By Paul K. Conkin
In a piece of notable breadth and readability, Paul Conkin bargains an even-handed and in-depth examine the foremost American-made kinds of Christianity—a assorted team of spiritual traditions, each one of which displays an important holiday from western Christian orthodoxy.Identifying six detailed forms, Conkin examines the most important denominations consultant of every unique number of American Christianity: recovery (Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ); humanistic (Unitarians, Universalists); apocalyptic (Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses); Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); non secular (Christian technological know-how, Unity); and ecstatic (Holiness and Pentecostal denominations). targeting the early years and maturation of those teams, he discusses their founders and leaders, origins and outdated international roots, and crucial doctrines and practices. Conkin closes each one bankruptcy with a consultant to extra reading.The first finished survey of those American originals, this e-book will function a worthwhile source on a few spiritual traditions whose contributors not just contain an important percent of the yank inhabitants but additionally make up an expanding percentage of Christian converts around the globe.
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Extra resources for American originals: homemade varieties of Christianity
But the other 10 percent includes several identifiable sects, some very small, some quite bizarre. Yet even tiny sects most often fit within one of my six categories. That is, they are most often distinguished by apocalyptic, spiritualistic, humanistic, restorationist, or ecstatic beliefs and behaviors. Some are fascinating hybrids, such as the Christadelphians, who combine restorationist, Adventist, and Anabaptist doctrines. One communal group, the Shakers, made up (a handful of survivors still make up) a quite original American religion, even though its dominant prophet, Ann Lee, immigrated from England.
But all such direct knowledge has been helpful, and thus hundreds of people have helped me write this book, a book that will never fully please members of any one of these traditions. I want to acknowledge special help from scholars. George R. Knight, a gifted Adventist scholar, read and offered invaluable advice on Seventh-day Adventists. Douglas Foster, Thomas H. Olbricht, and Ted McAllister offered detailed comments on my chapter on Restoration Christianity. My colleague Richard F. , a scientist and very active Mormon, read and offered needed suggestions for an early version of the chapter on Mormonism.
Thus, unlike some other scholars, I do not find, in a community of goods, a proper grouping category for American Christian sects. Neither do I find such in race or ethnicity. This does not mean that Christian movements are exempt from cultural influences. Even within a confessional tradition, the understanding of essential doctrines as well as the nuances of self-expression in iconography and music will vary according to culture. Thus, in ways not always easy to define, Hispanic Catholics in America differ from those of English and Irish derivation.