so they may remain powerful and salient. How do these transformations occur? How do clergy and worshipers negotiate which aspects should be preserved or discarded?

Focusing on the innovations of several mainline Protestant churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, Stephen Ellingson’s The Megachurch and the Mainline provides new understandings of the transformation of spiritual traditions. For Ellingson, these particular congregations typify a new type of Lutheranism—one which combines the evangelical approaches that are embodied in the growing legion of megachurches with American society’s emphasis on pragmatism and consumerism. Here Ellingson provides vivid descriptions of congregations as they sacrifice hymns in favor of rock music and scrap traditional white robes and stoles for Hawaiian shirts, while also making readers aware of the long history of similar attempts to Americanize the Lutheran tradition.

This is an important examination of a religion in flux—one that speaks to the growing popularity of evangelicalism in America.

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Missionary Men in the Early Modern World
German Jesuits and Pacific Journeys
Ulrike Strasser
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
How did gender shape the expanding Jesuit enterprise in the early modern world? What did it take to become a missionary man? And how did missionary masculinity align itself with the European colonial project? This book highlights the central importance of male affective ties and masculine mimesis in the formation of the Jesuit missions, as well as the significance of patriarchal dynamics. Focussing on previously neglected German figures, Strasser shows how stories of exemplary male behavior circulated across national boundaries, directing the hearts and feet of men throughout Europe towards Jesuit missions in faraway lands. The sixteenth-century Iberian exemplars of Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, disseminated in print and visual media, inspired late seventeenth-century Jesuits from German-speaking lands to bring Catholicism and European gender norms to the Spanish-controlled Pacific. As Strasser demonstrates, the age of global missions hinged on the reproduction of missionary manhood in print and real life.
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Native Apostles
Edward E. Andrews
Harvard University Press, 2013

As Protestantism expanded across the Atlantic world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, most evangelists were not white Anglo-Americans, as scholars have long assumed, but members of the same groups that missionaries were trying to convert. Native Apostles offers one of the most significant untold stories in the history of early modern religious encounters, marshalling wide-ranging research to shed light on the crucial role of Native Americans, Africans, and black slaves in Protestant missionary work. The result is a pioneering view of religion’s spread through the colonial world.

From New England to the Caribbean, the Carolinas to Africa, Iroquoia to India, Protestant missions relied on long-forgotten native evangelists, who often outnumbered their white counterparts. Their ability to tap into existing networks of kinship and translate between white missionaries and potential converts made them invaluable assets and potent middlemen. Though often poor and ostracized by both whites and their own people, these diverse evangelists worked to redefine Christianity and address the challenges of slavery, dispossession, and European settlement. Far from being advocates for empire, their position as cultural intermediaries gave native apostles unique opportunities to challenge colonialism, situate indigenous peoples within a longer history of Christian brotherhood, and harness scripture to secure a place for themselves and their followers.

Native Apostles shows that John Eliot, Eleazar Wheelock, and other well-known Anglo-American missionaries must now share the historical stage with the black and Indian evangelists named Hiacoomes, Good Peter, Philip Quaque, John Quamine, and many more.

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A New Vision for Missions
William Cameron Townsend, The Wycliffe Bible Translators, and the Culture of Early Evangelical Faith Missions, 1917-1945
William Lawrence Svelmoe
University of Alabama Press, 2008
“Cam” Townsend is rightly known as the visionary founder of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and the Wycliffe Bible Translators. This joint effort is now the largest Protestant mission organization in the world, a mission which has dramatically changed the culture of what used to be known as faith missions.
 
Townsend revolutionized Protestant missions by emphasizing that missionaries needed to learn the language of the people to whom they were sent and to live among them in order to understand their communities. His system stressed training the missionaries in public health, basic education, and agricultural skills. The demonstrated success of missionaries who followed Townsend’s plan led to SIL/WBT influence in the larger societies in which the organization was present. Townsend was non-dogmatic in seeking allies to pursue his objectives, including local political movements and power structures, academics, and other religious faiths, increasing the influence of his group to the point that SIL/WBT became a major factor in the national affairs of the countries in which they were active, particularly in Latin America.
 
