Baptists in America: A History

Hardcover | May 5, 2015

byThomas S. Kidd, Barry Hankins

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The Puritans called Baptists "the troublers of churches in all places" and hounded them out of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Four hundred years later, Baptists are the second-largest religious group in America, and their influence matches their numbers. They have built strong institutions, frommegachurches to publishing houses to charities to mission organizations, and have firmly established themselves in the mainstream of American culture. Yet the historical legacy of outsider status lingers, and the inherently fractured nature of their faith makes Baptists ever wary of threats fromwithin as well as without.In Baptists in America, Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins explore the long-running tensions between church, state, and culture that Baptists have shaped and navigated. Despite the moment of unity that their early persecution provided, their history has been marked by internal battles and schisms thatwere microcosms of national events, from the conflict over slavery that divided North from South to the conservative revolution of the 1970s and 80s. Baptists have made an indelible impact on American religious and cultural history, from their early insistence that America should have no establishedchurch to their place in the modern-day culture wars, where they frequently advocate greater religious involvement in politics. Yet the more mainstream they have become, the more they have been pressured to conform to the mainstream, a paradox that defines - and is essential to understanding - theBaptist experience in America.Kidd and Hankins, both practicing Baptists, weave the threads of Baptist history alongside those of American history. Baptists in America is a remarkable story of how one religious denomination was transformed from persecuted minority into a leading actor on the national stage, with profoundimplications for American society and culture.

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From the Publisher

The Puritans called Baptists "the troublers of churches in all places" and hounded them out of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Four hundred years later, Baptists are the second-largest religious group in America, and their influence matches their numbers. They have built strong institutions, frommegachurches to publishing houses to charities...

Thomas S. Kidd is Professor of History at Baylor University and Senior Fellow at Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion. He co-directs Baylor's Program in Historical Studies of Religion. He is the author of several books, including George Whitefield: America's Spiritual Founding Father and God of Liberty: A Religious History of the...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:May 5, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199977534

ISBN - 13:9780199977536

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Colonial Outlaws2. The Great Awakening3. Baptists and the American Revolution4. Baptists and Disestablishment5. Baptists and the Great Revival6. Baptists and Slavery7. Slavery, Schism, and War8. Black Baptists in Babylon9. White Baptists and the American Mainstream10. Baptist Schism in the Early Twentieth Century11. Insiders and Outsiders at Mid-20th Century12. Baptists and the Civil Rights Movement13. Schism in Zion: The Southern Baptist Controversy14. ConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"A thoroughgoing study of Baptists, radicalized by persecution and honed by internal schism. ... The authors usefully trace the Baptists' shift from outsiders to consummate insiders, all the way to the White House. An instructive work that allows for a fuller understanding of an importantreligious element in America." --Kirkus Reviews