Predestination : The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine

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Predestination-the idea that God foreordains one's eternal destiny-is one of the most fascinating and controversial doctrines in Christianity. In this groundbreaking history, the first of its kind, Peter Thuesen shows that far from being only about the age-old riddle of divine sovereignty versus human free will, the debate over predestination is inseparable from other central Christian beliefs and practices-the efficacy of the sacraments, the existence of purgatory and hell, the extent of God's providential involvement in human affairs-and has fueled theological conflicts across denominations for centuries. Thuesen reexamines not only familiar predestinarians such as the New England Puritans and many later Baptists and Presbyterians, but also non-Calvinists such as Catholics and Lutherans, and shows how even contemporary megachurches preach a "purpose-driven" outlook that owes much to the doctrine of predestination. For anyone wanting a fuller understanding of religion in America, Predestination offers both historical context on a doctrine that reaches back 1,600 years and a fresh perspective on today's denominational more

Product details

  • Hardback | 328 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 22 black and white halftone illustrations
  • 0195174275
  • 9780195174274
  • 1,669,303

Review quote

In a ground-breaking historical work... Thuesen considers predestination and its inseparable links to other questions of Christian belief, including the exsistance of purgatory and hell and the extent of Gods's providential involvement in human affairs. * News Letter (Northern Ireland) * I began to read and was so drawn into the subject that it was difficult to put the bookdown...Whatever your theological background or country of origin, you will be informed and helped to view the issues from a fresh perspective. * Philip H. Eveson. Now * fascinating * Ava Chamberlain. Journal of the American Academy of Religion * Theology still matters in American religious history, and I cannot think of a book that makes that case more effectively than Peter Thuesen's subtle, learned account of predestination's fate (pun intended) in American history. * Thomas S. Kidd, Journal of Church History 2011 *show more

About Peter J. Thuesen

Peter J. Thuesen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is author of In Discordance with the Scriptures: American Protestant Battles over Translating the Bible (OUP, 1999) and editor of The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 26, Catalogues of more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments ; List of Illustrations ; Introduction ; The Predestinarian Labyrinth: Historical Background ; The Agony and the Ecstasy: Predestination in New England Puritanism ; "Shall the Hellish Doctrine Stand?" Enlightenment Doubts and Evangelical Division ; From Puritans to Yankees: Attacking Predestination in the Young Republic ; Domesticating a Doctrine: Catholics and Lutherans ; Debating a Doctrine: Presbyterians and Baptists ; Epilogue: The Purpose-Driven Life? Predestination after Denominationalism ; Glossary of Theological Terms ; Notes ; Bibliographyshow more

Rating details

27 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 44% (12)
4 33% (9)
3 15% (4)
2 7% (2)
1 0% (0)
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