The very success of Townsend’s methods led to trouble with his base in the United States. As conservative and evangelical financial backers and prospective missionaries saw the organization and Townsend working amicably with Roman Catholics, leftist political groups, and atheist and agnostic academics, the SIL/WBT ran into trouble at home.
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Pacific Apostle
The 1920-21 Diary of David O. McKay in the Latter-day Saint Island Missions
David O. McKay, Edited by Reid L. Neilson and Carson V. Teuscher
University of Illinois Press, 2020
In 1920, David O. McKay embarked on a journey that forever changed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His visits to the Latter-day Saint missions, schools, and branches in the Pacific solidified the Church leadership's commitment to global outreach. As importantly, the trip inspired McKay's own initiatives when he later became Church president. McKay's account of his odyssey brings to life the story of the Church of Jesus Christ’s transformation into a global faith. Throughout his diary, McKay expressed his humanity, curiosity, and fascination with cultures and places--the Maori hongi, East Asian customs, Australian wildlife, and more. At the same time, he and his travel companion, Hugh J. Cannon, detailed the Latter-day Saint missionary life of the era, closely observing logistical challenges and cultural differences, guiding various church efforts, and listening to followers' impressions and concerns. Reid L. Neilson and Carson V. Teuscher's meticulous notes provide historical, religious, and general context for the reader.Blending travelogue with history, Pacific Apostle illuminates the thought and work of an essential figure in the twentieth-century Church of Jesus Christ.
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Piercing the Clouds
Lectio Divina and the Preparation for Ministry
Kevin Zilverberg
Saint Paul Seminary Press, 2021
This book’s six essays pertain to the “piercing of the clouds,” or the experience of heavenly mysteries, which characterizes lectio divina practiced well. Moreover, these peer-reviewed essays give special attention to the practice of lectio divina during preparation for ministry, especially the ministry of Catholic priests. That being said, any current or prospective Bible-reader may profit from this book; most of its content applies to Catholic seminarians and literate Christians alike. Here follow brief descriptions of each chapter. Laurence Kriegshauser, OSB, begins the book with a chapter on the Western monastic tradition of lectio divina and seminary formation, including an historical survey of lectio divina, a description of its characteristics, and reflections on its practice in seminaries. Michael Magee reflects upon the implications of exegetical method for lectio divina, with a comparison and critique of three commentaries’ treatments of John 6. Konrad Schaefer, OSB, advocates for fostering growth and formation through lectio divina, beginning his chapter with a description of its theological underpinnings and then taking up some practical considerations for students. Marcin Kowalski focuses on meditatio of lectio divina following upon exegesis-informed lectio, with an examination of Romans 7:7–25 as a test case. Daniel Keating examines oratio and contemplatio (and actio) of lectio divina, giving attention to theologians from twelfth-century Carthusian Prior Guigo II to Pope Benedict XVI. Anthony Giambrone, OP, contributes the final essay, on searching the Scriptures and the mystery of preaching. For him, exquisitio (intellectual engagement) leads to supplicatio (prayerful supplication), which culminates in praedicatio (preaching).
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The Power of Patristic Preaching
The Word in Our Flesh
Andrew Hofer, OP
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
The Word made flesh is manifested in the lives of those dedicated to his proclamation. The Power of Patristic Preaching: The Word in Our Flesh presents seven early preachers who show, by life and speech, the divine Word’s power at work in weak human life. The book is inspired by this question preached by Origen, “For what does it profit if I should say that Jesus has come in that flesh alone which he received from Mary and I should not show also that he has come in this flesh of mine?” In seven chapters, The Power of Patristic Preaching studies the exemplars of Origen for holiness, Ephrem for the humility of repentance, Gregory of Nazianzus for purification and faith, John Chrysostom for the hope of salvation, Augustine for love, Leo the Great for love of the poor and the weak, and Gregory the Great for accepting our own weakness.  With an emphasis on the incarnation, deification through the virtues, and proclamation, The Power of Patristic Preaching serves as a resource for those dedicated to the ministry of the Word (clerical, religious, and lay), and as a text for students of early Christian theology and practices. A Catholic work for a broad ecumenical audience, the book gives a cry from the heart in a suffering Church traveling through a world that is passing away.
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Preaching to Convert
Evangelical Outreach and Performance Activism in a Secular Age
John Fletcher
University of Michigan Press, 2015
Preaching to Convert offers an intriguing new perspective on the outreach strategies of U.S. evangelicals, framing them as examples of activist performance, broadly defined as acts performed before an audience in the hopes of changing hearts and minds. Most writing about activist performance has focused on left-progressive causes, events, and actors. Preaching to Convert argues against such a constricted view of activism and for a more nuanced understanding of U.S. evangelicalism as a movement defined by its desire to win converts and spread the gospel.
 
