The Believable Futures of American Protestantism

Citation: 
Neuhaus, Richard John, ed. The Believable Futures of American Protestantism. Essays by Thomas Sieger Derr, James Davison Hunter, Thomas C. Oden, and Timothy L. Smith; and “The Story of an Encounter,” by Paul T. Stallsworth. Encounter Series 7. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, in cooperation with The Rockford Institute Center on Religion and Society, 1988.
Abstract: 

The Believable Futures of American Protestantism contains the papers and proceedings of a major conference by the same name on Protestantism in America, sponsored by the Rockford Institute’s Center on Religion and Society, December 1-2, 1986 at the Princeton Club of New York. The book’s four essays represent the conference’s major focus papers: “Evangelical Christianity and American Culture,” by Timothy L. Smith (Johns Hopkins University), which explores pluralism and moral transformation in Protestant history; “American Protestantism: Sorting Out the Present, Looking toward the Future,” by James Davison Hunter (University of Virginia), providing sociological perspective on the cultural struggle between religious “orthodoxy” and “progressivism”; “Continuity and Change in Mainline Protestantism,” by Thomas Sieger Derr (Smith College), which offers an interpretation and defense of the mainline Protestant position; and “Toward a Theologically Informed Renewal of American Protestantism: Propositions for Debate Attested by Classical Arguments,” by Thomas C. Oden (Drew University), calling Protestantism to a “New Reformation” based on the classical Christian tradition. Paul Stallsworth’s “The Story of an Encounter” concludes the book with a narration of the dialogue that took place among the conference’s thirty participants in response to the papers as well as to Richard John Neuhaus’ book, The Naked Public Square.

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