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.
North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.