The book positions evangelicals as a diverse, complicated group confronting the loss of conservative Christianity’s default status in 21st-century U.S. culture. In the face of an increasingly secular age, evangelicals have been reassessing models of outreach. In acts like handing out Bible tracts to strangers on the street or going door-to-door with a Bible in hand, in elaborately staged horror-themed morality plays or multimillion-dollar creationist discovery centers, in megachurch services beamed to dozens of satellite campuses, and in controversial “ex-gay” ministries striving to return gays and lesbians to the straight and narrow, evangelicals are redefining what it means to be deeply committed in a pluralist world. The book’s engaging style and careful argumentation make it accessible and appealing to scholars and students across a range of fields.
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Preaching to Latinos
Welcoming the Hispanic Moment in the U.S. Church
Michael Kueber
Catholic University of America Press, 2022
There is a wide and growing gap in the Catholic Church in the United States between the clergy, who are mostly of European descent, and the large percentages of Catholics who identify as Latinos. While the US Church has made a concerted effort to build Hispanic ministries, many clergy and lay ministers are still ill-equipped to understand the cultural background of their parishioners, especially the large numbers who are foreign born. Because of this disconnect, the Church risks missing "the Hispanic Moment" in the US Church, in which the faith and traditions of these newest waves of US immigration could not just exist in parallel to English-language congregations, but enrich and enliven the faith of the whole community while passing on the faith to subsequent generations. Learning Spanish--while helpful--is not enough. There are intercultural competencies that can only be developed through practice, but it also helps already-busy clergy to have a concise guide. In addition to knowing the scholarly literature on cross-cultural preaching and Hispanic culture, Father Michael Kueber has twenty years of experience serving first generation Hispanic immigrants and their second generation children. In Preaching to Latinos, Kueber provides the readers with best practices for preaching to and leading their churches. As a member of an ecumenical community, he is able to speak to members of all Christian denominations.
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The Priesthood, Mystery of Faith
Priestly Ministry in the Magisterium of John Paul II
Nilson Leal de Sa, CB
Catholic University of America Press, 2022
After almost twenty-seven years of his pontificate, what was John Paul II’s legacy regarding the ministerial priesthood? What answers did he give to the questions still surrounding this reality today? Nilson Leal de Sá, CB, examines the pontiff’s twenty-seven letters of Holy Thursday addressed annually to the priests. Unlike some papal documents, which are drafted by many hands, these letters to priests were born of a personal initiative, wherein the pope spoke ab imo pectore (from the depths of his heart), giving a little of himself and his thought. Cardinal Georges-Marie Cottier, theologian emeritus of the Pontifical House and a connoisseur of the texts of the Holy Father, has confirmed that “the Letters of Holy Thursday were written by John Paul II himself.” Leal de Sá has sought in the diversity of the letters of Holy Thursday the major points of the thought of John Paul II on this important topic. The first chapter dwells on the sources of his teaching and emphasizes his use of the Word of God, Tradition, and the conciliar Magisterium. These foundations are the basis of the second chapter, which highlights the priestly identity in the life of the Church. Finally, the third chapter elucidates the specific mission of the priest. The Priesthood, Mystery of Faith presents itself as a real and stimulating synthesis of John Paul II’s thought about the ministerial priesthood in a systematic way. It renews us in the appreciation of the inestimable gift that God makes to the whole Church through the sacrament of the Holy Orders.
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Religious Entanglements
Central African Pentecostalism, the Creation of Cultural Knowledge, and the Making of the Luba Katanga
David Maxwell
University of Wisconsin Press, 2023
Under the leadership of William F. P. Burton and James Salter, the Congo Evangelistic Mission (CEM) grew from a simple faith movement founded in 1915 into one of the most successful classical Pentecostal missions in Africa, today boasting more than one million members in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Drawing on artifacts, images, documents, and interviews, David Maxwell examines the roles of missionaries and their African collaborators—the Luba-speaking peoples of southeast Katanga—in producing knowledge about Africa.
 
Through the careful reconstruction of knowledge pathways, Maxwell brings into focus the role of Africans in shaping texts, collections, and images as well as in challenging and adapting Western-imported presuppositions and prejudices. Ultimately, Maxwell illustrates the mutually constitutive nature of discourses of identity in colonial Africa and reveals not only how the Luba shaped missionary research but also how these coproducers of knowledge constructed and critiqued custom and convened new ethnic communities.

Making a significant intervention in the study of both the history of African Christianity and the cultural transformations effected by missionary encounters across the globe, Religious Entanglements excavates the subculture of African Pentecostalism, revealing its potentiality for radical sociocultural change.
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The Revelation of Your Words
The New Evangelization and the Role of the Seminary Professor of Sacred Scripture
Kevin Zilverberg
Saint Paul Seminary Press, 2021
The Revelation of Your Words, a collection of essays, treats the role of the seminary professor of sacred Scripture within the context of the New Evangelization. Some of the essays concern principally the imparting of knowledge and best practices to accomplish this; others concern the fostering of delight in the sacred page and spiritual encounter with God. Although these essays are Catholic, written within a Catholic theological framework and with Catholic seminaries in mind, many of their conclusions can be applied to non-Catholic environments. This book provides insights that, even beyond the seminary, will benefit teachers of the Bible, regardless of their denomination and level of instruction. Readers will encounter the following authors and topics. Peter S. Williamson writes on the implications of the New Evangelization for priestly ministry and for teaching Scripture. Steven C. Smith makes a contribution concerning the role of the seminary professor of sacred Scripture in forming priests. Michael Magee treats the relevance of Johannine irony to the New Evangelization. Stephen Ryan’s chapter takes up the topic of Old Testament Wisdom literature and formation for a New Evangelization. Juana L. Manzo seeks a path to integrate modern and ancient interpretations into the seminary classroom. Kelly Anderson takes up the father of Proverbs 1–9 as a model of spiritual fatherhood for seminary professors. Scott Carl proposes a spiritual reading of sacred Scripture in the twenty-first century. Michael Magee, in his second contribution, writes on the joy of discovery in the Fourth Gospel. James Keating reflects upon the exegete as seminary formator. Finally, André Villeneuve advocates for the teaching of Biblical Hebrew in Catholic seminaries and academic institutions.
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Revivals, Awakening and Reform
William G. McLoughlin
University of Chicago Press, 1980
In Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform, McLoughlin draws on psychohistory, sociology, and anthropology to examine the relationship between America's five great religious awakenings and their influence on five great movements for social reform in the United States. He finds that awakenings (and the revivals that are part of them) are periods of revitalization born in times of cultural stress and eventuating in drastic social reform. Awakenings are thus the means by which a people or nation creates and sustains its identity in a changing world.

