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Fundamentalism and American Culture (New Edition) Paperback – February 23, 2006
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"Marsden reveals a great deal of history, showing the origins, development and growth of evangelicalism and fundamentalism. His is a focused yet broad scholarly work that has stood the test of time, a worthwhile history resource on fundamentalism in America."--Congregational Libraries Today
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Overview of the Book
Marsden divides his book into three sections (these sections are different in intent than the above themes. Marsden uses these sections to expand on his themes), Evangelicalism before Fundamentalism, the Shaping of Fundamentalism as a Movement, and the Crucial Years in which it gained popularity and its subsequent exodus of public life. In understanding the rise of Fundamentalism at the end of the nineteenth-century one must understand the backdrop from which it arose-nineteenth-century evangelicalism.
Marsden concludes the book by re-emphasizing his definition of Fundamentalism as a militant anti-modernist conservative force. For Marsden this should be the starting point for defining the movement.Read more ›
Marsden does a nice of discussing some of the towering figures of the movement: D.L Moody, R.A Torrey, Arno Gaebelein, J, Gresham Machen, Jonathan Blanchard and Charles Blanchard (the President of Wheaton College). He shows how early fundamentalists like R.A Torrey and W.H Griffith Thomas thought that evangelical zeal should be coupled with social concern. Marsden also highlights the fundamentalist disdain over the more liberal Social Gospel, which jettisoned evangelism completely.
We also get to see the fundamentalists like Billy Sunday and William Jennings Bryan, who were concerned about people coming to know Christ, but not quite as concerned about people coming to know more about the doctrinal content of Christianity. This was a major concern of the evangelical Princeton theologians (BB Warfield, Charles Hodge, and J. Gresham Machen).
There is also a newer chapter in this edition that traces the development of fundamentalism from 1980 to the present day. In this chaoter, Marsden also takes himself to task for not discussing how the relaxed mores of the "Roaring Twenties" alarmed the fundamentalist community, nor did her mention the role of women in the fundamentalist movement of 1871-1925.
But these criticisms duly noted, I still like the book very much and commend it to those interested in religious movements.
Rev. Marc Axelrod
Marsden focuses on three major themes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Over the course of the twentieth century, fundamentalism has existed as a counterpoint to the excesses of modernity in the United States. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Lindsey M
A most interesting and useful history: very well worth readingPublished 4 months ago by J F G Shearmur
I like this book. It is thorough and well documented. It does not belittle the fundamentalist. At times, the author is hard to follow.Published 5 months ago by John E. Banks
Great book! Marsden is a great historian when it comes to American Christianity. This book gives great insight to changes and developments in evangelical fundamentalism though... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jonathan Roach
Great and critical read about American Protestantism. Marsden is knowledgeable in his subject. Great companion read to "Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism... Read morePublished on October 23, 2013 by Robert Allen
Marsden's treatment of American Fundamentalism is fair and thorough. His writing style makes this book a pleasure to read. Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by T. J. Whartenby