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American Evangelicalism: Conservative Religion and the Quandary of Modernity Paperback – February 1, 1983

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About the Author

James Davison Hunter is professor of sociology and religious studies at the University of Virginia and is the author of "American Evangelicalism: Conservative Religion and the Quandary of Modernity. Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation" received the 1988 Distinguished Book Award of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (February 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813509858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813509853
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
James Davison Hunter, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, portrays Evangelical college students in Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, c. 1987), using data drawn from nine liberal arts Evangelical colleges (members of the Christian College Coalition) and seven Evangelical seminaries. Hunter regards Evangelicalism as indeed the healthiest of American religious sectors, and he endeavors to predict what it will become in the hands of the coming generation. To accomplish this, he focuses on four areas: Evangelicalism's "theology; its view of work, morality, and the self; its ideal of the family; and its political culture" (p. 15).
Theologically, he finds young Evangelicals far less certain than were their elders of such things as an inerrant Scripture, a literal hell, of salvation solely through faith in Christ. They frequently value the "social gospel" as much as, if not more than, the traditional evangelical concern for "saving the lost."
(Though he labels these issues "theological," he does not in fact treat truly theological themes such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc.; here his sociological orientation may blind him to those "theological" concerns young Evangelicals still espouse.) Hunter finds the efforts of Evangelicals to attain scholarly respectability, to escape the ghetto-style mentality of earlier Fundamentalism, subtly eroding the earlier certainties of Evangelicalism's theology.
Likewise, he finds data showing the decline of the traditional evangelical work ethic--and especially its "moral asceticism." In earlier times, evangelicals sought to be non-worldly, but today's representatives often seek to identify and conform to the world.
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