Elesha J. Coffman
- Title: The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline
- Author: Elesha J. Coffman
- ISBN: 9780199938599
- Page: 189
- Format: Hardcover
The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline offers the first full length, critical study of The Christian Century, widely regarded as the most influential religious magazine in America for most of the twentieth century and hailed by Time as Protestantism s most vigorous voice Elesha Coffman narrates the previously untold story of the magazine, exploringThe Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline offers the first full length, critical study of The Christian Century, widely regarded as the most influential religious magazine in America for most of the twentieth century and hailed by Time as Protestantism s most vigorous voice Elesha Coffman narrates the previously untold story of the magazine, exploring its chronic financial struggles, evolving editorial positions, and often fractious relations among writers, editors, and readers, as well as the central role it played in the rise of mainline Protestantism Coffman situates this narrative within larger trends in American religion and society Under the editorship of Charles Clayton Morrison from 1908 1947, the magazine spoke out about many of the most pressing social and political issues of the time, from child labor and women s suffrage to war, racism, and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II It published such luminaries as Jane Addams, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Martin Luther King Jr and jostled with the Nation, the New Republic, and Commonweal, as it sought to enlarge its readership and solidify its position as the voice of liberal Protestantism But by the 1950s, internal strife between liberals and neo orthodox and the rising challenge of Billy Graham s evangelicalism would shatter the illusion of Protestant consensus The coalition of highly educated, theologically and politically liberal Protestants associated with the magazine made a strong case for their own status as shepherds of the American soul but failed to attract a popular following that matched their intellectual and cultural clout.Elegantly written and persuasively argued, The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline takes readers inside one of the most important religious magazines of the modern era.
Recent Comments "The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline"
Overview: Coffman proposes to approach the narrative of American mainline Protestantism from 1900–1960 through a study of The Christian Century. This magazine is a natural choice, as it was a point of intersection for many leaders of the Protestant establishment. Indeed, central to Coffman's thesis is that points of intersection like the Century are what constituted the Protestant establishment as something more cohesive than a group of like-minded individuals. Plot: Although this book directs [...]
Although the term "mainline" had not emerged by the time the Christian Century began its ascendancy, the magazine is deeply enmeshed in that theological and ecclesiological identity. Elesha J. Coffman begins the tale of the Christian Century through examining the life, motivations and ambitions of Charles Clayton Morrison, a Disciples of Christ minister who would own and edit the Christian Century for several decades. As a Disciple of Christ, Morrison was providentially suited to the task of ope [...]
Elesha Coffman has provided us with a wonderfully written, thoughtful, challenging depiction of the role that The Christian Century magazine played in forming what became known as Mainline Protestantism. Born as a Disciples of Christ journal in the 1880s it became the leading liberal voice in the denomination, both before and especially after C.C. Morrison took over as editor in 1908. When it became increasingly difficult to sustain the magazine as a Disciples journal in the early 1920s, Morriso [...]
[***** A longer review and commentary forthcoming *****]Elesha Coffman has written an important work about the annals of American Religious Publishing. The facet of the first half of the 20th Century covered in this work is vital to understanding much of the religious and politically linked behavior that was to come and persists in influence in to the first decades of the 21st Century.A longer and more detailed review is needed that addresses the nuances of the work from the conflict between lib [...]
An interesting and well written examination of the history and influence of The Christian Century magazine, a thoughtful, intelligent, and articulate voice of the liberal mainline Protestant establishment during the 20th century. My only problem with the book was that it focused almost entirely on the first half of the 20th century and did not address how the magazine has dealt with the decline of mainline Protestantism over the past 30-40 years, or discuss what the magazine has been up to durin [...]
Exploring history through great figures is a theme of my fifty books in 2014. This figure is actually a little-known magazine publisher. Yet his magazine and his life shed great light on the ill-fated protestant mainline. Just as they assembled and united, in the early 1950s, Billy Graham and resurgent fundamentalists and evangelicals took the Christian spotlight.
I learned more about my religion (Unitarian Universalism) from reading this book than I learned in seminary.
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