Continental Pietism and Early American Christianity
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
276 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 0.55 in
- Published: February 2007
American has been shaped from a variety of rich traditions, many of which continue to influence her life and institutions. With this pluralistic emphasis in mind, F. Ernest Stoeffler has brought together these essays on Pietism, each written by a scholar with professional interest in the area treated. Without denying the importance of the Puritan heritage on early America, Stoeffler hopes to show that Pietism too made a crucial contribution to American religious life. Contrary to some twentieth-century misconceptions, Pietism was activistic, political, social, and educational in orientation. It penetrated mainline denominations like the Lutheran, Reformed, and Mennonite churches. It played an important role in the Brethren and Methodist traditions and in the formation of the Moravian Church. And radical Pietism flourished in a variety of Christian communist communities, like the one at Ephrata. Pietism contributed to religious practice by promoting evangelism, social action on behalf of the poor, and experiential base for religion, a biblical foundation for theology and ethics, the development of Protestant hymnody, ecumenical understanding, and democracy. This study is an important first step toward filling a serious gap in understanding America's religious history.
"A collection of essays by a group of scholars whose varying interests and approaches to the form of pietism in eighteenth century America are vital to understanding that movement's impact upon America's religious culture."
Timothy L. Smith, Johns Hopkins University
"This collection of essays makes fresh and refreshing Bicentennial reading."
James H. Smylie, Union Theological Seminary