In this volume, experts in American religious history and the sociology of religion examine the extraordinary decline of mainline Protestantism over the past half century and assess its future. Contributors discuss the demographics of mainline Protestants; their beliefs, practices, and modes of worship; their political views and partisan affiliations; and the social and moral questions that unite and divide Protestant communities. Other chapters examine Protestant institutions, including providers of health care and education; analyze churches' public voice; and probe what will come from a diminished role relative to other groups in society, especially the ascendant evangelicals. Far from going extinct, the book argues, the mainline Protestant movement will continue to be a vital remnant in an American religious culture torn between the contending forces of secularism and evangelicalism.
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Number of pages: 248
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
A timely collection, The Future of Mainline Protestantism in America synthesizes a great deal of recent scholarship in a way that will speak to a wide audience of students and scholars alike. It will make a positive contribution to the wider field of American religion, in particular, to the fields of sociology of religion, history of American Christianity, and religion in American culture.--Christopher Evans, Boston University
With precision, clarity, and balance, these authors explore many facets of the well-known but less well understood mainline tradition. The Future of Mainline Protestantism in America offers facts, a guide to pertinent literature, a survey of history, and predictions about coming challenges and opportunities--all highly relevant to conversations about religion in American culture.--Elesha J. Coffman, author of The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline