Summer/Fall Issue of Fides et Historia

Randall Stephens

The Summer/Fall 2015 issue of Fides et Historia will be making its way into pigeon holes and mailboxes across America.  (Some of those mailboxes will be plain metal ones with the obligatory flag, others will be ones designed to look like tiny barns.  Some may even look like little country churches, with small steeples and little gothic, stained-glass windows.) 

This special issue features the usual reviews, insightful articles, review essays, and two forums.  The latter covers Kate Bowler’s excellent recent book Blessed along with the work, career and wide-reaching influence of Kate’s PhD advisor, the inimitable Grant Wacker.  (Kate, of course, is much on our minds these days.) John Wigger (University of Missouri) provides a great intro to the forum on Kate’s superb work:

Blessed is an extraordinarily satisfying book. It is elegantly written, full of wit and humor. It is also deeply reasoned and thorough in its analytical sweep. Bowler’s perspective is informed by archival research and personal observation. She visited prosperity churches and traveled to Israel with Benny Hinn. Beginning with the New Thought movement that emerged in the late nineteenth century, Bowler traces the development of conceptions of faith, wealth, health, and victory within the prosperity movement through the twentieth century. The range of her analysis allows us to see the connections between such diverse figures as A. A. Allen, Norman Vincent Peale, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Frederick Price, Joyce Meyer, and Benny Hinn. Bowler’s distinction between the “hard prosperity” of the 1970s and 1980s, which tended to reduce God’s blessings to a mathematical formula, and the “soft prosperity” that replaced it in the 1990s, with its more “therapeutic and emotive” tone, is particularly helpful. Scholars will use these definitions for years to come. Bowler’s concluding chapter is brilliant, demonstrating how the prosperity gospel continues to radiate outward through American culture.

Don Yerxa, my former colleague at ENC, also offers his introduction that effortlessly ties together the themes and topics in this latest issue.  As usual, graduate student membership in the CFH (and a one year subscription to Fides et Historia) is only $20.

Fides et Historia (Summer/Fall 2015)

Donald Yerxa


Modern Protestant Revivals in Anglophone and Continental European Contexts: Historiograhies in Comparative Perspective
Andrew Kloes

The Salvation Army and the Anglican Church, 1882–1883
Roger J. Green

At War with the Evil Empire: Southern Baptists and Nuclear Arms
Matthew J. Hall 

Roundtable: Kate Bowler’s Blessed

John Wigger

Blessed: A Victorious History
John Turner

Understanding the Prosperity Gospel
Randall Stephens

Taking Creflo Dollar Seriously
Jay Green

Field Dispatches from the Study of the American Prosperity Gospel
Kate Bowler

Special Section: The Scholarship and Career of Grant Wacker

Randall J. Stephens

The Problem of Historical Knowledge in the Work of Grant Wacker
Mark Noll

Getting Real with Grant Wacker
Joel Carpenter

Reinterpreting the American Religious Narrative through the Lens of the Primitive and the Pragmatic: Pentecostal Missions and the Global Expansion of Spirit-Filled Christianity
Heather D. Curtis

Pragmatism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Amanda Porterfield

Who Makes History? American Religious Historians and the Problem of Historical Agency
Catherine Brekus

Grant Wacker, Esteemed Colleague and Friend
Nathan O. Hatch

The Wackerites: A (Firmly Tongue-in-Cheek) Ethnographic Account of a North Carolina Sect
Kate Bowler

The Stealth Sarsaparilla: Mentorship as Scholarship
Laurie Maffly-Kipp

Grant Wacker

Unpeeling the Billy Graham Onion: An Interview with Grant Wacker
Conducted by Randall Stephens


Like Begets Like: Toward Interested Prose
Stephanie L. Derrick

Special Review Section
The Past as Pilgrimage: Two Views and a Response


Pilgrims’ Progress
Eric Miller

One Version of the Post-Tridentine Roman Catholic Inheritance
William R. Shea

A Response from the Authors
Christopher Shannon

Review Essays

Faith and History or Faith and Church History?
D. G. Hart

History in the Anthropocene
William Katerberg 

Inside the Royal Straitjacket
Michael Ledger-Lomas
Featured Review

The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity, by Robert Louis Wilken
Reviewed by Daryl R. Ireland



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