Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt


Christine Leigh Heyrman - 1997
    Although the American Revolution swept away the institutional structures of the Anglican Church in the South, the itinerant evangelical preachers who subsequently flooded the region at first encountered resistance from southern whites, who were affronted by their opposition to slaveholding and traditional ideals of masculinity, their lack of respect for generational hierarchy, their encouragement of women's public involvement in church affairs, and their allowance for spiritual intimacy with blacks. As Heyrman shows, these evangelicals achieved dominance in the region over the course of a century by deliberately changing their own "traditional values" and assimilating the conventional southern understandings of family relationships, masculine prerogatives, classic patriotism, and martial honor. In so doing, religious groups earlier associated with nonviolence and antislavery activity came to the defense of slavery and secession and the holy cause of upholding both by force of arms—and adopted the values we now associate with the "Bible Belt."

Black & Tan: A Collection of Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America


Douglas Wilson - 2005
    That our nation did not remove slavery in a biblical way helps explain many of our contemporary social evils. But who is qualified to talk about such things? What is a biblical view of racism? Why do the biblical answers to such questions so infuriate the radical left and the radical right? This collection of essays lays out some of the answers from a view unashamed of historic biblical absolutism. "The Reverend Douglas Wilson may not be a professional historian, as his detractors say, but he has a strong grasp of the essentials of the history of slavery and its relation to Christian doctrine. Indeed, sad to say, his grasp is a great deal stronger than that of most professors of American history, whose distortions and trivializations disgrace our college classrooms. And the Reverend Mr. Wilson is a fighter, especially effective in defense of Christianity against those who try to turn Jesus' way of salvation into pseudo-moralistic drivel." - Eugene Genovese, Ph.D., Columbia University, author of nine books including Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made, winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History, teaching positions at Rutgers, University of Rochester, Yale, Cambridge, and formerly a distinguished scholar in residence for the University Center, Georgia.

Catholicism and American Freedom: A History


John T. McGreevy - 2003
    Putting scandals in the Church and the media's response in a much larger context, this stimulating history is a model of nuanced scholarship and provocative reading.

West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War


Heather Cox Richardson - 2007
    Instead, the late nineteenth century defined modern America, as Southerners, Northerners, and Westerners gradually hammered out a national identity that united three regions into a country that could become a world power. Ultimately, the story of Reconstruction is about how a middle class formed in America and how its members defined what the nation would stand for, both at home and abroad, for the next century and beyond.A sweeping history of the United States from the era of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, this engaging book stretches the boundaries of our understanding of Reconstruction. Historian Heather Cox Richardson ties the North and West into the post–Civil War story that usually focuses narrowly on the South, encompassing the significant people and events of this profoundly important era.By weaving together the experiences of real individuals—from a plantation mistress, a Native American warrior, and a labor organizer to Andrew Carnegie, Julia Ward Howe, Booker T. Washington, and Sitting Bull—who lived during the decades following the Civil War and who left records in their own words, Richardson tells a story about the creation of modern America.

Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America


Anthony B. Bradley - 2010
    Jeremiah Wright, assumed the spotlight during the 2008 presidential campaign, the influence of black liberation theology became hotly debated not just within theological circles but across cultural lines. How many of today's African-American congregations-and how many Americans in general-have been shaped by its view of blacks as perpetual victims of white oppression?In this interdisciplinary, biblical critique of the black experience in America, Anthony Bradley introduces audiences to black liberation theology and its spiritual and social impact. He starts with James Cone's proposition that the "victim" mind-set is inherent within black consciousness. Bradley then explores how such biblical misinterpretation has historically hindered black churches in addressing the diverse issues of their communities and prevented adherents from experiencing the freedoms of the gospel. Yet Liberating Black Theology does more than consider the ramifications of this belief system; it suggests an alternate approach to the black experience that can truly liberate all Christ-followers.

The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors That Will Crash the American Church... and How to Prepare


John S. Dickerson - 2013
    Today the American church is in a similar position, on the precipice of a great spiritual recession. While we focus on a few large churches and dynamic leaders that are successful, the church's overall membership is shrinking. Young Christians are fleeing. Our donations are drying up. Political fervor is dividing us. Even as these crises eat at the church internally, our once friendly host culture is quickly turning hostile and antagonistic. How can we avoid a devastating collapse?In The Great Evangelical Recession, award-winning journalist and pastor John Dickerson identifies six factors that are radically eroding the American church and offers biblical solutions to prepare evangelicals for spiritual success, even in the face of alarming trends. This book is a heartfelt plea and call to the American church combining quality research, genuine hope, and practical application with the purpose of igniting the church toward a better future.

For a Continuing Church: The Roots of the Presbyterian Church in America


Sean Michael Lucas - 2015
    The first full scholarly account of the theological and social forces that brought about the creation of the Presbyterian Church in America, using primary archival, newspaper, and magazine material.

