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Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister (Library of Religious Biography Series) [Paperback]

By Edith L. Blumhofer (Author)
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Item description for Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister (Library of Religious Biography Series) by Edith L. Blumhofer...

Based on previously unavailable documents, it accents her Canadian roots plus ties to the Salvation Army and Pentecostalism.

Publishers Description
One of the most influential and dynamic evangelists of the twentieth century, Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) was a complex, controversial figure with a flair for the dramatic. Against the backdrop of the Roaring Twenties, Sister Aimee, as she was widely known, cultivated her ministry, preaching the "old-time religion" and calling for a return to simple biblical Christianity. A religious leader who strongly identified with ordinary folk, McPherson attracted thousands of fiercely loyal followers throughout the United States and Canada. Edith Blumhofer's thorough biography is grounded in extensive research and academic scholarship. The book offers unique insights into McPherson's Canadian and Salvation Army roots and her relationship with Pentecostalism. Significantly, Blumhofer had access to selected minutes of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a resource not available to previous biographers, and contact with both of McPherson's children, Roberta Semple Salter and Rolf McPherson. Dozens of photographs also help to illustrate McPherson's multiple roles as missionary, radio broadcaster, editor, mother, wife, and--above all--colorful and inspiring evangelist.

From Publishers Weekly
In this vibrant biography of controversial, charismatic ``Sister'' McPherson (1890-1944), Blumhofer ( Restoring the Faith ) traces the influence of the celebrity preacher on 20th-century American protestantism. Seeking to separate the facts from the cloak of myth surrounding McPherson, the author chronicles the Ontario farm girl's religious formation by her mother, by the ``flamboyant style'' of the Canadian Salvation Army and by her Pentecostal first husband, Robert Semple, who died when Aimee was 19 and pregnant. As the center of her International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Sister, who married Harold McPherson in 1912, built the Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, drew overflow crowds to her assemblies and broadcast from her own radio station. Blumhofer explores the inner loneliness of this divorced mother of a daughter and son (who served as sources for the study). While marital scandals and the shifting economic and societal tides of the 1930s dimmed McPherson's star, today a purported 1.5 million members worldwide follow her vision. Balanced and engrossing, this portrait also examines Sister's early application of modern promotional techniques to a religious endeavor. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)

Citations And Professional Reviews
Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister (Library of Religious Biography Series) by Edith L. Blumhofer has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 01/01/1994 page 122
  • Booklist - 12/15/1993 page 725
  • Publishers Weekly - 11/22/1993

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   448
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.12" Height: 0.98"
Weight:   1.34 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1999
Edition  New  
Series  Library Of Religious Biography  
ISBN  0802801552  
ISBN13  9780802801555  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Edith L. Blumhofer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Edith L. Blumhofer is professor of history and director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

Edith L. Blumhofer has an academic affiliation as follows - Wheaton College, Illinois.

Edith L. Blumhofer has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Library of Religious Biography

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Pentecostal
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Charismatic

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Books > Education (K-12) > Social Science > History

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Reviews - What do customers think about Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister (Library of Religious Biography Series)?

Vaudeville  Jan 7, 2006
She seems to have been heavily influenced by both azuza street crowd i.e. much of today's pentecostalism/charasmatics i.e. the toronto/brownsville blessing (a history which is fraught with charlatans and very biblically problemic) and hollywood.

In studying many of her sermons what is readily apparent is the lack of any solid biblical understanding or doctrine. It was just get saved and jesus loves you. A cozy accomodation to the masses who can pretty much define that jesus they want to believe in and then follow.

SISTER AIMEE.........................FOR SUCH A TIME AS THEN  Jan 14, 2000
Aimee Semple McPherson was a Pentecostal evangelist who achieved celebrity status in the 1920's. "Sister"(as she was affectionately called) also pastored Angelus Temple in Los Angeles and founded the Foursquare denomination. To begin to understand the complex McPherson one should read this definitive biography by Edith Blumhofer. Aimee, a Canadian farm girl was heavily influenced by her mother's Salvation Army activism, and to a lesser extent, her father's traditional Methodism. For example, McPherson's putting ministry ahead of family is parallel to her mother's doing the same and the Salvation Army marriage vow to not let marriage interfere with ministry. The Army background definitely influence her use of theatrics and pageantry in her ministry. Robert Semple, an evangelist, and her first husband, introduces Aimee to Pentecostalism. "Sister"'s Pentecostalism was not definitive enough for classical Pentecostalists(Some Assemblies of God ministers saying she did not insist on tongues always being the evidence of the "Baptism of the Spirit"; a view which seems to shift in agreement with classical Pentecostalists later in her ministry?). She referred to her message as "Bible Christianity" rather than Pentecostalism. One is struck by the acceptance of her by much of Protestantism, the transdenominational clergy cooperation, and her good sense of using much of Protestant hymnody to unify the different traditions attending her meetings. She seems more of a forerunner of the "Charismatic Movement"(pentecostal renewal within Protestant denominations) than a classical Pentecostalist. The most intriquing aspect of the book for me as an evangelical, is Aimee's methodology in presenting the gospel. Rather than "preaching the law" so as to convict of sin, Sister instead provides a potrait of the Beautiful Saviour, Jesus, "the same yesterday, today and forever". Perhaps McPherson finds that the prescence of God will so show the Saviour in his holiness and glory that the same goal is achieved more efficiently? Blumhofer shows Sister Aimee, as she was, warts and all. One flaming anti-Pentecostalist summarizes McPherson as "married three times, died of an overdose". To get the full story, read this book. Fundamentalists and Evangelicals tend to look over obvious faults of their heroes: Luther was foul-mouthed and anti-Semitic, William Carey and John Wesley were far from role-model husbands. Sister, like all of us is a mixture of mud and marble. For God has no perfect people to work with. Her willingnes to go into the dance hall, boxing ring or red-light district to love the unlovely reminds one of Wesley and Whitefield. Historians, Evangelicals and Pentecostals will enjoy this well-researched, sympathetic potrait of "Everybody's Sister."

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