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Holding on to the Faith : Confessional Traditions and American Christianity - Professor Douglas A. Sweeney

Holding on to the Faith

Confessional Traditions and American Christianity

By: Professor Douglas A. Sweeney (Editor), Charles Hambrick-Stowe (Editor), James D. Bratt (Contribution by), Peter R. D'Agostino (Contribution by), Kathryn Greene-McCreight (Contribution by)


Published: 3rd October 2008
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Traditional ways of living the Christian faith shaped and guided by confessional norms exhibit remarkable staying power in American religious life. Holding On to the Faith addresses issues related to the persistence of confessional forms of Christianity in the face of utilitarian, democratic, evangelical American popular religious culture. Whereas historians in the twentieth century typically used terms like "countervailing," "alternative," or "immigrant faith" to describe confessional Christianity, it is now clear that groups which have maintained roots in doctrinal, liturgical, and institutional traditions are an integral part of American life. In Holding On to the Faith ten scholars of American religion contribute chapters analyzing the American experience of ecclesial groups ranging from Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism to the Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican/Episcopal, and even Mennonite traditions. Editors Douglas A. Sweeney and Charles Hambrick-Stowe discuss common themes and pose questions for further discussion."

Underrepresented in the canon of American religious historiography, confessional traditions have yet to receive sufficient critical consideration for the role they have played in the narrative of Christianity in the United States. This noteworthy collection of essays opens up that dialogue and provides a superb entry point into the developing conversation about what it means to be "confessional" in America. -- Lawrence R. Rast, Jr., Academic Dean, Concordia Theological Seminary At a time when evangelical Protestantism and Global Christianity seem to be the wave of the future, a reminder that American Christianity's roots were largely European is crucial for historical perspective on the contemporary church. By exploring the Old World background to New World Christianity, the essays in this book make important contributions... Holding On to the Faith is a much needed addition to the study of American Christianity in much of its variety. -- D.G.Hart, Intercollegiate Studies Institute Holding on to the Faith offers a provocative reconsideration of the tensions between confessional identity and cultural relevance in American churches. The editor's introduction and conclusion provide perfect framing for essays that probe a revealing set of juxtapositions: confessional doctrine and lived religious practice, creedal claims and pluralistic social norms, historic identities and individual experience. The cumulative insights of this book surprise and inform. It illuminates the importance of confessional tradition and raises engaging questions about how today's churches ought to recover the meaning of Christian witness in a culture otherwise devoted to the whims and fashions of popular sentiment in America. -- Mark Valeri, E.T. Thompson Professor of Church History, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia This important book explains the ongoing importance of the "old", European-based churches that define themselves by written confessions of faith. Its treatment of major Christian movements is particularly useful for gauging what has been lost and gained as these confessional churches interact with distinctly American patterns of life. The editing, the insights, the scholarship, the discernment-all are simply superb. -- Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame The book as a whole makes two arguments, both of which the editors lay out effectively in the introduction and conclusion. Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture

Confessional Traditions in Americap. 1
"Passing Through Many a Hard School and Test": Confessions, Piety, Liberty and the Lutheran Experience in the United Statesp. 15
Contesting the Faith: The Internal Struggle of American Lutheranismp. 29
Presbyterian Confessional Identity and its Dilemmasp. 47
Eternally True, Variably Useful: How Confessions Worked in Some American Reformed Churchesp. 71
After Establishment, What? The Paradox of the History of the Episcopal Church in Americap. 91
Who's Got the Spirit in the Episcopal Church? A Case Study of the "Connecticut Six"p. 109
Mennonites and Democracy: Shaped by War and Rumors of Warp. 123
Rome in America: Transnational Allegiances and Adjustmentsp. 139
Tammany Catholicism: The Semi-Established Church in the Immigrant Cityp. 155
The Eastern Orthodox Christian Church in North America: Continuity and Change in the Twenty First Centuryp. 171
Conclusion: Holding Onto the Faith? The Complexity of American Confessionalismp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780761841326
ISBN-10: 0761841326
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 202
Published: 3rd October 2008
Publisher: University Press of America
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.4  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.31