Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 38

Full-Text Articles in History

Review: 'Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, And The Making Of Modern Evangelicalism', William Vance Trollinger Aug 2016

Review: 'Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, And The Making Of Modern Evangelicalism', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

It is a fine time to be a historian of fundamentalism/conservative evangelicalism in the United States. Over the past few years a number of outstanding works have appeared, many of which take seriously politics and economics. The best of this scholarship includes: Darren Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt (2011); Kevin Kruse, One Nation under God (2015); Bethany Moreton, To Serve God and Wal-Mart (2009); Matthew Avery Sutton, American Apocalypse (2014); and, Molly Worthen, Apostles of Reason (2014).

Now we can add to this list Timothy E. W. Gloege’s Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the ...


Review: 'Religion In America Since 1945: A History', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'Religion In America Since 1945: A History', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Anyone who has taught a course in U.S. religious history knows the daunting challenge of adequately dealing with the riotous diversity of religion in America. This challenge moves from daunting to nearly overwhelming when one gets to the years after World War II. But now comes along Patrick Allitt, professor of history at Emory University, who, in Religion in America Since 1945, has managed to create out of this apparent chaos a lucid, compelling narrative of recent U.S. religious history.

Of course, and as Allitt observes in his introduction, in order to “prevent the book from taking the ...


Biology Textbooks And The Decentering Of The Scopes Trial, William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Biology Textbooks And The Decentering Of The Scopes Trial, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

I was reminded of this while reading Adam Shapiro’s fine book, Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools. Central to Trying Biology is the argument that the Scopes Trial was not the inevitable result of an eternal conflict between science and religion, but instead grew out of "debates over American education that had little to do with either science or religion" (12). As Shapiro nicely articulates, the school antievolution movement that emerged in the early 1920s was a backlash against schools teaching evolution "in a politically charged way" and "to a new population ...


Review: 'The Rise Of Liberal Religion: Book Culture And American Spirituality In The Twentieth Century', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'The Rise Of Liberal Religion: Book Culture And American Spirituality In The Twentieth Century', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Laubach’s story—in its emphasis on the spiritual benefits of reading, mysticism, and interfaith encounters— serves as the perfect coda to Hedstrom’s terrific study of religious liberalism in twentieth-century America. The Rise of Liberal Religion joins an expanding corpus of work—most notably Gary Dorrien’s three-volume The Making of American Liberal Theology (2001, 2003, 2006) and Leigh Eric Schmidt’s Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality from Emerson to Oprah (2005)—that provides balance to the substantive scholarly attention recently given to conservative Protestantism. This scholarship suggests—and The Rise of Liberal Religion is explicit in ...


Review: 'Harold Frederic’S Social Drama And The Crisis Of 1890s Evangelical Protestant Culture', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'Harold Frederic’S Social Drama And The Crisis Of 1890s Evangelical Protestant Culture', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Harold Frederic’s The Damnation of Theron Ware (1896) is a terrific novel. The title character is a young, naïve, poorly educated Methodist minister who — when the narrative begins — has been appointed to take the pastorate of a small-town church in upstate New York. It is within only a matter of weeks after moving to Octavius with his wife, Alice, that Theron makes the acquaintance of exotic and compelling individuals who challenge his heretofore unexamined evangelical faith. Abandoning his Methodism with impunity, Ware is soon hurtling toward his “damnation.” Damned but not dead: At the end of the novel, Theron ...


Review: 'Evangelizing The Chosen People: Missions To The Jews In America, 1880–2000', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'Evangelizing The Chosen People: Missions To The Jews In America, 1880–2000', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

As bizarre as all this may seem to the uninitiated, Yaakov Ariel makes clear in Evangelizing the Chosen People that the aforementioned event is simply part of the latest chapter in an ongoing story within American religious history. Going where no scholar has gone before, Ariel recounts the history of Protestant missions to the Jews in the United States. Making good use of missions’ organization records and the writings of Jewish converts to Christianity, Ariel divides his narrative into three parts: evangelizing Jewish immigrants (1880–1920); evangelizing the children of Jewish immigrants (1920–1965); and evangelizing Jewish Baby Boomers (1965 ...


