Interpreting American Evangelicalism: A Reading List from George Marsden

Paul Putz

Next spring George Marsden will be a visiting professor at Baylor, teaching a grad course titled "Interpreting American Evangelicalism." After I retweeted the announcement from the Baylor graduate history twitter account, blogmeister Cara Burnidge asked if we could get the syllabus for the class posted here at the blog. Marsden recently sent out a reading list for the course, and I asked him if he would share the list with RiAH readers. He graciously agreed.

Along with the readings and class discussions, the main component of the class is "a historiographical paper dealing with how a topic in American evangelical history (or a related area) has been interpreted over the years and offering analysis of how and why the interpretations have changed. The paper could also be a comparison of how two somewhat similar topics have been interpreted."

As for the readings, here are the assigned books, listed in the order in which they will be read:

Catherine Brekus, Sarah Osborn’s World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America (Yale University Press, 2013)

Nathan Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity (Yale University Press, 1989)

Mark Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (University of North Carolina Press, 2006)

George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture, Second Edition (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Grant Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture (Harvard University Press, 2001)

Edith Blumhofer, Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody’s Sister (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1993)

Matthew Sutton, American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism (Harvard University Press, 2014)

Kevin Kruse, One Nation under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (Basic, 2015)

Paul Harvey, Freedom’s Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2005)

Darren Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sun Belt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (W.W. Norton, 2011)

Molly Worthen, Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Mark Noll, The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith (IVP Academic, 2009)


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