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Baylor Church History Collection (14 vols.)
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Overview

From hagiography and Baptist history to feminism and contemporary theological figures, these volumes represent the latest scholarship and make a great addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of church and its thought—both ancient and contemporary. This collection of resources from Baylor University Press offers the most recent research on a variety of topics in the fields of church history and historical theology. Among this collection are titles like The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus by Adam C. English, in which he takes a look at the historical Saint Nicholas of Myra, whose actual life warrants just as much fame as that produced by his legend. In The Way of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity, Carson Holloway provides a helpful account of the life and thought of Pope John Paul II, one of the most significant theologians of twentieth-century Christianity. Several titles focus on the role of women in the church throughout history as preachers and theologians. Several volumes on the history of the Baptist tradition are also included.

With the Logos edition of this collection, all volumes link to other resources and the powerful features of your Logos library, making study more efficient and productive than ever. In addition to being fully searchable, all Scripture references appear on mouseover, and citations to other resources in your library are linked so you can view them in a click.

Key Features

  • The first English translation of Arminuis’ Declaration of Sentiments from the original Dutch
  • Several volumes on women in church history
  • A diverse collection of recent research in historical theology and church history
  • Several volumes on Baptist history

Individual Titles

The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra

  • Author: Adam C. English
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 246

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

With his rosy cheeks and matching red suit—and ever-present elf and reindeer companions—Santa Claus may be the most identifiable of fantastic characters. But what do we really know of jolly old Saint Nicholas, “patron saint” of Christmastime? Ask about the human behind the suit, and the tale we know so well quickly fades into myth and folklore.

In The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus, religious historian Adam English tells the true and compelling tale of Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra. Around the fourth century in what is now Turkey, a boy of humble circumstance became a man revered for his many virtues. Chief among them was dealing generously with his possessions, once lifting an entire family out of poverty with a single—and secret—gift of gold, so legend tells. Yet he was much more than virtuous. As English reveals, Saint Nicholas was of integral influence in events that would significantly impact the history and development of the Christian church, including the Council of Nicaea, the destruction of the temple to Artemis in Myra, and a miraculous rescue of three falsely accused military officers. Nicholas became the patron saint of children and sailors, merchants and thieves, as well as France, Russia, Greece, and myriad others.

Weaving together the best historical and archaeological evidence available with the folklore and legends handed down through generations, English creates a stunning image of this much venerated Christian saint. With prose as enjoyable as it is informative, he shows why the life—and death—of Nicholas of Myra so radically influenced the formation of Western history and Christian thought, and did so in ways many have never realized.

. . . a fresh look at St. Nicholas . . . English does an excellent job of fleshing out the life and ministry of this man who became a saint who still inspires today.

Library Journal

The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus is the best of hagiography combined with the best of secular history, all liberally spiced with the passion and verve of a good biographer in thrall to his subject. Thanks to English, we have tantalizing glimpses of what actually shaped the man into the saint, and both into an icon.

—Phyllis Tickle, founding editor, Religion Department, Publishers Weekly

The Saint Who Would Be Santa is a strong pick for biography and history collections.

The Midwest Book Review

Adam C. English is associate professor of religion at Campbell University, where he teaches on the philosophy of religion, constructive theology, and the history of Christian thought.

A Company of Women Preachers: Baptist Prophetesses in Seventeenth-Century England

  • Author: Curtis W. Freeman
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 750

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

When the Baptist movement began four centuries ago, revolutionary forces had destabilized the centers of social control that had long kept women in their place. In the early seventeenth century, Baptist women began to speak their minds. Through their prophetic writings, these women came to exercise considerable influence and authority among the early churches. When Baptists became more institutionalized later in the century, the egalitarian distinction dissipated and women’s voices again, for a long history, were silenced. However, long ago, in early Baptist life in England, women did preach—well and often.

In A Company of Women Preachers, Curtis Freeman presents a critical edition of these prophetic women’s texts, retrieving their voices so that their messages and contributions to the tradition may once again be recognized.

With selections ranging from Katherine Chidley to Anne Wentworth, this valuable collection allows readers to hear the often neglected voices of early Baptist women who openly exercised their ‘gifts’ for teaching and preaching. Freeman’s careful research enhances our understanding of this contentious topic within Baptist history as well as providing insight into the lives of the women themselves. His book will be a welcome addition for scholars and students of women’s history, church history, and Baptist history.

