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What were American evangelicals doing in Russian public schools? Actually, the Russian Ministry of Education had invited them. Faced with the need for new approaches to moral education after the demise of communism, the Russian Ministry of Education turned to a group of Western evangelical Christians called the CoMission for help. Oddly enough, a government that had promoted atheism, destroyed churches, and persecuted Christians for more than seventy years now found itself partnering with Christians to train their educators to teach ethics.
This book not only tells the story of this odd educational enterprise and its ultimate outcome, but it also explores the questions that such a groundbreaking project inevitably raises. What led post-communist educators to seek help with moral education from Western Christians? How did the Russian Ministry of Education and the CoMission handle the church-state relationships that this endeavor produced? How did post-Soviet teachers respond? How did the Orthodox Church react? While a few books have described the changes in Russian public schools, this book provides the first in-depth case study of moral education in Russia after communism.
This account of the CoMission -- a group of eighty-three Christian organizations formed to instruct Russian public schoolteachers how to teach Christian ethics -- provides unique insights both into post-communist Russia and Western evangelical movements. Interviews with more than one hundred people intimately involved in Russian education, politics, and evangelism make the narrative's analysis thorough, accessible, and personal. The author's comprehensive research and first-person experience result in aninformative, instructive, and compelling book. Anyone with an interest in Russia, moral education, evangelism, or church-state issues will find this to be an important study.
The five-volume Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions series is governed by a motif of migration ('out-of-England'). It first traces organized church traditions that arose in England as Dissenters distanced themselves from a state church defined by diocesan episcopacy, the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and royal supremacy, but then follows those traditions as they spread beyond England-and also traces newer traditions that emerged downstream in other parts of the world from earlier forms of Dissent. Secondly, it does the same for the doctrines, church practices, stances toward state and society, attitudes toward Scripture, and characteristic patterns of organization that also originated in earlier English Dissent, but that have often defined a trajectory of influence independent ecclesiastical organizations. Volume IV examines the globalization of dissenting traditions in the twentieth century. During this period, Protestant Dissent achieved not only its widest geographical reach but also the greatest genealogical distance from its point of origin. Covering Africa, Asia, the Middle East, America, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific, this collection provides detailed examination of Protestant Dissent as a globalizing movement. Contributors probe the radical shifts and complex reconstruction that took place as dissenting traditions encountered diverse cultures and took root in a multitude of contexts, many of which were experiencing major historical change at the same time. This authoritative overview unambiguously reveals that 'Dissent' was transformed as it travelled.
Many students of our national character would agree that, for better or worse, the Puritan tradition had an enormous effect on the assumptions and aspirations of today's Americans. This book tells the story, largely through the participants' own words, of the emergence of that tradition. It provides a broad range of primary documents--religious, political, social, legal, familial, and economic--for an understanding of Puritanism in early New England. Originally published in 1972, it is reissued here with a new introduction and two new documents: extracts from Anne Hutchinson's trial and from John Winthrop's "Experiencia."
In this first volume of his magisterial study of the foundations of
Mormon thought and practice, Terryl L. Givens offers a sweeping
account of Mormon belief from its founding to the present day.
Situating the relatively new movement in the context of the
Christian tradition, he reveals that Mormonism continues to change
On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) launched a major assault against a small religious community in central Texas. One hundred agents, armed with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, invaded the compound, purportedly to carry out a single search-and-arrest warrant. The raid went badly; four agents were killed, and by the end of the day the settlement was surrounded by armoured tanks and combat helicopters. After a 51-day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved a plan to use CS gas against those barricaded inside. Whether by accident or plan, tanks carrying the CS gas caused the compound to explode in fire, killing all 74 men, women and children inside. Could the tragedy have been prevented? Was it necessary for the BATF agents to do what they did? What could have been done differently? This text offers a wide-ranging analysis of events surrounding Waco. Contributors seek to explore all facets of the confrontation in an attempt to understand one of the most confusing government actions in American history. The book begins with the history of the Branch Davidians and the story of its leader, David Koresh. Chapters show how the Davidians came to trouble authorities, why the group was labelled a "cult," and how authorities used unsubstantiated allegations of child abuse to strengthen their case against the sect. The media's role is examined next in essays that consider the effect on coverage of lack of time and resources, the orchestration of public relations by government officials, the restricted access to the site or to evidence, and the ideologies of the journalists themselves. Several contributors then explore the relation of violence to religion, comparing Waco to Jonestown. Finally, the role played by "experts" and "consultants" in defining such conflicts is explored by two contributors who had active roles as scholarly experts during and after the siege. The legal and consitutional implications of the government's actions are also analyzed.
