Powerful ideas have the capacity to inspire great good. They also have the capacity to prompt unspeakable acts of evil. The ideas of America and the gospel have been used for both. The situation was no different when the Methodist EpiscopalMorePowerful ideas have the capacity to inspire great good. They also have the capacity to prompt unspeakable acts of evil. The ideas of America and the gospel have been used for both. The situation was no different when the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) brought these two ideas together in its evangelistic work from 1860 to 1920, including during the Civil War and the First World War.
Methodist Evangelism, American Salvation traces the MECs home missions among African Americans and whites in the South- among Native Americans, Mexicans, and white settlers in the West- and among newly arrived immigrants, their children, the poor, and the rich in the Easts burgeoning cities. It shows the innovative and courageous work of the MEC to improve the quality of life for these most marginalized populations in the United States. It also shows the fear the MEC had that these populations would overthrow American civilization if they did not conform to the values held by white, middle-class, native-born Americans.Teasdale employs careful historical analysis while framing the issues of the time with a pastorally informed eye, balancing difficult yet poignant material.
This text is a welcome and significant contribution.--Laceye Warner, Executive Vice Dean, Duke University Divinity School, North CarolinaTeasdale provides a sharply focused and well-nuanced analysis of the evangelistic mission of Methodism in one of its most critical ages of growth. At a time when the interface of Christianity and culture figures so prominently on the contemporary landscape, this study of developments in the nineteenth century provides important lessons from which we can learn.
Many will find this book helpful in the quest to more fully understand American religious culture.--Paul W. Chilcote, Academic Dean, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies, Ashland Theological Seminary, OhioMark R. Teasdale is the E. Stanley Jones Assistant Professor of Evangelism and the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He is also an elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church.