Reimagining Denominationalism: Interpretive Essays

Reimagining Denominationalism: Interpretive Essays

by Robert Bruce Mullin, Russell E. Richey


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Denominationalism—that ''free market'' mode of organizing religious life which, some say, manages to combine traditional religious claims with a free society in a peculiarly American way—is the subject of the previously unpublished papers in this collection. No institution, the editors argue, is as crucial for the understanding of American religious life, yet so much in need of reassessment as the denomination. In a wide-ranging collection of articles, a distinguished set of commentators on American religion examine the denomination's past and present roles, its definable nature, and its evolution over time. The study of denominations, the authors show, sheds light on broader understandings of American religious and cultural life. The contributors—scholars of the Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Mormon, and African-American traditions—explore the state and history of denominational studies in America, suggesting new models and approaches drawn from anthropology, sociology, theology, history, and history of religions. They offer provocative case studies that reimagine denominational studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199767458
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/25/2011
Series: Religion in America
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert Bruce Mullin is Society for the Promotion of Religion and Learning Professor of History and World Mission and Professor of Modern Anglican Studies in the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Russell E. Richey is William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Church History in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Table of Contents


Russell E. Richey and Robert Bruce Mullin

I. Overviews
The Death and Rebirth of Denominational History
Henry Warner Bowden

Denominational Studies in the Reshaping of American Religious History
William R. Hutchinson

The People as Well as the Prelates: A Social History of a Denomination
Jay P. Dolan

Denominationalism and the Black Church
Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp

Denominations and Denominationalism: An American Morphology
Russell E. Richey

The Question of Denominational Histories in the United States: Dead End or Creative Beginning?
Charles H. Long

II. Models
Denominations: Who and What Are We Studying?
Nancy T. Ammerman

''Have You Ever Prayed to Saint Jude?'': Reflections on Fieldwork in Catholic Chicago
Robert A. Orsi

Denominations as Bilingual Communities
Robert Bruce Mullin

Remembering, Recovering, and Inventing What Being the People of God Means: Reflections on Method in the Scholarly Writing of Denominational History
Jan Shipps

III. Case Studies
Denominational History When Gender Is the Focus: Women in American Methodism
Jean Mill Schmidt

Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism in America: Is There an Alternative to Denominationalism?
Marc Lee Raphael

African Methodisms and the Rise of Black Denominationalism
Will B. Gravely

Presbyterians and the Mystique of Organizational Efficiency, 1870-1936
James H. Moorhead

''Denominational'' Colleges in Antebellum America? A Case Study of Presbyterians and Methodists in the South
Bradley J. Longfield

Denominational History as Public History: The Lutheran Case
Christa R. Klein


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