—Beth Allison Barr, assistant professor of European women’s history, Baylor University

A Company of Women Preachers is a remarkable resource for those who study early modern religion. In this book, we hear the voices of women who have largely been silenced and forgotten—voices that will surprise, challenge, and intrigue those who encounter them. With this book Professor Freeman has done valuable service both for the women whose writings he includes and for those students and scholars who will now have an accessible way to engage with those writings.

—Nancy Bradley Warren, professor of English, courtesy professor of religion, Florida State University

We owe Curtis Freeman a debt of gratitude, not only for making these texts available so easily, and with such a helpful introduction, but for all the questions we are now faced with as a result of being able to read them together.

Baptist Quarterly

Splendid. A most exciting Baptist history. This material profoundly challenges popular perceptions of women in Baptist life and deserves the widest possible readership.

—Ian Randall, director of research at Spurgeon’s College, London

Curtis W. Freeman is research professor of theology and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School.

A Brutal Unity: The Spiritual Politics of the Christian Church

  • Author: Ephraim Radner
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 482

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

To describe the church as “united” is a factual misnomer—even at its conception centuries ago. Ephraim Radner provides a robust rethinking of the doctrine of the church in light of Christianity’s often violent and at times morally suspect history. He holds in tension the strange and transcendent oneness of God with the necessarily temporal and political function of the church, and, in so doing, shows how the goals and failures of the liberal democratic state provide revelatory experiences that greatly enhance one’s understanding of the nature of Christian unity.

Massively learned and beautifully written, this book has to be the best work ever written against the holiness and unity of the church by a Christian theologian. Not one to mince words, Radner presents Judas as the mirror of the faithless, violent, and fractured church. For Radner, the failure of liberalism arises from and reflects the failure of the church to repent. But he does not end there. He argues that in God’s creation of things separate from God, and in Christ’s radical giving of himself, we find God’s holiness and oneness as a gift for God’s people and as an invitation to imitate God’s asymmetrical giving. Those who disagree with Radner will thank him for pressing us to examine anew why Christians rightly confess the church to be one and holy.

Matthew Levering, professor of religious studies, University of Dayton

Radner’s A Brutal Unity is a book of startling insight, extraordinary erudition, and is replete with theological implications. His ability to help us see connections between Christian disunity and liberal political theory and practice should command the attention of Christian and non-Christian alike. A Brutal Unity is a stunning achievement.

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School

Radner provides a powerful theological reflection on division and Christian complicity in violence. Drawing on a wide array of Biblical, theological, and philosophical sources as well as numerous specific historic examples, he argues for a reconceptualization of Christian unity based not on forced consensus or procedural norms but on an understanding of the centrality of division to Christian life and a commitment to conscience, confrontation, and coexistence. A Brutal Unity should be essential reading for anyone concerned about social conflict and violence and how Christians can contribute more effectively to promoting peace.

—Timothy Longman, director, African Studies Center, Boston University

Ephraim Radner is professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. He is the author or editor of seven books, including The Fate of Communion: The Agony of Anglicanism and the Future of a Global Church and Hope Among the Fragments: The Broken Church and Its Engagement of Scripture.

Inventing Authority: The Use of the Church Fathers in Reformation Debates over the Eucharist

  • Author: Esther Chung-Kim
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 230

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Adding great historical insight to the events of the sixteenth century, Inventing Authority uncovers how and why the Protestant reformers came, in their dissent from the Catholic Church, to turn to the Church Fathers and align their movements with the early church. Discovering that the reformers most frequently appealed to patristic sources in polemical contexts, Esther Chung-Kim adeptly traces the variety and creativity of their appeals to their forebears in order to support their arguments—citing them to be authoritative for being “exemplary scriptural exegetes.”

Examining three generations of sixteenth-century reformers—from such heavyweights as Calvin and Luther to lesser-known figures like Oecolampadius and Hesshusen—Chung-Kim offers an analysis of striking breadth, one that finds its center by focusing in on the perennially contentious topic of the Eucharist. Filling a significant gap in the early history of the Lutheran and Reformed traditions, Inventing Authority is an important and eye-opening contribution to Reformation studies.

This is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the use of the fathers in Reformation times. It gives a useful new perspective on the much-studied eucharistic debates.

—Anthony N. S. Lane, professor of historical theology, London School of Theology

This work reflects a disciplined approach that bears some useful fruit for the historian . . . Inventing Authority is well-researched and thought-provoking, and will be of interest to the scholar, the student, and the informed layperson.

