Fundamentalism and American Culture, Second Edition  -     By: George M. Marsden
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Fundamentalism and American Culture, Second Edition

Oxford University Press / Paperback

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"Marsden's book is brilliant in its ability to capture the complexity of fundamentalism in terms of its origins, development, and growth"---Theology Today. Fundamentalism is on the rise again, so it's critical to look back at its formative years (1870--1925) to see the reasons for its continuing impact. 336 pages, softcover. Oxford University.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.12 (inches)
ISBN: 0195300475
ISBN-13: 9780195300475
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Many American's today are taking note of the surprisingly strong political force that is the religious right. Controversial decisions by the government are met with hundreds of lobbyists, millions of dollars of advertising spending, and a powerful grassroots response. How has the fundamentalist movement managed to resist the pressures of the scientific community and the draw of modern popular culture to hold on to their ultra-conservative Christian views? Understanding the movement's history is key to answering this question. Fundamentalism and American Culture has long been considered a classic in religious history, and to this day remains unsurpassed. Now available in a new edition, this highly regarded analysis takes us through the full history of the origin and direction of one of America's most influential religious movements.

For Marsden, fundamentalists are not just religious conservatives; they are conservatives who are willing to take a stand and to fight. In Marsden's words (borrowed by Jerry Falwell), "a fundamentalist is an evangelical who is angry about something." In the late nineteenth century American Protestantism was gradually dividing between liberals who were accepting new scientific and higher critical views that contradicted the Bible and defenders of the more traditional evangelicalism. By the 1920s a full-fledged "fundamentalist" movement had developed in protest against theological changes in the churches and changing mores in the culture. Building on networks of evangelists, Bible conferences, Bible institutes, and missions agencies, fundamentalists coalesced into a major protest movement that proved to have remarkable staying power.

For this new edition, a major new chapter compares fundamentalism since the 1970s to the fundamentalism of the 1920s, looking particularly at the extraordinary growth in political emphasis and power of the more recent movement. Never has it been more important to understand the history of fundamentalism in our rapidly polarizing nation. Marsen's carefully researched and engrossing work remains the best way to do just that.

Author Bio


George M. Marsden is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Jonathan Edwards: A Life.

Editorial Reviews


"Marsden reveals a great deal of history, showing the origins, development and growth of evangelicalism and fundamentalism. His is a focused yet broad scholarly work that has stood the test of time, a worthwhile history resource on fundamentalism in America."--Congregational Libraries Today


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  1. David Boutchia
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 9, 2009
    David Boutchia
    George Marsden has done a wonderful job of capturing the history of the movement of Fundamentalism. He gives you the broader context surrounding the events so that you can see what events and people did to help shape and formalize this movement.
  2. Rev. Doyle Peyton
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 13, 2008
    Rev. Doyle Peyton
    Fosdick, the once famous liberal pastor, asked, "shall the fundamentalists win?" Marsden, in this updated, classic reprint would answer, "yes". He would add, "by default." These biblical, cultural reactionaries to society's ills continue to grow and exert influence. Marsden defines fundamentalists as evangelicals who are mad at something. It must be admitted though that their anger and often unpopular reactions to culture grows out of a living spiritual vitality, and love of truth.
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