“[E]xplores the path taken by evangelicals from ardently opposing the dissemination and use of contraception in the late 19thcentury to acceptance by the mid-1900s… Recommended.”
—B. F. Le Beau, Choice
“Godly Seed: American Evangelicals Confront Birth Control, 1873-1973 examines the history and process by which evangelical leaders eventually moved from being against contraception to accepting birth control and even briefly abortion. It uncovers a relatively little-known segment of evangelical history and Christian religion, exploring shifts in arguments and interests in the early Church and following the religious movement's influences and changing interpretations of the Bible. Any Christian collection strong in Christian social history will find this a scholarly survey that fills in many gaps.”
—The Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review
“[A] fascinating history of sex, contraceptives and abortion… Godly Seed is more than a history of abortion, spotlighting those who opposed it and others who defended it. It is also a book of the rich history of the church, both catholic and protestant… Godly Seed should be in the library of all, no matter what side of the debate you stand. It is remarkably non partisan, offering all views respectfully, even showing the negative conduct of Chrisitan leaders along with abortion proponents who misuse Scripture verse to make their point.”
—Reverand Austin Miles, http://cc.org/blog
"Opposition to birth control is widely perceived as a 'Catholic issue.' Historian Alan Carlson demonstrates that as a matter of historical fact, the Christian churches were united in their opposition to contraception until 1930. Carlson deftly shows how the change occurred, through a combination of 'divide and conquer’ tactics by the population control lobby, intellectual exhaustion among the Mainline Protestants, and anti-Catholicism among the Evangelicals. Highly recommended."
—Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president, Ruth Institute
"This provocative volume by one of the world's foremost family-issues scholars suggests that perhaps American Evangelicalism unwittingly traded the Blessed Virgin Mary for Margaret Sanger. The arguments are hard-hitting and unrelenting. Reading this book is like seeing an unwelcome reflection in a mirror. But it might just start a conversation that is well worth having."
—Russell D. Moore, dean, School of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
About the Author
Allan Carlson is president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society in Rockford, Illinois and has been distinguished visiting professor of history and politics at Hillsdale College. He is the author of numerous books, including Fractured Generations: Crafting a Family Policy for Twenty-First-Century America, The Swedish Experiment in Family Politics, and The Family in America. He is also the series editor of Transaction’s Marriage and Family Studies series.