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Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism Paperback – July 8, 1999

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195129076 ISBN-10: 0195129075

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Carpenter (provost, Calvin Coll., Mich.) acknowledges that he was propelled by a "corrective motive" in writing about the complexity and contributions of fundamentalism as a faith system whose purposes and beliefs have all too frequently been reduced to caricature. To a large extent, he achieves his aim. He closely analyzes American fundamentalism from its humiliating encounter with modernism at the Scopes trial in the 1920s to its reemergence in the popular revivals of the 1940s and 1950s led by evangelists such as Billy Graham. Carpenter is careful to note nuances of theological difference within fundamentalism. His work is thoroughly documented, well written, and built solidly on the work of other historians of U.S. popular religion such as Ernest Sandeen (The Roots of Fundamentalism, 1970) and George Marsden (Fundamentalism and American Culture, 1971). Appropriate for academic collections in religion and in American history.?Linda V. Carlisle, Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

In 1925, H.L. Mencken scoffed that if he heaved an egg out of a Pullman window anywhere in the country, he would hit a fundamentalist. But by 1930, defeated by their public humiliation in the Scopes ``monkey trial,'' those same fundamentalists seemed to have disappeared. Or had they? In this groundbreaking new book, historian Carpenter, provost of Calvin College, argues that fundamentalists did not vanish in the 1930s and '40s--they went underground and built a unique and powerful subculture, with Bible schools, foreign mission societies, seminaries, camp meetings, and mom-and-pop publishing houses. Carpenter traces the vitality of the fundamentalist movement from 1925 to 1950, arguing that fundamentalism actually expanded during the '30s, when mainline Protestants were experiencing a precipitous decline. What's more, these militantly antimodern crusaders eagerly embraced the most cutting-edge of mediums, radio, to proclaim their old-time gospel message. Radio evangelists like Paul Rader and Charles Fuller gave fundamentalists a respectability they had coveted since Mencken's hurtful depictions of them as ignorant backwater bumpkins. Radio was fundamentalism's entry into many American homes. In the 1940s, the highly successful Youth for Christ movement built on this media-savvy precedent, gaining mass appeal with slick publicity campaigns and evangelists be-bopping from the pulpit to contemporary big-band tunes. So when the nation as a whole began turning to religion in the anxious days of WW II and its aftermath, fundamentalists were at the ready with their well-established infrastructure. The ``prophet'' who arose from this fundamentalist subculture and was a product of its Bible schools, radio ministries, and revival circuits was the legendary Billy Graham, who helped bring fundamentalism further into the American mainstream. A valuable contribution to a critical but neglected era in fundamentalist studies. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195129075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195129076
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "cperkgo" on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book is about Protestant fundamentalism's "recovery" after its defeats in the 1920s. Carpenter tells the story of the movement's alienation and loss of status in the 1920s, its institution building in the 1930s and 40s, and its recovery the late 1940s. Among other themes, he discusses the how the movement wrestled with separatism and accommodation within the denominations and in the broader culture. This is not a popular history of the movement. To illuminate the development of key characters, theological positions and institutions, Carpenter goes into a level of detail that might overwhelm the casual inquirer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angela M. Hey VINE VOICE on October 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lest you think fundamentalism was the faith of your Victorian great-grandparents or something only hill-billies believe, think again and read this book. It is a history of fundamentalism in the 1930s and 1940s in the USA.

This book tells us not only what simple, fundamental Christian belief is all about during the depression and World War II, but also who the players were. Critics and Christians alike can gain something from this book. The former will find a scholarly view of what fundamentalists believe and why they are still a political force today. Christians will find it interesting to learn who influenced and founded leading evangelical institutions.

There are insights into the National Assocation of Evangelicals (NAE), a powerful lobbying group today. Also the forces that brought about Billy Graham, which you won't find in his biography are summarized. The motivation for creating Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA as a place where intellectual Christians could teach and study is explained. Other organizations mentioned are Park Street Church, Boston, the Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. Less expected is the influence of Harvard Divinity School.

The author rightly observes that fundamentalists, who may be divided in their denominations, were brought together by an infrastructure of bible colleges, youth movements, business men's gatherings and camps. The book touches on the influence of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, coming from the UK, then Canada. It would be interesting to have a similar book that analyzes European fundamentalism of the 1930s and 1940s. Then there's Asia and Africa. Clearly, there's a global story here that has yet to be told.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jarbitro on August 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
The 20th century saw the American religious landscape change dramatically. The country went from having well established religious groups such as Catholics and main-line denominations to what seemed like a religious free-for-all. When the dust settled the denominations were still there, but in decline. New groups emerged and older groups split apart. The evangelical movement appeared and flourished.

Joel Carpenter describes these changes in American religion with clarity and insight in Revive Us Again. He goes back into history and ferrets out the roots of the evangelical movement. From those roots, he finds the ones that would eventually grow into the fundamentalist movement. These roots he takes hold of and describes in a way that today's reader can appreciate the intricacies of the movement.

Through these trials and subsequent evolution, the fundamentalists morphed from a group banished from the parks, air-waves, and relevancy into a group commanding front-page coverage in the Boston Globe. It was appropriate that Carpenter began his book explaining how the fundamentalists were not allowed on the radio, and concluded it with descriptions of the waves of Graham mania sweeping the nation. This `success' did not come with out a price, Carpenter reminds us, as aspects of the movement were compromised. His juxtaposition of Ockenga's elation with the success of Graham's revival and the dismay of the professors at Fuller with their newly elated president (229) was one of the most poignant passages of the book.

The theme that unites the 12 chapters is the longing for revival. At the beginning of the evangelical movement, those involved badly longed for a revival in this country similar to what Whitfield and Edwards experienced.
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