Christian Fundamentalism in America

A Cultural History

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About the Book

Today the United States is plagued with cultural and political polarization—the Reds and the Blues. Because religion has been of great significance in America right from the first colonists who believed themselves to be God’s chosen nation, it is not surprising that religion constitutes the basis of today’s dichotomy. The recent resurgence of Christian fundamentalism is significant for the future of America as a nation “under God.”
This book examines the history of conservative American Christianity as it interacts with liberal beliefs. With the Enlightenment, the Puritan sense of mission faded, but was rekindled with the Great Awakening. This religious movement unified the colonies and provided an animating ideal which led to revolution against Britain. But soon after, the forces of liberalism made inroads, and the seeds of division were planted. This balanced account favors neither conservative nor liberal. It is history with a human touch, emphasizing personalities from Jonathan Edwards and William Jennings Bryan to David Koresh and Jim Jones.

About the Author(s)

David S. New, holds an M.A. from Princeton and a Ph.D. in religious studies from McMaster University. He lives in Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

David S. New
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 265
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7058-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9098-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. “As a City upon a Hill”      9

2. The Great Awakening      22

3. Bonfire of the Vanities      34

4. The American Millennium      40

5. Democratic Evangelism      49

6. The Great Disappointment      59

7. Threat from Abroad      78

8. The Birth of Liberalism      96

9. The True Church      104

10. Made in the USA      111

11. The Fundamentalists      122

12. Showdown in Dayton      130

13. Conservatives Resurgent      147

14. A Hidden Culture      156

15. The Seventh Angel      173

16. False Prophets      185

17. True Believers      199

18. Book of Sevens      204

19. The Millennium: Hope for the Future?      213

Notes      217

Bibliography      235

Index      253

Book Reviews & Awards

“[New] provides a comprehensive, highly readable, and thorough account of the complex dimensions of the American religious experiment”—Theological Studies; “traces the social and political dimensions of the recurrent waves of conservative religious frenzy that have washed over the U.S.”—Reference & Research Book News.