Cover image for Between the times : the travail of the Protestant establishment in America, 1900-1960
Between the times : the travail of the Protestant establishment in America, 1900-1960
Hutchison, William R.
Publication Information:
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xvii, 322 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
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BR526 .B47 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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During the first six decades of the last century, the so-called mainline Protestant denominations in America were compelled to accommodate to the growing influences of diverse religions and growing secularization. In this book, twelve historians examine the nature of the American Protestant establishment and its response to the growing pluralism of the times. The goals of the establishment are first examined from the inside, as they were voiced from the pulpit, expressed in education and through the media, and applied in ecumenical and social-reforming ventures. The establishment is then viewed through the eyes of outsiders - Jews and Catholics - and those at the periphery of the establishment's core - and women. The authors conclude that the period surveyed forms a distinct epoch in the evolution of American Protestantism. The days when Protestant cultural authority could be taken for granted were certainly over, but a new era in which religious pluralism would be widely accepted had not yet arrived.

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Choice Review

Twelve historians examine the first six decades of this century as the period of transition from the mainline Protestant establishment to religious pluralism and secularism. Among the specific themes consdered are the local congregation, the educational arena, the media, Protestant ecumenism, social reform, women, blacks, relations with Roman Catholics and Jews, secularization, religious pluralism and other religions, and conservative evangelicalism. Hutchison frames these studies with helpful essays and introductions. The stated purpose of the book is to "launch a close examination of the Protestant establishment's agenda for American society and the ways in which others' related to it." Even though the book is the product of 12 contributors, the style and format are consistent and readable. Each section includes notes and a select bibliography. There are some interesting photographs and there is a useful general index. Because of its insightful, systematic, and in-depth treatment, this book adds considerably to one's understanding of the American Protestant establishment during the period 1900-60, and it should be in all libraries with collections in American religion and history. -R. L. Massanari, Alma College

Table of Contents

William R. HutchisonEdwin S. GaustadDorothy C. BassDennis N. VoskuilRobert A. SchneiderWilliam McGuire KingVirginia Lieson BreretonDavid W. WillsBenny KrautR. Laurence MooreGrant WackerMark SilkWilliam R. Hutchison
Preface: From Protestant to Pluralist Americap. vii
List of Contributorsp. xvi
I Introductionp. 1
1 Protestantism as Establishmentp. 3
II The Protestant Agenda: Old Businessp. 19
2 The Pulpit and the Pewsp. 21
3 Ministry on the Margin: Protestants and Educationp. 48
4 Reaching Out: Mainline Protestantism and the Mediap. 72
III The Protestant Agenda: Matters Arisingp. 93
5 Voice of Many Waters: Church Federation in the Twentieth Centuryp. 95
6 The Reform Establishment and the Ambiguities of Influencep. 141
IV Outsiders and "Junior Partners"p. 141
7 United and Slighted: Women as Subordinated Insidersp. 143
8 An Enduring Distance: Black Americans and the Establishmentp. 168
9 A Wary Collaboration: Jews, Catholics, and the Protestant Goodwill Movementp. 193
V External Challengesp. 231
10 Secularization: Religion and the Social Sciencesp. 233
11 A Plural World: The Protestant Awakening to World Religionsp. 253
12 The Rise of the "New Evangelicalism": Shock and Adjustmentp. 278
VI Conclusionp. 301
13 Discovering Americap. 303
Indexp. 311