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The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2001 / Paperback

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Product Description

Providing a superb look at Christianity's growth in America, a leading church historian explores the contrasts between European religious tradition and its innovations and evolutions upon the North American continent. Painting broad outlines of major events and developments---including those of indigenously generated denominations---Noll elucidates the remarkable vitality and diversity that typifies new world Christianity. One of the foremost historians of religion here chronicles the arrival of Christianity in the New World, tracing the turning points in the development of the immigrant church that have led to today's distinctly American faith. Taking a unique approach to this fascinating subject, Noll focuses on what was new about organized Christian religion on the American continent by comparison with European Christianity. In doing so, Noll provides a broad outline of the major events in the history of the Christian churches that have filled North America with such remarkable vitality and diversity. He also highlights some of the most important interpretive issues in the transfer of the hereditary religion of Europe to America.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 339
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2001
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0802849482
ISBN-13: 9780802849489
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

One of our foremost historians of religion here chronicles the arrival of Christianity in the New World, tracing the turning points in the development of the immigrant church that have led to today's distinctly American faith.

Taking a unique approach to this fascinating subject, Noll focuses on what was new about organized Christian religion on the American continent by comparison with European Christianity. In doing so, Noll provides a broad outline of the major events in the history of the Christian churches that have filled North America with such remarkable vitality and diversity. He also highlights some of the most important interpretive issues in the transfer of the hereditary religion of Europe to America.

Author Bio

Mark A. Noll is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

Editorial Reviews

Christianity TodayAward of Merit, History/Biography (2003)

Catholic Historical Review
"What sets the book apart is the emphasis on what is American about religion in America to begin with but also the combination of comprehensive narrative and analytically reasoned treatment of such recurrent if not perennial issues like church-state relations, concepts of pluralism, or the relation, if any, of religious practice and theology. . . An eminently learned, lucid, and enlightening book."

D. Bruce Hindmarsh
"The Old Religion in a New World is marked by Noll's characteristic lucidity and reflects his enviable mastery of a wide range of specialist literature. His clarity should not be mistaken for the na?vet? of some once-over-lightly texts. His expert understanding of the history of Christianity and the history of theology, not only in his own country but also in Europe, Canada, and Mexico, allows him to transcend the limitations of a merely 'Americanist' perspective. The result is a book that offers an unusual breadth of perspective, revisiting a number of interpretive questions with new insight. Noll writes with a refreshing candor, fair-mindedness, and wisdom. Readers can know they are in good hands."

Robert Benne
"Noll offers a clear, succinct, and accessible account of the European Christian churches' experiences from their arrival in America to the present time. In his own masterful way, Noll provides us with a fresh interpretive angle for seeing how the American experience changed both these churches and this country. A wonderful effort!"

Library Journal
"Interspersed among the chapters of straightforward, well-balanced historical information are insightful interpretive essays dealing with issues like the separation of church and state. . . Including helpful notes for further study, this clear overview of a complex subject is recommended for public and academic libraries. "

Leigh Eric Schmidt
"In this well-honed survey of the history of Christianity in North America, Mark Noll puts on a virtuosic display of historical range and subtle synthesis. Few have read as widely or as deeply as Noll across the whole sweep of North American religious history, and his encyclopedic grasp of the field shows through on page after page of this volume. With the inclusion of substantial comparisons of the United States to Canada and Mexico, Noll makes all the more apparent the distinctiveness of the U.S. experience regarding church and state. His careful attention to popular Christian spirituality makes the book especially timely."

Charles Hambrick-Stowe
"This is the most wide-ranging portrayal of the history of Christianity in North America ever published as a medium-size book. By interspersing a comprehensive chronological narrative with discussions of enduring issues like pluralism and separation of church and state, Noll gives an eye-opening analysis of the role of Christian traditions, beliefs, and practices in American life today. The contemporary relevance of this book will make it useful to journalists, politicians, and civic leaders as well as to students."

Publishers Weekly
"There are more detailed surveys of American Christianity available, but Noll offers an up-to-date history that explores the contemporary scene and provides some idea of how we got here."

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