Evangelical vs. Liberal
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Evangelical vs. Liberal : The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest

3.45 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The cultural conflict that increasingly divides American society is particularly evident within Protestant Christianity. Liberals and evangelicals clash in bitter competition for the future of their respective subcultures. In this book, James Wellman examines this conflict as it is played out in the American Northwest. Drawing on an in-depth study of twenty-four of the areas fastest growing evangelical churches and ten vital liberal Protestant congregations, Wellman captures the leading trends of each group and their interaction with the wider American culture. He finds a remarkable depth of disagreement between the two groups on almost every front. Where evangelicals are willing to draw sharp lines on gay marriage and abortion, liberals complain about evangelical self-righteousness and disregard for personal freedoms. Liberals prefer the moral power of inclusiveness, while evangelicals frame their moral stances as part of a metaphysical struggle between good and evil. The entrepreneurial nature of evangelicalism translates into support of laissez-faire capitalism and democratic political advocacy. Liberals view both policies with varying degrees of apprehension. Such differences are significant on a national scale, with implications for the future of American Protestantism in particular and American culture in general. Both groups act in good faith and with good intentions, and each maintains a moral core that furthers its own identity, ideology, ritual, mission, and politics. In some situations, they share similar attitudes despite having different beliefs. Attending church services and interviewing senior pastors, lay leaders and new members, Wellman is able to provide new insights into the convenient categories of liberal and evangelical, the nature of the conflict, and the myriad ways both groups affect and are affected by American culture.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 408.23g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195300122
  • 9780195300123
  • 1,429,333

Review quote

Evanelical vs. Liberal is a balanced and engaging exploration of religious difference in the most unchurched region of the country. * Matthew A. Sutton,Books & Culture, AChristian Review * We know that the Pacific Northwest is the least traditionally religious part of the U.S. Fewer people belong to or attend church than anywhere else. And yet, there are thriving congregations there. Using interviews, focus groups, and participant observation, James Wellman explores the lives and fortunes of about three dozen Protestant congregations, examining their moral worldviews and organizational practices, and finding that while the liberals and evangelicals are quite different from each other? and work at keeping that distinction clear? both groups have found ways to prosper in the 'None zone.' * Rhys H. Williams, Professor of Sociology, University of Cincinnati, and Editor for Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion * Evangelical vs. Liberal provides an invaluable view of the rapidly shifting tectonic plates of American Protestantism today. * Mark Silk, Director, The Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life * We know that the Pacific Northwest is the least traditionally religious part of the U.S. Fewer people belong to or attend church than anywhere else. And yet, there are thriving congregations there. Using interviews, focus groups, and participant observation, James Wellman explores the lives and fortunes of about three dozen Protestant congregations, examining their moral worldviews and organizational practices, and finding that while the liberals and evangelicals are quite different from each other - and work at keeping that distinction clear - both groups have found ways to prosper in the 'None zone.' * Rhys H. Williams, Professor of Sociology, University of Cincinnati, and Editor for Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion * Evangelical vs. Liberal provides an invaluable view of the rapidly shifting tectonic plates of American Protestantism today. * Mark Silk, Director, The Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life *show more

About James K. Wellman

Assistant Professor of Comparative Religion, University of Washington. As chair of the Comparative Religion Program he recently received a $300,000 grant from the Luce Foundation to direct a research project on Religion and Human Security. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister.show more

Table of contents

1. The Shape of American Protestantism ; 2. The Origins of American Evangelical Subculture ; 3. Complicating the Two-Party Protestant Explanation ; 4. Modernity, Religion and Moral Worldviews ; 5. Demographics, Culture and Religion of the Pacific Northwest ; 6. Method, Data and Demographics ; 7. Religion, Identity, and Moral Logics ; 8. Religion, Ideology and Belief ; 10. Religious Ritual and Organizational Dynamics ; 11. Religion, Outreach and Mission ; 12. Religion and Politics ; Conclusionsshow more

Rating details

20 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 5% (1)
4 50% (10)
3 35% (7)
2 5% (1)
1 5% (1)
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