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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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History and Mainline Protestants

History and Mainline Protestants

The United Church of Christ Comes of Age

(p.175) Chapter Nine History and Mainline Protestants
The Last Puritans

Margaret Bendroth

University of North Carolina Press

This concluding chapter describes the emergence of the United Church of Christ (UCC). It argues that history did not survive in the UCC—as the antimerger critics had feared—however, the merger itself was not to blame. As the previous chapter has shown, the disputes of the 1940s and 1950s brought history emphatically to the forefront; by 1957, the Congregational churches were more acutely aware of their historic tradition than ever. Moreover, Congregational identity of a sort lived on in the UCC many years after the merger, though often in a truncated and defensive fashion. Thus, in the twenty-first century, the UCC was not borne so much an abandonment of history, as it was from a fundamental confusion about its role and purpose—a problem broadly true of most mainline churches today.

Keywords:   twenty-first century, United Church of Christ, UCC, merger, Congregational history, Congregational identity, Congregational churches, mainline churches

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