Review: 'One Hundred Percent American: The Rebirth And Decline Of The Ku Klux Klan In The 1920s', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'One Hundred Percent American: The Rebirth And Decline Of The Ku Klux Klan In The 1920s', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

It is remarkable that, given the significance of the Klan, a good general history of it has not been written—until now. In One Hundred Percent American, the Loyola University Maryland professor Thomas R. Pegram draws upon his primary research as well as the plethora of books, articles, and dissertations that have been written on local and state organizations in the past few decades to provide a nicely readable account of the Klan’s rise and fall in the 1920s. (Given the author’s assiduous research, it is unfortunate this book lacks a bibliography.) In the process of telling the ...


Review: 'Inventing The Holy Land: American Protestant Pilgrimage To Palestine, 1865–1941', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'Inventing The Holy Land: American Protestant Pilgrimage To Palestine, 1865–1941', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Stephanie Stidham Rogers examines American Protestant tourism in Palestine from 1865, when travel to the Middle East from the United States began to take off, until the onset of World War II. Using thirty-five pilgrimage narratives as the basis of her study—and it would have been helpful to have a separate and annotated bibliographical section for these narratives—Rogers discusses how American Protestant visitors were troubled by the poverty and filth, dismayed by the ubiquity of Catholic and Orthodox shrines, and outraged by the role of Muslims in administering Christian holy sites. In response, these pilgrims worked “to create ...


Review: 'Godly Ambition: John Stott And The Evangelical Movement', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'Godly Ambition: John Stott And The Evangelical Movement', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

In 2005, Time included John Stott in its list of the world’s 100 most influential people, describing Stott as both a “touchstone of authentic biblical scholarship that has scarcely been paralleled since the days of the 16th-century European Reformers” as well as “a significant factor in the explosive growth of Christianity in parts of the Third World.” With this, Alister Chapman begins Godly Ambition, a compact analysis of Stott’s career that certainly does justice to this extraordinarily significant figure in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century global evangelicalism. Thanks in good part to Chapman’s access to Stott’s ...


Review: 'Gods Of War, Gods Of Peace: How The Meeting Of Native And Colonial Religions Shaped Early America', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'Gods Of War, Gods Of Peace: How The Meeting Of Native And Colonial Religions Shaped Early America', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

In this ambitious and interesting book, Russell Bourne, former editor at American Heritage and author of The Red King’s Rebellion: Racial Politics in New England, argues that “the cultural contact between Anglo-Americans and Native Americans ... becomes most understandable when seen as an intrinsically religious encounter” (p. 3) that had “immense consequences for [both] cultures” (p. xii). Bourne covers the two centuries from the 1630s through the 1830s, shedding light on familiar and less familiar religious figures such as Handsome Lake, Hobomock, John Eliot, Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Kirkland, and Shikellamy. Bourne’s sympathies are clearly with moments and places, including ...


Review: 'God's Own Party: The Making Of The Christian Right', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'God's Own Party: The Making Of The Christian Right', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

There has been no end of predictions that the demise of the Religious Right is imminent. Over the past three decades, proof of its impending collapse has included the televangelist scandals, Pat Robertson’s failure to secure the Republican presidential nomination, the election and re-election of Bill Clinton, and the emergence of “young” evangelicals who refuse to toe the Religious Right line (this one keeps popping up). The latest version involves the notion that economically focused libertarians of the Tea Party will inevitably find themselves in heated conflict with evangelical and fundamentalist social conservatives, thus challenging the power of the ...


Review: 'More Desired Than Our Owne Salvation: The Roots Of Christian Zionism', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: 'More Desired Than Our Owne Salvation: The Roots Of Christian Zionism', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

The degree of American “affinity with the State of Israel,” to use Robert O. Smith’s language in his enlightening book, is simply remarkable. As Smith documents, polling results over the last few decades make abundantly clear that American Christians — led by white evangelicals — consistently and overwhelmingly side with Israelis and against Palestinians. Regarding U.S. policies in the Middle East, while polls show that a majority of people throughout the rest of the world — including, as revealed in a 2003 poll, Israelis themselves — believe that American foreign policy is unfairly tilted toward Israel, Americans maintain that U.S. policies ...


Prescient Pacifists, William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Prescient Pacifists, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Reviews of two books: Patricia Applebaum, Kingdom to Commune: Protestant Pacifist Culture between World War I and the Vietnam Era. Joseph Kosek, Acts of Conscience: Christian Nonviolence and Modern American Democracy. The Enlightenment has bequeathed us — Americans more than anyone else — the conviction that history is a story of progress. Such a notion seems ludicrous when one considers the violence of the contemporary world. As the British historian Eric Hobsbawm observes in his brilliant work The Age of Extremes, the 20th century "was without doubt the most murderous century of which we have record, both by the scale, frequency and ...


No More Death Row, William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

No More Death Row, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Reviews of two books:

  • Rachel King, Don’t Kill in Our Names: Families of Murder Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty.
  • Scott Turow, Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer’s Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty.

In 2000, Gov. George Ryan of Illinois declared a moratorium on executions. He was horrified that innocent men had nearly been executed on his watch, and he was impressed by stories in the Chicago Tribune detailing the problems of his state's capital punishment system. Ryan established a commission to study the system and propose reforms. In 2002 the commission issued its report, which ...


Review: Darren Dochuk's 'From Bible Belt To Sun Belt', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: Darren Dochuk's 'From Bible Belt To Sun Belt', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

In From Bible Belt to Sun Belt, Darren Dochuk cogently observes that there is “a general tendency in political history to treat religion as an historical agent that pops up for a short time, makes some noise, surprises some people and scares others, but then suddenly disappears again to wait for its next release” (p. xxii). As a result, when it comes to the Religious Right, there has been a scholarly obsession with trying to explain its “sudden” emergence in the 1970s (an enterprise that often includes predictions of its imminent disappearance).


Review: Jacob Dorn's 'Socialism And Christianity In Early 20th-Century America', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: Jacob Dorn's 'Socialism And Christianity In Early 20th-Century America', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, there will be much talk by television and radio evangelists of the urgent necessity for "Christian voters" to go to the polls on Election Day. It will be assumed — by the preachers, by their audiences, and by the general media — that these "Christian voters" will vote Republican (implying, of course, that only "non-Christian voters" would even consider pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate). Jacob Dorn summarizes this state of affairs in his introduction to Socialism and Christianity: "The rise of the Religious Right" has "overshadow[ed] the potential of American Christianity to stimulate social ...


Review: Mark Noll's 'The New Shape Of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: Mark Noll's 'The New Shape Of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

It has become commonplace to observe that the center of Christianity has moved from Euroamerica to the global South and East. Still, it is a bit jarring to realize, as Mark Noll notes at the beginning of this compelling book, that "this past Sunday" more "Anglicans attended church in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda than did Anglicans in Britain and Canada and Episcopalians in the United States combined"; more "members of Brazil's Pentecostal Assemblies of God [were] at church than the combined total in the two largest U.S. Pentecostal denominations"; and more people attended the ...


Portrait Of A Nation: A Review Of Claude Fischer's 'Made In America: A Social History Of American Culture And Character', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Portrait Of A Nation: A Review Of Claude Fischer's 'Made In America: A Social History Of American Culture And Character', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

The distinguished University of California sociologist Claude Fischer is unhappy with historians' failure to provide the grand narrative — in this case the grand narrative of American history. But instead of waiting for recalcitrant historians to tie up the "loose threads that comprise the study of American social history,'' Fischer provides his own metanarrative, neatly laid out in the introduction. Fischer is convinced that there is an American national character that makes America exceptional and that its central feature is voluntarism, defined here as something like individualistic collegiality: We are "sovereign individuals,'' but we love to be in groups that we ...


Nonviolent Voices: Peace Churches Make A Witness, William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Nonviolent Voices: Peace Churches Make A Witness, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

It is not a propitious time to b a pacifist in the United States. Polls inchcat that over 90 percent of Americans continue to support the military campaign in Afghanistan. Indi cations of such support are verywb re, as are the warnings- like the ubiquitous and vaguely threatening "Americans Unite" bump r stickers-that this time of national crisis is not the time for dissent. Not only are there very few voices in the mainstream media expressing doubts about the wisdom of the current military operation, but a number of commentators have waxed apoplectic over any possibility that there may be ...


Managing A Merger, William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Managing A Merger, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

It was not the sort of place where one would expect to find the folks who produced the More-with-Less Cookbook, but the massive and hermetically sealed Opryland complex in Nashville was where 9,330 Mennonites gathered in early July for a momentous meeting. The two largest Mennonite bodies in the U.S. — the General Conference Mennonite Church (established in 1860) and the Mennonite Church (formally established in 1898, but with roots that go back much further) — voted to merge into one denomination, the Mennonite Church USA, after first finding a way to address the issue of homosexuality.


Murderous Nation: A Review Of Randolph Roth's 'American Homicide', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Murderous Nation: A Review Of Randolph Roth's 'American Homicide', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

In 1863, a cooper in Chillicothe, Ohio, named Schyler Courier angrily responded to a group of boys throwing snowballs at him by firing his shotgun, killing one of the boys. In 1866, in Petersburg, New York, Hiram Coon warned his employer's wife, Mary Laker, to quit taunting him for his criminal past; when she would not stop, he split her head open with an ax. In 1873, an enraged Waiden, Vermont, farmer named James Snow shot peddler John Stanton in the face for the latter's snarky comment to Snow's wife — "I guess you have money, as farmers ...


In Lockdown America: The Corruption Of Capital Punishment, William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

In Lockdown America: The Corruption Of Capital Punishment, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Reviews of three books: Randolph Loney, A Dream of the Tattered Man: Stories from Georgia’s Death Row. Austin Sarat, When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition. Mark Lewis Taylor, The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America. Author's introduction: I finish this review in the shadow of Timothy McVeigh's execution. But while America's most notorious mass murderer is dead, and while the pundits continue to argue the merits and meaning of his execution, news about capital punishment just keeps coming. Next after McVeigh on the federal death list is Juan ...


Review: Stuart Banner's 'The Death Penalty: An American History', William Vance Trollinger Oct 2015

Review: Stuart Banner's 'The Death Penalty: An American History', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

In this dispassionate but chillingly detailed survey of capital punishment, Banner, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, documents and explains the dramatic "changes in the arguments pro and con, in the crimes punished with death, in execution methods and rituals ... [and] in the way Americans have understood and experienced the death penalty."


Evangelicalism And Religious Pluralism In Contemporary America: Diversity Without, Diversity Within, And Maintaining The Borders, William Vance Trollinger Aug 2015

Evangelicalism And Religious Pluralism In Contemporary America: Diversity Without, Diversity Within, And Maintaining The Borders, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Not that many people need convincing, but the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) provides confirming evidence that evangelicalism in America is alive and well. In this survey, which involved 54,461 telephone interviews, the 76% of respondents who identified themselves as Christians were asked a follow-up question: "Do you identify as a Born Again or Evangelical Christian?" Forty-five percent answered yes. This number obviously includes a fair number of folks within "mainline" denominations and within predominately African-American churches; more surprising, perhaps, 18.9% of American Catholics identified themselves as "born again" or "evangelical." If one were to depend solely ...


Fundamentalism, William Vance Trollinger Aug 2015

Fundamentalism, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

In America fundamentalism is a movement within Protestantism that was organized immediately after World War I in opposition to "modernism," which included liberal theology primarily, and also Darwinism and secularism. A subgroup of evangelicalism, fundamentalism staunchly affirmed with evangelicals "fundamentals of the faith," including the deity of Christ, his virgin birth, his bodily resurrection, and his substitutionary atonement. What distinguishes fundamentalists from other evangelicals is their strident opposition to modernism. They are, to quote George Marsden, "militant anti-modernist evangelicals."


Hearing The Silence: The University Of Dayton, The Ku Klux Klan, And Catholic Universities And Colleges In The 1920s, William Vance Trollinger Aug 2015

Hearing The Silence: The University Of Dayton, The Ku Klux Klan, And Catholic Universities And Colleges In The 1920s, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

The "second" Ku Klux Klan exploded into national prominence in the 1920s. While the original Klan was based in the South and concentrated its animus against the newly freed slaves, the second KKK was a national organization that expanded its list of social scapegoats to include Catholics, Jews, and immigrants. Ohio perhaps had more Klan members than any other state, and in the 1920s the Dayton KKK chapter targeted the local Catholic university – the University of Dayton (UD) – with crossburnings and a bombing. While the school's administration avoided confrontation, UD students and the UD football team aggressively challenged the ...


Is There A Center To American Religious History?, William Vance Trollinger Aug 2015

Is There A Center To American Religious History?, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Is there a center to American religious history? Of course, this question grows out of what David Wills has referred to as “the perennial debate that always seems to hold center stage as the Big Issue in the field ... [that is,] the ongoing quarrel between those who center their stories on the culturally formative role of a dominant Protestantism and those who emphasize the countervailing forces of religious pluralism and toleration.”

As I take the question, Is there some sort of center to American religion – dominant Protestantism or otherwise – that enables us to tell the story of American religion in ...


Review: 'Hero Of The Heartland: Billy Sunday And The Transformation Of American Society, 1862-1935', William Vance Trollinger Aug 2015

Review: 'Hero Of The Heartland: Billy Sunday And The Transformation Of American Society, 1862-1935', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

It is hard to imagine how anyone could write a boring book about the colorful evangelist Billy Sunday. Robert Martin does not disappoint. The University of Northern Iowa historian tells a lively and well-researched story about Sunday's Iowa childhood—his father's untimely death, his family's grinding poverty, his mother abandoning him to an orphanage—as well as his career as a major league baseball player, his conversion at a Chicago mission and his marriage to Helen (Nell), his remarkable success as an entrepreneurial evangelist, and his failures as a father. In all this Martin convincingly depicts Sunday ...


Protestantism And Fundamentalism, William Vance Trollinger Aug 2015

Protestantism And Fundamentalism, William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

The term "fundamentalism" has been used to describe a host of religious movements across the globe that are militantly antimodernist, aggressively patriarchal, literalist in their reading of sacred texts, and assiduous in their efforts to draw boundaries between themselves and outsiders. While "Islamic fundamentalism" has received the most attention, particularly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, scholars and journalists have also applied the term to movements within such disparate traditions as Judaism, Sikhism, and Hinduism, as well as to various Christian groups. There are benefits to understanding fundamentalism as a global movement that grows out of deep-seated and intense ...


A Response To John Sommerville’S 'The Decline Of The Secular University', William Vance Trollinger Aug 2015

A Response To John Sommerville’S 'The Decline Of The Secular University', William Vance Trollinger

William Vance Trollinger Jr.

Introduction to William Vance Trollinger's plenary presentation: I agree with Prof. Sommerville that in too many places the secular university has trivialized religion and religious commitment, and that it is high time for religion to be welcomed into our academic debates. I say this even while I take issue with some of the particulars in Prof. Sommerville’s book. I will give two examples related to our discipline of history. First, Prof. Sommerville decries that “secularist humanities have declared war on metanarratives because of their hegemonic power.” But I confess that I am very pleased to see the demise ...