"This book is sensitive, thought-provoking and stimulating. It is 'must' reading for those interested in awakenings, and even though some may not revise their views as a result of McLoughlin's suggestive outline, none can remain unmoved by the insights he has provided on the subject."—Christian Century

"This is one of the best books I have read all year. Professor McLoughlin has again given us a profound analysis of our culture in the midst of revivalistic trends."—Review and Expositor
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The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Peking During the Eighteenth Century
Eric Widmer
Harvard University Press, 1976

This book is the first analytical treatment in any language of the “most durable ‘sino–foreign’ institution in modern Chinese history.” It traces the beginnings of a Russian-Orthodox presence in Peking several decades back before the commonly held date of its origin. It also shows how the news of the plight of prisoners from the Russian fortress of Albazin (taken by the Ch’ing in 1685) was transmitted back to Russia, and how the indecisiveness of the official Russian response colored the entire subsequent history of the mission. The chapters on the Orthodox missionary life in Peking and on the institutions of the mission provide us with new insight into life in the Ch’ing capital.

The tentative beginnings of Russian scholarly and scientific interest in Chinese matters, an outgrowth of the missionary presence in Peking, are also discussed. The book tackles an especially difficult case, for by ordinary standards the Russian ecclesiastical mission was a failure, not a success. The monks and students were an unruly lot, the mission itself never functioned as a full diplomatic institution, and the Chinese frequently treated the missionaries with neglect or disdain.

Yet, as the author demonstrates, even this apparent failure had a purpose. The mission served to maintain a minimal contact between the two empires throughout a long period of conflicting ambitions and actions in the Inner Asian theater.

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The Sawdust Trail
Billy Sunday in His Own Words
William A. Sunday
University of Iowa Press, 2005
Billy Sunday (1862-1935) was the best-known evangelist in America in the first half of the 20th century. Impoverished midwestern farm kid, professional baseball player, showman extraordinaire, unabashed patriot, and foe of the demon rum, this self-styled muscular Christian brought his brand of manly gospel to millions of Americans nationwide. Sunday connected with his fans through a combination of theatrics, conservative theology, and fervent patriotism; the circumstances of his life and work were consistent with a Horatio Alger-like myth of success that resonated with the millions of Americans of his time who had been transplanted from the farm to the city.

Published serially in the Ladies’ Home Journal in 1932 and 1933 and now in book form for the first time, The Sawdust Trail is the only autobiography that this hugely popular and hugely controversial preacher ever wrote. From his childhood days in Iowa to the early days of his conversion in Illinois, from his baseball career with the National League teams in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia to the challenges of preaching in New York City during his heyday, the sections of Sunday’s autobiography roll out like so many exuberant sermons, yet the sympathetic reader can hear echoes of the loneliness and misery of his early years.

In The Sawdust Trail the sometimes appalling but always appealing Billy Sunday creates a usable past for himself, notable for what he omits as well as for what he includes, which gives us insight not just into his own life and career but also into the peculiar history of evangelism in America.
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Science and Salvation
Evangelical Popular Science Publishing in Victorian Britain
Aileen Fyfe
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Threatened by the proliferation of cheap, mass-produced publications, the Religious Tract Society issued a series of publications on popular science during the 1840s. The books were intended to counter the developing notion that science and faith were mutually exclusive, and the Society's authors employed a full repertoire of evangelical techniques—low prices, simple language, carefully structured narratives—to convert their readers. The application of such techniques to popular science resulted in one of the most widely available sources of information on the sciences in the Victorian era.

