Dispensational Modernism

Hardcover | July 20, 2015

byB. M. Pietsch

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Dispensationalism emerged in the twentieth century as a hugely influential force in American religion and soon became one of America's most significant religious exports. By the close of the century it had developed into a global religious phenomenon claiming millions of adherents. As the mostcommon form of contemporary prophecy belief, dispensationalism has played a major role in transforming religion, politics, and pop culture in the U.S. and throughout the world. Despite its importance and continuing appeal, scholars often reduce dispensationalism to an anti-modern, apocalyptic, andliteralist branch of Protestant fundamentalism. In Dispensational Modernism, B. M. Pietsch argues that, on the contrary, the allure of dispensational thinking can best be understood through the lens of technological modernism. Pietsch shows that between 1870 and 1920 dispensationalism grew out of the popular fascination with applying engineering methods - such as quantification and classification - to the interpretation of texts and time. At the heart of this new network of texts, scholars, institutions, and practices wasthe lightning-rod Bible teacher C. I. Scofield, whose best-selling Scofield Reference Bible became the canonical formulation of dispensational thought. The first book to contextualize dispensationalism in this provocative way, Dispensational Modernism shows how mainstream Protestant clergy of thistime developed new "scientific" methods for interpreting the Bible, and thus new grounds for confidence in religious understandings of time itself.

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Dispensationalism emerged in the twentieth century as a hugely influential force in American religion and soon became one of America's most significant religious exports. By the close of the century it had developed into a global religious phenomenon claiming millions of adherents. As the mostcommon form of contemporary prophecy belief...

B. M. Pietsch is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Nazarbayev University, in Astana, Kazakhstan.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.42 × 0.98 inPublished:July 20, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190244089

ISBN - 13:9780190244088

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Taxonomic minds and the technological construction of confidence2. The social construction of confidence3. Competing sciences of biblical interpretation4. Dispensational hermeneutics5. Building the dispensations6. Engineering time7. The Scofield Reference Bible amidst a dispensational centuryNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Dispensational Christians often appear in historical and polemical works as anti-intellectual yahoos who read their Bibles literally and turned their backs on modern science, technology, and biblical scholarship. In this unrelentingly revisionist book, the historian B. M. Pietsch brilliantlyshatters these stereotypes, showing instead that the early dispensationalists warmly embraced scientific and technological methods and engaged in serious research. Dispensational Modernism is the freshest study of conservative American Christianity to appear in years." --Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin