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The American Church Experience: A Concise History [Paperback]

By Thomas A. Askew (Author) & Richard V. Pierard (Author)
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Item description for The American Church Experience: A Concise History by Thomas A. Askew & Richard V. Pierard...

How did the American church begin, and how did it evolve to meet changing needs? This readable survey traces the story of Christianity in America beginning with the first settlers, who came to the New World seeking religious freedom. The book then proceeds to the founding of the United States, the Revolution, the Civil War, and finally the tumultuous decades of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Along the way, the authors show that Christians have played a pivotal role in every significant social movement in America, from the abolition of slavery to the push for civil rights. They also discuss current topics such as pluralism, church-state separation, and the role of minorities in American churches.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2008
Publisher   Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1606080865  
ISBN13  9781606080863  

Availability  3 units.
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More About Thomas A. Askew & Richard V. Pierard

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thomas A. Askew (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is Stephen Phillips Professor of History emeritus and executive director of the East-West Institute of International Studies at Gordon College. He is the coauthor or editor of five books relating to religious, educational, and political themes. Richard V. Pierard (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is professor of history emeritus at Indiana State University and scholar in residence at Gordon College. He is a board member of the American Baptist Historical Society and the author of numerous books and articles relating to the history of Christianity.

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Reviews - What do customers think about The American Church Experience: A Concise History?

A Great Book  Jun 23, 2006
This is a clearly written and very informative overview of American church history. Highly recommended.

Professor Irving Hexham, Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary
A great resource.  Mar 24, 2005
After I graduated from seminary I followed up on my promise to myself to read all those books I never got around to reading because of the interruptions of course schedules and meeting class requirements (it's a promise that seems never-ending, for, as the Preacher said, "of the publishing of books there is no end."). At one point I took up the reading of the two-volume set on the history of Christianity by Kenneth Scott Latourette. They remain on my bookshelf today-marked up, underscored, dog-eared, and full of notations. I remain aghast at the tenacity of my younger self to see that exercise through. While reading over 1500 pages of an obsessively comprehensive history in small dense type may be, in itself, an accomplishment, after a while, comprehension and recall took a back seat to the sheer force of will to get through that volume of information.

Reading Askew and Pierard's The American Church Experience brought back some memories of that misguided experience in pedantry, in this instance, they were all good. Their subtitle, A Concise History is apropos-part of what makes this book a delight to read is the elegant economy of words and straightforward prose.

The book would have been well-served by an Introduction. The content chapters are bookended by a Preface and an Epilogue that make the now seeming de rigour, but here unsatisfactory, allusions to September 11, 2001. The twenty chapters of the book fall under the organization of five parts: The Old World Heritage, which provides a background history, up to the Reformation, for the American religious history; Colonial Foundations (1607-1783) covering the initial migrations to North America up till to American Revolution and its immediate aftermath; The Nationalization and Expansion of the Churches (1784-1860), which covers the Second Great Awakening and emerging new groups, denominations, and social orders; Disruption, Devotion, and Debate (1861-1916) which covers the rise of evangelicalism, fundamentalism, regionalism, and the emergent international missionary movements; and The Churches in a Pluralistic Society (1917-Present), which does a more than fair job of recognizing the contribution and impact of ethnic Christianity and globalization on the American church experience. Throughout the book the authors include photos of personalities, events, and moments referred to in the text.

This is a comprehensive work that strives for balanced coverage but ultimately retains a decidedly evangelical Protestant orientation. Only in a few instances did the authors fail to avoid overstatements and generalizations, which is a hazard in trying to produce a short volume with such historical coverage. Overall, the precise and uncomplicated writing style is one of the book's strength-this is part of what makes this work a delight to read. Askew and Pierard have made a welcomed contribution to the field of American religious history. I wish I'd had this book as a choice over Latourette, way back when; my comprehension of the movement of American Christianity would have no doubt been much better.

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