A fascinating study of the tenuous relationship between science and religion in evangelical publishing, Science and Salvation examines questions of practice and faith from a fresh perspective. Rather than highlighting works by expert men of science, Aileen Fyfe instead considers a group of relatively undistinguished authors who used thinly veiled Christian rhetoric to educate first, but to convert as well. This important volume is destined to become essential reading for historians of science, religion, and publishing alike.
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Sienese Hospitals Within and Beyond the City Walls
Charity and the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala, 1400–1600
Sarah Loose Guerrero
Arc Humanities Press, 2023
This book combines the history of charitable institutions with the study of power in urban and rural spaces from the late medieval to the early modern era. Focusing on the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, the book goes beyond examining hospitals in an urban context to also consider the significant impact of charitable institutions in rural spaces. Case studies of Santa Maria della Scala's farms allow an investigation of the relationship between urban institutions and their rural properties, while looking at subject hospitals outside the Sienese state offers a glimpse into the competition for power with non-Sienese entities. As Siena's politics shifted in the sixteenth century, Santa Maria della Scala and its rural spaces became sites where power was negotiated. The book thus demonstrates how geographies of power affected the practice of charity for both urban hospitals and the rural communities they influenced.
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Sins of Christendom
Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Evangelicalism
Nathaniel Wiewora
University of Illinois Press, 2024
Evangelical criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dates back to the earliest days of the Church. Nathaniel Wiewora uses the diverse animus expressed by evangelicals to illuminate how they used an imaginary Church as a proxy to disagree, attack, compromise, and settle differences among themselves. As Wiewora shows, the evangelical practice to contrast itself with the emerging faith not only encompassed but also went beyond religious matters. If Joseph Smith was accused of muddling religious truth, he and his followers also faced accusations of immoral economic practices and a sinful regard for wealth that reflected worries within the evangelical world. Attacks on Latter-day Saints’ emotional religious displays, the Book of Mormon’s authenticity, and the dangerous ideas represented by Nauvoo paralleled similar conflicts. Wiewora traces how the failure to blunt the Church’s success led evangelicals to change their own methods and pursue the religious education infrastructure that came to define parts of the movement.
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Sisters in Spirit
Christianity, Affect, and Community Building in East Africa, 1860–1970
Andreana C. Prichard
Michigan State University Press, 2017
In this pioneering study, historian Andreana Prichard presents an intimate history of a single mission organization, the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa (UMCA), told through the rich personal stories of a group of female African lay evangelists. Founded by British Anglican missionaries in the 1860s, the UMCA worked among refugees from the Indian Ocean slave trade on Zanzibar and among disparate communities on the adjacent Tanzanian mainland. Prichard illustrates how the mission’s unique theology and the demographics of its adherents produced cohorts of African Christian women who, in the face of linguistic and cultural dissimilarity, used the daily performance of a certain set of “civilized” Christian values and affective relationships to evangelize to new inquirers. The UMCA’s “sisters in spirit” ultimately forged a united spiritual community that spanned discontiguous mission stations across Tanzania and Zanzibar, incorporated diverse ethnolinguistic communities, and transcended generations. Focusing on the emotional and personal dimensions of their lives and on the relationships of affective spirituality that grew up among them, Prichard tells stories that are vital to our understanding of Tanzanian history, the history of religion and Christian missions in Africa, the development of cultural nationalisms, and the intellectual histories of African women.
 
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Situating the Andean Colonial Experience
Ayllu Tales of History and Hagiography in the Time of the Spanish
Denise Y. Arnold
Arc Humanities Press, 2021
Re-situating Andean colonial history from the perspective of the local historians of ayllu Qaqachaka, in highland Bolivia, this book draws on regional oral history combined with local and public written archives. Rejecting the binary models in vogue in colonial and postcolonial studies (indigenous/non-indigenous, Andean/Western, conquered/conquering), it explores the complex intercalation of legal pluralism and local history in the negotiations around Spanish demands, resulting in the so-called “Andean pact.” The Qaqachaka’s point of reference was the preceding Inka occupation, so in fulfilling Spanish demands they sought cultural continuity with this recent past. Spanish colonial administration, with its roots in Roman-Germanic and Islamic law, infiltrated many practices into the newly-conquered territories. Two major cycles of ayllu tales trace local responses to these colonial demands, in the practices for establishing settlements, and the feeding and dressing of the Catholic saints inside the new church, with their forebears in the Inka mummies.
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Stained Glass Ceilings
How Evangelicals Do Gender and Practice Power
Lisa Weaver Swartz
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Stained Glass Ceilings speaks to the intersection of gender and power within American evangelicalism by examining the formation of evangelical leaders in two seminary communities.Southern Baptist Theological Seminary inspires a vision of human flourishing through gender differentiation and male headship. Men practice “Godly Manhood," and are taught to act as the "head" of a family, while their wives are socialized into codes of “Godly Womanhood" that prioritize prescribed gender roles. This power structure privileges men yet offers agency to their wives in women-centered spaces and through marital relationships. Meanwhile, Asbury Theological Seminary promises freedom from gendered hierarchies. Appealing to a story of gender-blind equality, Asbury welcomes women into classrooms, administrative offices, and pulpits. But the institution’s construction of egalitarianism obscures the fact that women are rewarded for adapting to an existing male-centered status quo rather than for developing their own voices as women. Featuring high-profile evangelicals such as Al Mohler and Owen Strachan, along with young seminarians poised to lead the movement in the coming decades, Stained Glass Ceilings illustrates the liabilities of white evangelical toolkits and argues that evangelical culture upholds male-centered structures of power even as it facilitates meaning and identity.
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Taking Christianity to China
Alabama Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 1850–1950
Wayne Flynt and Gerald W. Berkley
University of Alabama Press, 2017

Beginning early in the 19th century, the American missionary movement made slow headway in China. Alabamians became part of that small beachhead. After 1900 both the money and personnel rapidly expanded, peaking in the early 1920s. By the 1930s many American denominations became confused and divided over the appropriateness of the missionary endeavor. Secular American intellectuals began to criticize missionaries as meddling do-gooders trying to impose American Evangelicalism on a proud, ancient culture.

