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The Last PuritansMainline Protestants and the Power of the Past$
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Margaret Bendroth

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469624006

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624006.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Last Puritans
Author(s):

Margaret Bendroth

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624006.003.0001

This introductory chapter examines the role of the past in mainline Protestant churches—more specifically the Congregationalists—and how they have coped with modern, twentieth-century American life. The religious history of the modern era was as much about fortress building as it was about ecumenical cooperation: this urbane and presumably secular age saw far more debate about what it meant to be a Baptist or a Presbyterian or a Congregationalist—or, for that matter, a Roman Catholic or a Jew or an evangelical—than any earlier time. Congregationalists are especially apt for this kind of story. To begin with, from the early nineteenth century onward, they have played a major role in shaping American culture, exerting an influence well beyond their relatively modest numbers.

Keywords:   mainline Protestant churches, Congregationalists, religious history, twentieth century, modern American culture

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