The Expository Times

A thoughtful and important study. Chung-Kim’s treatment of the Calvin-Westphal debate—the focal point of the book—is especially to be commended.

—Irena Backus, professor of religious studies, Institut d’histoire de la Réformation, Université de Genève

Esther Chung-Kim is assistant professor of religious studies at Claremont McKenna College.

Women, Writing, Theology: Transforming a Tradition of Exclusion

  • Editors: Emily A. Holmes and Wendy Farley
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 330

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Women’s theology has traditionally been pushed to the margins as “spirituality” or “mysticism” rather than theology proper. Theology from women has been transmitted orally, recorded by men as sayings or in hagiographies, or passed on as “stealth theology” in poems, hymns, or practices. In the past 40 years, women have claimed theology for themselves. Yet in most academic and ecclesial theology, the contributions of women skirt the borders of the written tradition. This unique volume asks about the conditions of women writing theology. How have women historically justified their writing practices? What internal and external constraints shape their capacity to write? What counts as theology, and who qualifies as a theologian? And what does it mean for women to enter a tradition that has been based, in part, on their exclusion? These essays explore such questions through historical investigations, theoretical analyses, and contemporary constructions.

In this volume, 12 women theological writers interact with other women theological writers from across history. They reflect on the experience of women’s marginalization as writers and the way women have overcome this. In many breakthrough examples we witness how women have written themselves into transformed life, health and wisdom. This is a book to be read slowly, contemplatively.

Rosemary Radford Ruether, professor of feminist theology, Claremont Graduate University

This passionate volume shows how believing women, in a dozen times and places, found ways to write theology despite all the prohibitions. They wrote it as lives and letters of counsel, hymns and novels and poems—stubborn testimonies of their refusal to surrender the Word. From them—from this book—Christian theologians can learn again the promises of the art they profess.

—Mark D. Jordan, professor of the humanities, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University, St. Louis

This wonderfully rich collection of women’s contributions to theological thinking offers an important alternative set of lenses to the simplistic options of explicit protest literature vs. silence. The very concept of theology is deepened profoundly by these examples of women’s writing and lived practices over the centuries as theology is stretched to include different literary genres and different forms of life expression. A very important and original piece of work.

—Mary McClintock Fulkerson, professor of theology, Duke Divinity School

Emily A. Holmes is assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Christian Brothers University. She previously served as cochair of the Women and Religion section of the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion.

Wendy Farley is professor of religion and ethics at Emory University. Her previous publications include The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth and Eros for the Other: Retaining Truth in a Pluralistic World.

Saving Women: Retrieving Evangelistic Theology and Practice

  • Author: Laceye C. Warner
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 320

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Saving Women is a much-needed study of women’s contributions to the theology of evangelism. Through a careful consideration of the primary sources of six Protestant women ministering in America from 1800 to 1950, this historical and theological study demonstrates that these women combined verbal proclamation with other historic Christian practices in their roles as preacher, visitor, missionary, educator, activist, and reformer.

This terrific book is a rich addition to the literature on evangelism. The retrieval of the work of women evangelists is long overdue. However, Warner has done much more than provide felicitous biographical reviews of a set of extraordinary women. She has also explored the significance of their theologies and ministries for our vision and practice of evangelism today. This book deserves to be widely read, marked, and inwardly digested by all who care for the future of evangelism.

—William J. Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

What does it mean to be a Christian evangelist? Although you may think you already know the answer to that question, Laceye Warner has much to teach you in this thought-provoking, engaging book. Reflecting on the stories of six ‘saving women’ who tried to make America a better place in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Warner argues that Christian evangelism should not only include the verbal proclamation of the Gospel, but also social action. The compassionate women in this book not only preached the Gospel, but embodied it in their own lives.

—Catherine Brekus, associate professor of the history of Christianity, The Divinity School, The University of Chicago

Warner recovers forgotten women of faith involved in preaching, teaching, nursing, social reform and discipleship whose ministries of evangelism contribute important insights for contemporary understandings of the practice and theology of evangelism. This book not only recovers women’s religious history, but also offers a new resource for the study of the history, theology and practice of evangelism. Saving Women will be very useful both in the classroom and the church.

Marion Ann Taylor, professor of Old Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

Laceye Warner (PhD Trinity College) is associate dean for academic formation, associate professor of the practice of evangelism and Methodist studies, and the Royce and Jane Reynolds Teaching Fellow at Duke Divinity School.

The Way of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity

  • Author: Carson Holloway
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 205

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The passing of John Paul II provoked questions about the pope, particularly in his relation to modernity. Was he opposed to the tenets of modernity, as some critics claimed? Or did he accommodate modernity in a way no pope ever had, as his champions asserted? In The Way of Life, Carson Holloway examines the fundamental philosophers of modernity—from Hobbes to de Tocqueville—to suggest that John Paul II’s critique of modernity is intended not to reject it, but to improve it. Thus, claims Holloway, it is appropriate for liberal modernity to attend to the Pope’s thought, receiving it not as the attack of an enemy but as the criticism of a candid friend.

In this excellent new book, Carson Holloway convincingly shows that the late Pope John Paul II was one of the most important political theorists and activists of the past century. In this well-researched, carefully reasoned, and lucidly written study, Holloway explicates how John Paul II understood the true foundations of modern liberalism more profoundly than most liberal theorists have understood in theory what they have advocated in practice.

—David Novak, J. Richard and Dororthy Shiff Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto

In this lucid and insightful book, Carson Holloway brings political philosophy to bear on John Paul II’s ‘critique of liberal modernity.’ Holloway shows that the Polish Pope was neither a ‘progressive’ nor a ‘reactionary’ but instead a proponent of true humanism rooted in the most august classical and Christian wisdom. This indefatigable defender of human liberty and dignity rejected the premises underlying ‘philosophical modernity’—materialism, hedonism, utilitarianism—precisely because they were incompatible with ‘the truth about man.’

—Daniel J. Mahoney, professor of political science, Assumption College

Carson Holloway (PhD Northern Illinois University) is assistant professor of political science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a former William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is the author of Magnanimity and Statesmanship, The Right Darwin: Evolution, Religion, and the Future of Democracy, and All Shook Up: Music, Passion, and Politics.

The Renaissance Bible: Scholarship, Sacrifice, and Subjectivity

  • Author: Debora Kuller Shuger
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 313

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The Renaissance Bible skillfully navigates the immense but neglected materials spanning the gap between medieval biblical scholarship and the rise of Higher Criticism. Debora Kuller Shuger powerfully demonstrates the disciplinary fusion of Renaissance biblical scholarship—in which the Bible remained the primary locus for cultural, anthropological, and psychological reflection—against modern historians’ penchant for bracketing all things religious when reimagining the Renaissance world. Despite the considerable ground she covers and the interdisciplinary nature of her subject, Shuger never roves. Her penetrating focus casts remarkable light on her subject, especially Renaissance writers’ use of the Passion. Their concerns emerge as surprisingly contemporary, inviting the reader to reflect on such relevant topics as selfhood, violence, and gender.

Debora Shuger is one of the most original interpreters of the English Renaissance now writing, and The Renaissance Bible is her best book yet. . . . [It] will help revitalize the study of religion for Renaissance scholars and cultural critics generally.

—Jeffrey Knapp, Chancellor’s Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley

This book is of vital importance to Renaissance studies.

—Regina Schwartz, professor of English, Northwestern University

[The Renaissance Bible] is suggestive and at times provocative in what it sets forth, and forms a useful component to work on the Reformation Bible.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Debora Kuller Shuger is distinguished professor of English at UCLA. She has written numerous books, including Censorship and Cultural Sensibility: The Regulation of Language in Tudor-Stuart England and Political Theologies in Shakespeare’s England.

The Kingdom Is Always But Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch

  • Author: Christopher H. Evans
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 376

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Given the 2005 Award of Merit by Christianity Today, Christopher Evans’ The Kingdom is Always but Coming follows the life and career of American theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, the preeminent spokesperson at the center of the social gospel movement. Perceptive, well-informed, and ably written, Evans’ biography is a superb introduction to Rauschenbusch’s life and thought.

Timely and absorbing. Like the best in this genre, this biography brilliantly positions Rauschenbusch in his own era.

—Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School

Splendid. A model of historical scholarship and theological analysis; it significantly strengthens our understanding of Rauschenbusch and his era.

—Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary

Definitive. Evans presents the paradoxes and complexities of Rauschenbusch’s life, thought, and action in ways that past biographers have not.

—Rosemary Skinner Keller, professor emerita of church history, Union Theological Seminary

Christopher H. Evans is professor of the history of Christianity in the School of Divinity, Boston University. He is the author and editor of several books, including The Faith of Fifty Million: Baseball, Religion, and American Culture and The Social Gospel Today.

