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From 1922 to 1936 the Presbytarian Church in the United States of America was torn by conflict. Fundamentalists, modernists, and moderates struggled over theological questions and their implications for such issues as ordination requirements, the role of Princeton Theological Seminary, and foreign missions. Weaving together the history of this ecclesiastical conflict with biographies of the six leaders of the controversy, Longfield demonstrates that, in addition to the theological concerns, social and cultural consideratoins also profoundly contributed to the outcome of the conflict. In an epilogue, he linked the current decline of the Presbytarian Church and other mainline denominations back to this period.
This extensive reference work, hailed by the Journal of Religion as "a book long needed by historians of American religion", offers "a unique contribution to this often-told story by providing an in-depth analysis of seven persons intimately involved in the controversy" (Theology Today). 13 halftone illustrations.