Through a Glass Darkly: Contested Notions of Baptist Identity by Keith HarperThrough a Glass Darkly: Contested Notions of Baptist Identity by Keith Harper

Through a Glass Darkly: Contested Notions of Baptist Identity

EditorKeith HarperIntroduction byKeith Harper

Paperback | July 13, 2012

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Through a Glass Darkly is a collection of essays by scholars who argue that Baptists are frequently misrepresented, by outsiders as well as insiders, as members of an unchanging monolithic sect.
In contemporary discussions of religious denominations, it is often fashionable and easy to make bold claims regarding the history, beliefs, and practices of certain groups. Select versions of Baptist history have been used to vindicate incomplete or inaccurate assertions, attitudes, and features of Baptist life and thought. Historical figures quickly become saints, and overarching value systems can minimize the unsavory realities that would contribute to a truer interpretation of Baptist life.
The essays in this volume use the term Baptist in the broadest sense to refer to those Christians who identify themselves as Baptists and who baptize by immersion as a non-sacramental church rite. Over the past four hundred years, Baptists have grown from a persecuted minority to a significant portion of America's religious population. They have produced their fair share of controversies and colorful characters that have, in turn, contributed to a multifaceted history.
But what does it mean to be a "real Baptist"? Some look to historical figures as heroic exemplars of Baptist core values. Others consider cultural, social, or political issues to be guideposts for Baptist identity. Through a Glass Darkly dives deeper into history for answers, revealing a more complete version of the expansive and nuanced history of one of America's most influential religious groups.
James P. Byrd / John G. Crowley / Edward R. Crowther / Christopher H. Evans / Elizabeth H. Flowers / Curtis W. Freeman / Barry G. Hankins / Paul Harvey / Bill J. Leonard / James A. Patterson / Jewel L. Spangler / Alan Scot Willis
Keith Harper is the author of The Quality of Mercy: Southern Baptists and Social Christianity, 1890−1920 and editor of American Denominational History: Perspectives on the Past, Prospects for the Future.
Title:Through a Glass Darkly: Contested Notions of Baptist IdentityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 2 inPublished:July 13, 2012Publisher:University of Alabama PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0817357122

ISBN - 13:9780817357122


Table of Contents



Part I. Key Themes

1. Baptists, Church, and State: Rejecting Establishments, Relishing Privilege

Bill J. Leonard

2. Democratic Religion Revisited: Early Baptists in the American South

Jewel L. Spangler

Part II. Biography

3. Persecution and Polemics: Baptists and the Shaping of the Roger Williams Tradition in the Nineteenth Century

James P. Byrd

4. E. Y. Mullins and the Siren Songs of Modernity

Curtis W. Freeman

5. The Contested Legacy of Lottie Moon: Southern Baptists, Women, and Partisan Protestantism

Elizabeth H. Flowers

6. Walter Rauschenbusch and the Second Coming: The Social Gospel as Baptist History

Christopher H. Evans

7. "I Am Fundamentally a Clergyman, a Baptist Preacher": Martin Luther King Jr., Social Christianity, and the Baptist Faith in an Era of Civil Rights

Edward R. Crowther

Part III. Historiography

8. "Written that Ye May Believe": Primitive Baptist Historiography

John G. Crowley

9. Reframing the Past: The Impact of Institutional and Ideological Agendas on Modern Interpretations of Landmarkism

James A. Patterson

10. Is There a River?: Black Baptists, the Uses of History, and the Long History of the Freedom Movement

Paul Harvey

11. Symbolic History in the Cold War Era

Alan Scot Willis

12. Southern Baptists and the F-Word: A Historiography of the Southern Baptist Convention Controversy and What It Might Mean

Barry Hankins



Editorial Reviews

"[. . .] this collection of essays provides a number of intriguing areas through which to explore Baptist identity, and [...] could serve as a welcomed supplemental textbook in a class on Baptist history. It is a worthy contribution to the history of Baptists.
-Tennessee Baptist History Journal