The Challenge of Being Baptist: Owning a Scandalous Past and an Uncertain Future

  • Author: Bill J. Leonard
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 162

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The largest Protestant denomination in the United States is in the midst of a serious identity crisis; many Baptists are revisiting or turning away from the tradition, leaving others to become increasingly uncertain that the denomination can remain viable. Here, however, noted Baptist historian Bill Leonard wades through the murky waters of the Baptist past and explores the historic commitments of this unique people—all in an effort to shed light on its contemporary dilemmas and evaluate the prospects for a Baptist future. While encouraging members of the faith to thoroughly and fairly evaluate their heritage—and its many blunders along the way—Leonard ultimately argues that the Baptists’ contentious “audacious witness” shown throughout its history still has a worthy role to play in the twenty-first century.

. . . A ‘warts and all’ approach, unafraid of confronting the divisiveness of much Baptist history over matters both of grave importance and of apparent trivial nature . . . Leonard’s deployment of language is well-focused and rich in meaning.

Baptist Quarterly

This is the kind of conversation that Baptists need to have in the remaining part of the twenty-first century. With his unique style of writing, Bill Leonard conveys his thoughts as if in personal conversation, talking about Baptist life while sitting on the deck at his home in Winston-Salem.

—David W. Key Sr., director of Baptist studies, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Engaging and accessible, a must-read for everyone who thinks the church still needs Baptists and others who wonder if it might be better off without this contentious lot.

—Steven R. Harmon, associate professor of divinity, Samford University

Deftly written with the delightful prose and the keenly insightful narrative that we have come to expect from Bill Leonard. In the context of contemporary pluralism, Baptists can still identify with a focus on believers’ church, covenant communities, individual conscience, individual and communal dissent, global mission, and commitment to Scripture.

—Doug Weaver, associate professor of religion, Baylor University

Bill J. Leonard is dean and professor of church history at the Wake Forest University Divinity School. A prolific and esteemed author, Leonard’s most recent books include Baptist Questions, Baptist Answers and The Acts of the Apostles: Four Centuries of Baptist Interpretation.

Baptists through the Centuries: A History of a Global People

  • Author: David W. Bebbington
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 320

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A clearly written introduction to the history and theology of this international tradition, Baptists through the Centuries provides a chronological survey of the main developments in Baptist life and thought from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. As Baptists spread globally beyond their British and American origins, Bebbington persuasively demonstrates how they constantly adapted to the cultures and societies in which they lived, generating even more diversity within an already multifaceted identity. In the course of telling the story of Baptists, Bebbington also examines the challenging social, political, and intellectual issues in Baptist history—attitudes on race, women’s roles in the church, religious liberty, foreign missions, and denominational identity—and situates each within a broader context.

One of the Baptist tradition’s finest writing historians has given us here an engaging overview of the Baptist movement from the Reformation to the present day. A work of mature research, this book tells the Baptist story in a way that makes it accessible to scholars and beginning students alike.

Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

Bebbington is a wise guide . . . This judicious and insightful account of Baptist history is to be commended.

Baptist Quarterly

Conversations about Baptist identity too often generate more heat than light. This book is a happy exception, telling the Baptist story with great insight and clarity.

—Curtis W. Freeman, research professor of theology and Baptist studies, Duke University Divinity School

. . . a welcomed addition to the field of Baptist studies.

Baptist History and Heritage Society

David Bebbington has placed us all in his debt by producing this volume

Journal of European Baptist Studies

David W. Bebbington is professor of history at the University of Stirling. His previous books include The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics and The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody.

The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond

  • Author: Randall Balmer
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 100

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With impressively clear prose and a superb command of history, best-selling author Randall Balmer here offers a spirited history of evangelical Christianity in the United States. Effortlessly situating developments in evangelicalism in their wider historical context, he demonstrates the ways American social and cultural settings influenced the course of the evangelical tradition. By revealing the four key moments in the movement’s history—the transition from Calvinist to Armenian theology in the embrace of revivalism, the shift from postmillennialism, the retreat into a subculture, and the rise of the Religious Right—Balmer masterfully demonstrates how American evangelicalism is truly American and concludes with a manifesto directing where evangelicalism must go from here forward.

Seldom has so short a volume produced as much bang as this gem by noted historian and sometime politician Randall Balmer. For those who seek a greater understanding of the peculiar successes of evangelicalism in the American environment there can be no better starting point than The Making of Evangelicalism.

Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University

Often challenging and at times provocative, The Making of Evangelicalism calls for serious reflection regarding evangelicalism’s future. Even those who might disagree with Balmer’s interpretations will profit from a serious reading and pondering of this engaging, lucidly written book.

David S. Dockery, president, Union University

The Making of Evangelicalism exhibits the acumen we have come to expect from its author. In 84 pages of sharp, passionate prose, Balmer manages to illustrate, instruct, redefine, excite, entertain, and most of all provoke, all the while tweaking the conscience of evangelicals as much the curiosity of outside observers. His approach results in a remarkable book, one that can (and should) be read by anyone who wants to learn the basic history of this movement and measure its profound and enduring impact on American society.

The Journal of Southern Religion

Randall Balmer is Mandel Family Professor of Arts and Sciences and Chair of the Department of Religion, Dartmouth College. A prolific and highly esteemed writer, he is the author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America, God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, and Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America.

Preaching Death: The Transformation of Christian Funeral Sermons

  • Author: Lucy Bregman
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 263

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Christians traditionally have had something substantive and important to say about death and the afterlife. Yet the language and imagery used in sermons about life and death have given way to language designed to comfort and celebrate.

In Preaching Death, Lucy Bregman tracks the changes in Protestant American funerals over the last one hundred years. Early-twentieth-century “natural immortality” doctrinal funeral sermons transitioned to an era of “silence and denial,” eventually becoming expressive, biographical tributes to the deceased. The contemporary death awareness movement, with the “death as a natural event” perspective, has widely impacted American culture, affecting health care, education, and psychotherapy and creating new professions such as hospice nurse and grief counselor. Bregman questions whether this transition—which occurred unobserved and without conflict—was inevitable and what alternative paths could have been chosen. In tracing this unique story, she reveals how Americans’ comprehension of death shifted in the last century—and why we must find ways to move beyond it.

Lucy Bregman’s incredible scholarship, laced with her practical judgment, creates sparkling insights at every turn. A must-read for pastors, for those who teach them, and for grief counselors of any stripe; this is their story, too.

—Dennis Klass, emeritus professor of religious studies, Webster University

Lucy Bregman has once again brought her experience to bear upon the weighty topic of death, dying, and the afterlife. Clear, concise, and accessibly written, this book will doubtless be of interest to a wide audience, including not only those interested in Christian theology but those with a general interest in modern attitudes to death, dying, loss, and bereavement.

—Christopher M. Moreman, assistant professor of philosophy, California State University, East Bay

Lucy Bregman’s primary concern is our legacy, not in terms of what we leave behind when we die but with the images and meanings we create as we live in the presence of death. In a unique and provocative twist, she challenges readers to use historical imagination to envision alternative theologies of death in twentieth century America. Preaching Death should be read by historians, preachers, and poets, and by anyone who longs to re-imagine death and grief in the twenty-first century.

—Margaret R. McLean, associate director and director of bioethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University

Lucy Bregman is professor of religion at Temple University. Her previous publications include Death and Dying, Spirituality and Religions: A Study of the Death Awareness Movement, Beyond Silence and Denial: Death and Dying Reconsidered, and First Person Mortal: Personal Narratives of Illness, Dying and Grief.

Arminius and His Declaration of Sentiments: An Annotated Translation with Introduction and Theological Commentary

  • Author: W. Stephen Gunter
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 225

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With this first direct translation of Arminius’ Declaration of Sentiments into English from the original Dutch, Stephen Gunter weaves expert translation with valuable notes and theological commentary. Gunter’s introduction situates this overlooked but critically important work within its rich historical context and includes a clear, illuminating discussion of the debate over predestination. What emerges is an enlightening portrait of Arminius that challenges modern misconceptions about one of the most significant sixteenth-century theologians.

Gunter’s book makes a significant contribution to the resurgence of scholarship on Jacob Arminius. No longer having to rely on an archaic translation of a translation, English readers are now one step closer to the historical Arminius with this definitive translation of and commentary on his most important treatise.

—Keith Stanglin, associate professor, Austin Graduate School of Theology

W. Stephen Gunter is associate dean for Methodist studies and research professor of evangelism and Wesleyan studies at Duke Divinity School. He is author, coauthor, or editor of six books, including Considering the Great Commission: Evangelism and Mission in the Wesleyan Spirit, John Wesley and the Netherlands, and The Quotable Mr. Wesley.

Product Details

  • Title: Baylor Church History Collection
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Volumes: 14
  • Pages: 4,311