By examining the lives of 47 Alabama missionaries who served in China between 1850 and 1950, Flynt and Berkley reach a different conclusion. Although Alabama missionaries initially fit the negative description of Americans trying to superimpose their own values and beliefs on "heathen," they quickly learned to respect Chinese civilization. The result was a new synthesis, neither entirely southern nor entirely Chinese. Although previous works focus on the failure of Christianity to change China, this book focuses on the degree to which their service in China changed Alabama missionaries. And the change was profound.

In their consideration of 47 missionaries from a single state--their call to missions, preparation for service in China, living, working, contacts back home, cultural clashes, political views, internal conflicts, and gender relations--the authors suggest that the efforts by Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian missionaries from Alabama were not the failure judged by many historians. In fact, the seeds sown in the hundred years before the Communist revolution in 1950 seem to be reaping a rich harvest in the declining years of the 20th century, when the number of Chinese Christians is estimated by some to be as high as one hundred million.

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Terror in Minnie Vautrin's Nanjing
Diaries and Correspondence, 1937-38
Minnie Vautrin. Edited and with an Introduction by Suping Lu
University of Illinois Press, 2007

In December of 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army marched into China's capital city of Nanjing and launched six weeks of carnage that would become known as the Rape of Nanjing. In addition to the deaths of Chinese POWs and civilians, tens of thousands of women were raped, tortured, and killed by Japanese soldiers. In this traumatic environment, both native and foreign-born inhabitants of Nanjing struggled to carry on with their lives.

This volume collects the diaries and correspondence of Minnie Vautrin, a farmgirl from Illinois who had dedicated herself to the education of Chinese women at Ginling College in Nanjing. Faced with the impending Japanese attack, she turned the school into a sanctuary for ten thousand women and girls. Vautrin's firsthand accounts of daily life in Nanjing and the intensifying threat of Japanese invasion reveal the courage of the occupants under siege--Chinese nationals as well as Western missionaries, teachers, surgeons and business people--and the personal costs of violence in wartime.

Thanks to Vautrin's painstaking effort in keeping a day-to-day account, present-day readers are able to examine this episode of history at close range through her eyes. With detailed maps, photographs, and carefully researched in-depth annotations, Terror in Minnie Vautrin's Nanjing: Diaries and Correspondence, 1937-38 presents a comprehensive and detailed daily account of the events and of life during the horror-stricken days within the city walls and in particular on the Ginling campus. Through chronologically arranged diaries, letters, reports, documents, and telegrams, Vautrin bears witness to those terrible events and to the magnitude of trauma that the Nanjing Massacre exacted on the populace.

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To Do Justice
The Civil Rights Ministry of Reverend Robert E. Hughes
Randall C. Jimerson
University of Alabama Press, 2022
Biography of a civil rights activist who worked tirelessly at the heart of two social and political revolutions

A native Alabamian, Reverend Robert E. Hughes worked full-time in the civil rights movement as executive director of the Alabama Council of Human Relations, where he developed a close relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After facing backlash from the Ku Klux Klan, spending four days in jail for refusing to disclose ACHR membership lists, and ultimately being forced to leave the state of Alabama, he served as a Methodist missionary in Southern Rhodesia (now part of Zimbabwe). After two years of organizing Black liberation groups, he was banned as a “prohibited immigrant” by the Ian Smith government. His lifelong commitment to social justice, racial equality, and peaceful resolution of conflicts marks a fascinating career richly documented in this comprehensive biography.

To Do Justice: The Civil Rights Ministry of Reverend Robert E. Hughes traces the life and career of an admirable and lesser-known civil rights figure who fought injustice on two continents. This account presents valuable new evidence about the civil rights movement in the United States as well as human rights and liberation issues in colonial Southern Rhodesia in the years leading up to independence and self-rule. It provides an intimate portrait of a courageous individual who worked outside of the public spotlight but provided essential support and informational resources to public activists and news reporters
.
Randall C. Jimerson explores the interwoven threads of race relations and religious beliefs on two continents, focusing on the dual themes of the American civil rights movement and the African struggles for decolonization and majority rule. The life and career of Robert Hughes provide insight into the international dimensions of racial prejudice and discrimination that can be viewed in comparative context to similar oppressions in other colonial lands.

 
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To Save My Race from Abuse
The Life of Samuel Robert Cassius
Edward J. Robinson
University of Alabama Press, 2009
The story of a fascinating and important figure in black American religious history
 
Samuel Robert Cassius was born to a slave mother and a white father in Virginia in 1853 and became a member of the Restorationist Movement (Disciples of Christ) while a coal miner in Indiana. For the rest of his long life (he died in 1931 at age 78), Cassius was an active evangelist, prolific publicist, dedicated leader of black Disciples, and an outspoken and uncompromising opponent of racism in religion and society.
 
An indefatigable preacher, Cassius ranged throughout the Midwest, California, and the southwestern states, founding and encouraging black Stone-Campbell Restorationist congregations. After entering the Oklahoma Territory in 1891, he worked for three decades as an educator, newspaper editor, social activist, postmaster, and Justice of the Peace. Because he consistently incorporated social and racial issues into his religious writings, Cassius often found himself at odds with whites in the Stone-Campbell Movement, the very people he relied on for monetary support. He advocated a Booker T. Washington-style self-help ethos while at the same time firmly resisting racism wherever he encountered it. Largely invisible in a world dominated by such towering figures as Washington, Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and W. E. B. DuBois, Cassius lived a life of virtual obscurity beyond the circle of the Stone-Campbell Movement. His story is important because, as a racial militant and separatist, he presaged the schism that would engulf and fracture the Churches of Christ in the 1960s, when blacks and whites went their separate ways and formed two distinct groups in one religious fellowship.
 
By combing through a plethora of primary sources that Cassius left behind in both religious and nonreligious journals, Edward J. Robinson has successfully reconstructed and recaptured the essence of Cassius’ complex and extraordinary life. This book offers the first full-length study of a man of remarkable attainment despite daily obstacles and resistance.
 
 
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Tradition And Belief
Religious Writing in Late Anglo-Saxon England
Clara A. Lees
University of Minnesota Press, 1999

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The Truth about Conservative Christians
What They Think and What They Believe
Andrew M. Greeley and Michael Hout
University of Chicago Press, 2006

Ever since the reelection of President Bush, conservative Christians have been stereotyped in the popular media: Bible-thumping militants and anti-intellectual zealots determined to impose their convictions on such matters as evolution, school prayer, pornography, abortion, and homosexuality on the rest of us. But conservative Christians are not as fanatical or intractable as many people think, nor are they necessarily the monolithic voting block or political base that kept Bush in power. 

Andrew M. Greeley and Michael Hout's eye-opening book expertly conveys the complexity, variety, and sensibilities of conservative Christians, dispelling the myths that have long shrouded them in prejudice and political bias. For starters, Greeley and Hout reveal that class and income have trumped moral issues for these Americans more often than we realize: a dramatic majority of working-class and lower-class conservative Christians backed liberals such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton during their runs for president. And when it comes to abortion, most conservative Christians are not consistently pro-life in the absolute fashion usually assumed: they are still more likely to oppose the practice than other Americans, but 86 percent of them are willing to tolerate it to protect the health of the mother or when the woman has been raped, and 22 percent of them are even pro-choice.

What do conservative Christians really think about evolution, homosexuality, or even the meaning of the word of God? Answering these questions and more, The Truth about Conservative Christians will interest—and surprise—a broad range of readers, especially in this heated election year. 

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Understanding the Religious Priesthood
History, Controversy, Theology
Christian, OSB Raab
Catholic University of America Press, 2020
Most contemporary theologies of Holy Orders consider priesthood mainly in its diocesan context and most contemporary theologies of religious life do not consider how ordained ministry functions when it is internal rather than external to religious life. Understanding the Religious Priesthood provides a history and theology of religious priesthood that contributes to our understanding of this vocation’s identity and mission. It uncovers what religious priesthood shares with diocesan priesthood and non-ordained religious life and what makes it different from both those other vocations. Christian Raab begins by tracing the history of religious priesthood from its origins in the early Church to the eve of the Second Vatican Council. He demonstrates that religious priests often faced questions about how to reconcile their two callings, but that they also provided answers in their theologies and spiritualities of priesthood and religious life. Meanwhile, they made key contributions to the Church’s life and mission. Raab then investigates the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on priesthood and religious life. Observing that the Council presented priesthood according to a diocesan typology and presented religious life without sacerdotal associations, he argues that the lack of imagery of religious priesthood contributed to a post-conciliar vocational identity crisis among religious priests. He then seeks to remedy this lacuna by appealing to the biblical images for religious priesthood Hans Urs von Balthasar offered in his theology of vocations. Raab argues that Balthasar’s imagery is a promising way forward for understanding the identity and mission of religious priesthood. In a final part, Raab provides a substantial theological articulation of religious priesthood which illuminates its liturgical signification, ecclesial mediation and mission, and ministerial identity. Here he draws not only from Balthasar but also from Pope John Paul II, Yves Congar, Jean-Marie Tillard, Brian Daley, and Guy Mansini to construct his profile.
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The Visitor
André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia
Liam Matthew Brockey
Harvard University Press, 2014

In an age when few people ventured beyond their place of birth, André Palmeiro left Portugal on a journey to the far side of the world. Bearing the title “Father Visitor,” he was entrusted with the daunting task of inspecting Jesuit missions spanning from Mozambique to Japan. A global history in the guise of a biography, The Visitor tells the story of a theologian whose extraordinary travels bore witness to the fruitful contact—and violent collision—of East and West in the early modern era.

In India, Palmeiro was thrust into a controversy over the missionary tactics of Roberto Nobili, who insisted on dressing the part of an indigenous ascetic. Palmeiro walked across Southern India to inspect Nobili’s mission, recording fascinating observations along the way. As the highest-ranking Jesuit in India, he also coordinated missions to the Mughal Emperors and the Ethiopian Christians, as well as the first European explorations of the East African interior and the highlands of Tibet.

Orders from Rome sent Palmeiro farther afield in 1626, to Macau, where he oversaw Jesuit affairs in East Asia. He played a crucial role in creating missions in Vietnam and seized the opportunity to visit the Chinese mission, trekking thousands of miles to Beijing as one of China’s first Western tourists. When the Tokugawa Shogunate brutally cracked down on Christians in Japan—where neither he nor any Westerner had power to intervene—Palmeiro died from anxiety over the possibility that the last Jesuits still alive would apostatize under torture.

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A Walking Disaster
What Surviving Katrina and Cancer Taught Me about Faith and Resilience
Jamie Aten
Templeton Press, 2020

Is there a meaning to our suffering? Is hope realistic when tragedy befalls us? Is a return to normalcy possible after our life is uprooted by catastrophe? These are the questions that disaster psychologist Dr. Jamie Aten wrestled with when he was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. In this gripping memoir, Aten shares the life-affirming and faith-renewing insights that he discovered during his tumultuous struggle against the disease.

Aten’s journey began in 2005 when Hur­ricane Katrina struck his community. After witnessing the devastation wrought by the storm, he dedicated his career to investigat­ing how people respond to and recover from all manner of disasters. He studied disaster zones around the globe and founded the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College. His expertise, however, was little comfort when a fateful visit with his oncolo­gist revealed advanced and aggressive cancer. “You’re in for your own personal disaster” was his doctor’s prognosis.

Thrust into a battle for his life, with cancer cells and chemotherapy ravaging his body, Aten found his professional interest taking on new meaning. His ordeal taught him firsthand how we can sustain ourselves when burdened with seemingly unbear­able suffering. Some of his counterintuitive insights include: to find hope, be cautious of optimism; when you want help the least is when you need it most; and spiritual surren­der, rather than a passive act, is instead an act of profound courage.
This last point speaks to the element of grace in Dr. Aten’s story. As he struggled to understand the significance of his suffering, he found himself examining his Christian faith down to its bedrock and learned to experience the redeeming presence of God in his life. Dr. Aten has a natural exuberance that shines through his writing. Infused with his compassionate voice and humanitarian concern,

A Walking Disaster is ultimately an inspirational story about the power of the human spirit to endure trauma with cour­age.

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The Way of Humility
St. Augustine's Theology of Preaching
Charles J. Kim
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
For Augustine, that the Word became flesh transformed a merely human understanding of the virtues and grounds all virtue in humility. The Way of Humility: Augustine’s Theology of Preaching explores how this truth became a new paradigm for understanding the scriptures and thus, how Augustine embodied the virtue in the preaching of the scriptures. One of Augustine’s most devoted students, Possidius, said that anyone can learn from reading Augustine, but “those were able to profit still more who could hear him speak in church and see him with their own eyes. Truly, he was indeed one of those of whom it is written, ‘speak this way and act the same way.’” The Way of Humility searches for evidence of the virtue of humility in action through the preaching of the humble Word in the sermons of Augustine. Many know of Augustine through his more famous treatises but few have encountered the Doctor of Grace where he had his most immediate impact, preaching. The Way of Humility follows the sermons through several traditional theological loci, ecclesiology, Christology, soteriology to uncover what can be learned about Augustine’s theology through the way he preached to a mixed audience of urbanites and rustics, many of whom did not have the benefit of a formal education. Throughout the book, we see the interplay between Augustine’s action in speech and Augustine’s more direct statements on his theology of Preaching. Through handing over Christ in his sermons, he became himself an example of humility for the congregation on their journey toward the final end for all people, the Beatific Vision.
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Woman in the Wilderness
Letters of Harriet Wood Wheeler, Missonary Wife, 1832-1892
Nancy Bunge
Michigan State University Press, 2010
Woman in the Wilderness is a collection of letters written between 1832 and 1892 to and by an American woman, Harriet Wood Wheeler.
     Harriet's letters reveal her experiences with actors and institutions that played pivotal roles in the history of American women: the nascent literate female work force at the mills in Lowell, Massachusetts; the Ipswich Female Seminary, which was one of the first schools for women teachers; women's associations, especially in churches; and the close and enduring ties that characterized women's relationships in the late nineteenth century.
     Harriet's letters also provide an intimate view of the relationships between American Indians and Euro-Americans in the Great Lakes region, where she settled with her Christian missionary husband.
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