Evangelicalism evokes a range of reactions in people, from hostile to friendly. This is a movement that is poorly understood - an amazing fact considering that one out of every five Americans is a Evangelical. James Hunter asks how this movement survives and even thrives in a historical period and social world thought to be hostile to religious belief and experience. He finds that Evangelicals create an uneasy balance between yielding to and resisting the pressures of modernity. Evangelicals de-emphasize the most alarming aspects of their doctrine - sin and the torments of hell - referring to them only occasionally and abstractly, and never in an accusative manner. They also package their religion to market it. A telling example is one leader's suggestion to spend "seven minutes with God" each morning. One thing that has not changed is the Evangelical's position on morality. They oppose abortion, the ERA, homosexuality, and bans on prayer in schools. This resistance has most recently taken the form of political activism. Hunter speculates that as modernization grows Evangelicalism will find it increasingly hard to survive. But he does not predict doom because it is also true that religion sometimes gets new momentum as a means for coping wiht impersonal modern life.
is a pioneering study of American Evangelicals. It combines sober sociological
analysis with a sense of larger issues and and empathetic understanding
of its subject. It will be indispensable for anyone seeking to put in
perspective this important segment of the American religious scene."
a time when much is being written about Evangelicals, Dr. Hunter's perspective
analysis is a welcome addition. A corrective to much that is 'common knowledge,'
the book is a hard-headed, yet sympathetic, look at this sector of the
American pupulation which, in 1983, has acheived a visibility and audibility
way beyond most expectations."
book is wonderful. It has something to say to those interested in modernization,
American life, religion, and of course Evangelicals. I shall use the book
in my teaching in the sociology of religion."
book is a provocative blend of historical, textual, and survey analysis
in a rich interpretive framework. It is one of the best studies of American
Religions in recent years."
good, insightful book that is addressed to the current interest in Evangelicals."
More books by James Davison Hunter