Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory : Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America

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Fundamentalism is only the most visible element of a broader evangelical subculture that encompasses creationists, intellectuals and social critics, and charismatics, as well as political activists and televangelists like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. This subculture successfully insulates evangelicals from the "secular" world. They send their children to Christian schools and colleges and to Bible camps in the summer. They socialize exclusively within their own circles and have recently evolved their own entertainment: Christian "pulp" novels. Randall Balmer explores this subculture in the manner of an anthropologist doing fieldwork. Travelling through the strongholds of evangelicalism, he captures the perspective of the commonfolk. His sympathetic yet critical account will illuminate the genuine popular appeal of the movement, while placing it against the background of American religious history.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 259 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 27.94mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195051173
  • 9780195051179

About Randall H. Balmer

About the Author Randall Balmer, a historian of American religion, holds the Ph.D. from Princeton University and teaches in the Religion Department at Columbia University. His first book, A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies (Oxford, 1989), has received several awards, and his commentaries on American religion appear regularly in the Des Moines Register and other newspapers.show more

Review Text

A fascinating odyssey through evangelical America. Balmer (Religion/Columbia U.) grew up in a strict evangelical household. As an adult, he decided to explore his roots, convinced that "many Americans, and certainly the media, really did not have much of a clue about who evangelicals were." His quest began in Calvary Chapel, Cal., where every week 25,000 people buy buoyant bumper stickers ("Beam Me Up, Jesus!") and attend programs ranging from "The Working Women's Joyful Life Bible Study" to "The Radical Street Ministry." At Dallas Theological Seminary, a bastion of white mate fundamentalism, Balmer heard about the "inerrancy" of scripture. In Des Moines, he entered the wild domain of Donald Thompson, director of such off-off-Hollywood Christian epics as Image of the Beast and Thief in the Night - the latter a $68,000 production seen by an estimated 50 million viewers. Other journeys landed Blamer in a thriving fundamentalist community in the Adirondacks: a black evangelist's church in Mississippi; the Christian Booksellers Convention: a Native American community merging Sioux and Christian traditions; a Florida camp meeting loaded with disaffected Amish: and an evangelical college. Balmer concludes that evangelism will be around for the long haul, having created - with its widespread institutions, "unambiguous morality," and the message that "God will make you rich and happy" - perhaps America's most successful subculture. His lucid, engaging account does much to make this subculture accessible to outsiders. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

238 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 29% (70)
4 37% (89)
3 23% (55)
2 8% (19)
1 2% (5)
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