Books about Mennonites have centered primarily on the East Coast and the Midwest, where the majority of Mennonite communities in the United States are located. But these narratives neglect the unique history of the multitude of Mennonites living on the West Coast. In "California Mennonites," Brian Froese relies on archival church records to examine the Mennonite experience in the Golden State, from the nineteenth-century migrants who came in search of sunshine and fertile soil to the traditionally agrarian community that struggled with issues of urbanization, race, gender, education, and labor in the twentieth century to the evangelically oriented, partially assimilated Mennonites of today.
Froese places Mennonite experiences against a backdrop of major historical events, including World War II and Vietnam, and social issues, from labor disputes to the evolution of mental health care. California Mennonites include people who embrace a range of ideologies: many are historically rooted in the sixteenth-century Reformation ideals of the early Anabaptists (pacifism, congregationalism, discipleship); some embrace twentieth-century American evangelicalism (missions, Billy Graham); and others are committed to a type of social justice that involves forging practical ties to secular government programs while maintaining a quiet connection to religion.
Through their experiences of religious diversity, changing demographics, and war, California Mennonites have wrestled with complicated questions of what it means to be American, Mennonite, and modern. This book--the first of its kind--will appeal to historians and religious studies scholars alike.
The Evangelical Age of Ingenuity in Industrial Britain argues that British evangelicals in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries invented new methods of spreading the gospel, as well as new forms of personal religious practice, by exploiting the era's growth of urbanization, industrialization, consumer goods, technological discoveries, and increasingly mobile populations. While evangelical faith has often been portrayed standing in inherent tension with the transitions of modernity, Joseph Stubenrauch demonstrates that developments in technology, commerce, and infrastructure were fruitfully linked with theological shifts and changing modes of religious life. This volume analyzes a vibrant array of religious consumer and material culture produced during the first half of the nineteenth century. Mass print and cheap mass-produced goods-from tracts and ballad sheets to teapots and needlework mottoes-were harnessed to the evangelical project. By examining ephemera and decorations alongside the strategies of evangelical publishers and benevolent societies, Stubenrauch considers often overlooked sources in order to take the pulse of "vital" religion during an age of upheaval. He explores why and how evangelicals turned to the radical alterations of their era to bolster their faith and why "serious Christianity" flowered in an industrial age that has usually been deemed inhospitable to it.
Evangelicals and Republicans have been powerful-and active-allies in American politics since the 1970s. But as public opinions have changed, are young evangelicals' political identities and attitudes on key issues changing too? And if so, why? In Rock of Ages, Jeremiah Castle answers these questions to understand their important implications for American politics and society. Castle develops his own theory of public opinion among young evangelicals to predict and explain their political attitudes and voting behavior. Relying on both survey data and his own interviews with evangelical college students, he shows that while some young evangelicals may be more liberal in their attitudes on some issues, most are just as firmly Republican, conservative, and pro-life on abortion as the previous generation. Rock of Ages considers not only what makes young evangelicals different from the previous generation, but also what that means for both the church and American politics.
When over 900 followers of the People's Temple religious movement committed suicide in 1978, they left a legacy of suspicion and fear. Most accounts of this mass suicide describe the members as brainwashed dupes and overlook the Christian and socialist ideals that originally inspired People's Temple members. ""Hearing the Voices of Jonestown"" restores the individual voices that have been erased, so that we can better understand what was created - and destroyed - at Jonestown, and why. Piecing together information from interviews with former group members, archival research, and diaries and letters of those who died there, Mary McCormick Maaga describes the women leaders as educated political activists who were passionately committed to achieving social justice through communal life. She provides evidence that shows many of these women voiced their discontent with the actions of the People's Temple in the months right before the mass suicide. The book puts human faces on the events at Jonestown, confronting theoretical religious questions as Maaga attempts to reconcile how worthy utopian ideals come to meet such tragic and misguided ends.
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