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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Key study of the SBC takeover, April 9, 2006
This review is from: Baptist Battles: Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention (Paperback)
Nancy Tatom Ammerman, a major sociologist of religion, wife of a Baptist minister, and herself a Baptist who was once part of the SBC but is no longer, conducted this fine sociological study of the SBC. It is very rare that sociologists or historians get to see a church schism while it is taking place, but Ammerman and her research assistants were able to do just that in the mid-'80s. Ammerman gives us insider insights and uses her outsider researchers and sociological tools (including a scientific survey) to achieve balanced objectivity. Her last chapter, as she admits, is somewhat less objective because she is emotionally invested in the survival of what was then called the Southern Baptist Alliance. Now called the Alliance of Baptists, it is one of several small splinters from the ever-more-fundamentalist Southern Baptist behemoth. Anyone wanting to understand how Southern Baptists, who in 1976 were typified by someone like Jimmy Carter, could become the far-right religious/political powerhouse of today should read this book.
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