Free at Last?


Carl F. Ellis Jr. - 1995
    shouted those words to a crowd gathered in Washington, D.C. His speech, "I Have a Dream," is now familiar, even famous. But has his dream been realized? In Free at Last? Carl Ellis offers an in-depth assessment of the state of African-American freedom and dignity within American culture today. Updating and expanding his examination (previously published as Beyond Liberation) for a new generation of readers, Ellis stresses how important it is for African-Americans to know who they are and where they have been. So he begins by tracing the growth of Black consciousness from the days of slavery to the present, noting especially the contributions of King and Malcolm X. He also pays particular attention to traces of a "theological soul dynamic," an authentic manifestation of Christianity in Black culture, which runs through American history. It is this dynamic faith, says Ellis, that promises true freedom--the realization of King's dream--for African-Americans today.

The Reformers and Their Stepchildren


Leonard Verduin - 1964
    According to Leonard Verduin, the American formula of a society in which no religion is designated as the right religion, is the result of pioneering done by the "stepchildren" of the Reformation. To them, rather than to the Reformers, do we owe the concept of separation of church and state. Taking the several terms of opprobrium that the Reformers hurled at these stepchildren, Verduin gives a penetrating historical analysis of each and shows how each term sets in focus an important phase of the master struggle, the struggle regarding the delineation of the church.

A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada


Mark A. Noll - 1992
    Adding a personal dimension to the narrative, numerous biographical profiles further enrich Noll's multifaceted exploration of major movements and events.

A Religious History of the American People


Sydney E. Ahlstrom - 1972
    This classic work, winner of the 1973 National Book Award in Philosophy and Religion and Christian Century’s choice as the Religious Book of the Decade (1979), is now issued with a new chapter by noted religious historian David Hall, who carries the story of American religious history forward to the present day.

Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation


Jonathan Rieder - 2013
    He had come to that city of racist terror convinced that massive protest could topple Jim Crow. But the insurgency faltered. To revive it, King made a sacrificial act on Good Friday, April 12, 1963: he was arrested. Alone in his cell, reading a newspaper, he found a statement from eight "moderate" clergymen who branded the protests extremist and "untimely."King drafted a furious rebuttal that emerged as the "Letter from Birmingham Jail"-a work that would take its place among the masterpieces of American moral argument alongside those of Thoreau and Lincoln. His insistence on the urgency of "Freedom Now" would inspire not just the marchers of Birmingham and Selma, but peaceful insurgents from Tiananmen to Tahrir Squares.Scholar Jonathan Rieder delves deeper than anyone before into the Letter-illuminating both its timeless message and its crucial position in the history of civil rights. Rieder has interviewed King's surviving colleagues, and located rare audiotapes of King speaking in the mass meetings of 1963. Gospel of Freedom gives us a startling perspective on the Letter and the man who wrote it: an angry prophet who chastised American whites, found solace in the faith and resilience of the slaves, and knew that moral appeal without struggle never brings justice.

The Secret History of the Jesuits


Edmond Paris - 1983
    The author exposes the Vatican's involvement in world politics, intrigues, and the fomenting of wars throughout history. It appears, beyond any doubt, that the Roman Catholic institution is not a Christian church and never was. The poor Roman Catholic people have been betrayed by her and are facing spiritual disaster. Paris shows that Rome is responsible for the two great world wars.

Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders


Denise A. Spellberg - 2013
    Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom—a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. In 1765, eleven years before composing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson bought a Qur’an. This marked only the beginning of his lifelong interest in Islam, and he would go on to acquire numerous books on Middle Eastern languages, history, and travel, taking extensive notes on Islam as it relates to English common law. Jefferson sought to understand Islam notwithstanding his personal disdain for the faith, a sentiment prevalent among his Protestant contemporaries in England and America. But unlike most of them, by 1776 Jefferson could imagine Muslims as future citizens of his new country. Based on groundbreaking research, Spellberg compellingly recounts how a handful of the Founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the imaginary outer limit for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson’s political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders’ ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done. As popular suspicions about Islam persist and the numbers of American Muslim citizenry grow into the millions, Spellberg’s revelatory understanding of this radical notion of the Founders is more urgent than ever. Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country’s creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.

The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy


Thomas E. Woods Jr. - 2004
    Woods Jr. makes a vigorous argument in favor of the market economy from a Catholic perspective. Filling a lapse in the debate on the role of religious thought in economic theory, Woods's uncompromising position, informed by the history of Catholic economic thought, shows that the long-seen contradiction between Catholic faith and support for the market economy does not exist. With attention to detail on almost all aspects of the free market, from the Federal Reserve System and inflation to antitrust legislation and labor issues, this book provides essential background for anyone interested in balancing issues of social conscience with modern economic principles.