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A Genealogy of Dissent: Southern Baptist Protest in the Twentieth Century (Religion in the South) Hardcover – January 6, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"Named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2000."―

"A marvelous book that every Southern Baptist should read. . . .Present-day Southern Baptists who do read it, whether they come from the 'fundamentalists' who now control the denomination or the 'moderates' who used to control it, will be jolted by David Stricklin's insights."―Alabama Review

"Stricklin's admirable book brings to light figures, little known even to most Baptists, who stood up against the conservative majority's positions on race, war, materialism, anti-intellectualism, the position of women, and fundamentalism."―American Historical Review

"A significant contribution to understanding the relationship between religion and society. . . . Vital for anyone interested in the region and its past."―Arkansas Review

"These 'progressives' grew up within the context of the Southern Baptist Convention and sought to change or at least awaken the denomination to various social, political, or spiritual responses to contemporary issues. Important in understanding the diversity of groups and approaches within the larger denomination."―Bill J. Leonard

"Allows one to see that there were some dissenting Southern Baptists who were as dedicated in their beliefs as those who ran the traditional programs."―Bowling Green Daily News

"The latest of many book analyses of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), this creative and perceptive volume may be the best."―Choice

"Must reading for anyone wishing to understand what happened to the Southern Baptist Convention in the eighties and nineties and for anyone trying to come to grips with that it means, historically, to be Baptist."―H-Net Book Review

"Well and clearly written, closely argued, temperate, sensitive to a variety of opinions, and persuasive, this book should be read by everyone interested in twentieth-century southern religion, and it is absolutely essential for those fascinated by the conflict that has rent the Southern Baptist Convention."―John B. Boles

"Uncovers individuals virtually unknown even in the expert scholarly literature. . . . Well researched and written with some stylistic flair, this work contributes significantly and originally to the scholarly literature on southern religion and southern dissent, and in the final chapters it makes an argument that should stir discussion and probably dissent."―Journal of American History

"Stricklin's well-documented and superbly written study of one segment of Southern Baptist life is required reading for anyone interested in either southern religion of the twenty-two-year-old conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention."―Journal of Church and State

"Well written and well documented. . . . Identifies historical features of the SBC that historians have often ignored, overlooked, or minimized."―Journal of Religion

"A fine contribution to Baptist and southern studies."―Journal of Southern History

"The majority of Stricklin's work is based on rich primary sources, and he tells a story that is worth reading."―North Carolina Historical Review

"An important work in helping to redefine an influential group of American Protestants."―Ohio Valley History

"A thoughtful, provocative book that should be read by those interested in southern religion and its influence on the region."―Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Not only enlarges the readers' knowledge of this largely ignored sub-group, but also provides a key to understanding the recent controversy within the Southern Baptist Convention."―Religious Studies Review

"Looks beyond the standard characterizations of Southern Baptists to examine several issues of disagreement and dissent within their churches, organizations, and institutions."―Southern Quarterly

"Stricklin uncovers a rich heritage of progressive dissent during the 20th century. This is one book that all serious students of Baptist history should have in their personal library."―Aaron D. Weaver, The Journal of Baptist Studies 2

"David Stricklin's A Genealogy of Dissent depicts a powerful Baptist counterpoint to social conformity and culture-based Christianity in the first half of the 20th century."―Edward R. Crowther, The Journal of Baptist Studies 2

About the Author

David Stricklin is assistant professor in the Division of Humanities at Lyon College.

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Product Details

  • Series: Religion in the South
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky (January 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813120934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813120935
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,837,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Sticklin's study of Southern Baptist progressives basically contends that a vibrant, although small and loosely organized, strain of progressivism flourished within the SBC. This strand of dissent stood in stark contrast to the confident triumphalism of the Southern Baptist institutional machine and wondered what might happen if Southern Baptist energies and organizations were directed away from self-promotion and toward alleviation of human suffering. Stricklin illustrates how various personal connections created this genealogy of dissent. He then explains the dominane SBC position consensus on race, peace and justice, and women in ministry, and then shows how progressives pursued a more radical response to these issues. He then contends that the agitation of progressives, especially in the area of women in ministry, was a key factor that set in motion the fundamentalist take over of the SBC.
Stricklin understands both progressives and fundamentalists as "outsiders" to the SBC moderate leadership. Thus Stricklin divides the SBC into three groups: 1. moderates, who placed their faith in tolerant leadership and the cooperative work of the institutions as the best way to accomplish God's will; 2. fundamentalists, who placed their faith in pure doctrine and who would rather limit the effectiveness of the institution in order to maintain doctrinal purity; and 3. progressives, who placed their faith in local congregations and informal networks and who wanted to use this grassroots movement of faith as a way to change the political and economic world.
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