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God's Ambassadors: A History of the Christian Clergy in America (Pulpit & Pew) [Hardcover]

By E. Brooks Holifield (Author)
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Item Number 64988  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   356
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.55 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 21, 2007
Publisher   WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO.
ISBN  0802803814  
EAN  9780802803818  


Availability  0 units.


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Item Description...
Overview
The first book to tell the whole 400-year story of America's clergy This book masterfully traces the history of America's Christian clergy from the 17th - 21st Century, analyzing the changes in practice and authority that have transformed the clerical profession. The American clergy from the past four centuries constitute a colorful, diverse cast of characters who have, in ways both obvious and obscure, helped to shape the tone of American culture. For a well-rounded narrative of their story told by a master historian, this book is the one to read.

Publishers Description
In God's Ambassadors E. Brooks Holifield masterfully traces the history of America's Christian clergy from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, analyzing the changes in practice and authority that have transformed the clerical profession.

Challenging one-sided depictions of decline in clerical authority, Holifield locates the complex story of the clergy within the context not only of changing theologies but also of transitions in American culture and society. The result is a thorough social history of the profession that also takes seriously the theological presuppositions that have informed clerical activity. With alternating chapters on Protestant and Catholic clergy, the book permits sustained comparisons between the two dominant Christian traditions in American history.

At the same time, God's Ambassadors depicts a vocation that has remained deeply ambivalent regarding the professional status marking the other traditional learned callings in the American workplace. Changing expectations about clerical education, as well as enduring theological questions, have engendered a debate about the professional ideal that has distinguished the clerical vocation from such fields as law and medicine.

The American clergy from the past four centuries constitute a colorful, diverse cast of characters who have, in ways both obvious and obscure, helped to shape the tone of American culture. For a well-rounded narrative of their story told by a master historian, God's Ambassadors is the book to read.

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More About E. Brooks Holifield

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E. Brooks Holifield is Charles Howard Candler Professor of American Church History, Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He is former president of the American Society for Church History and the author of several books on American religious history including "Era of Persuasion: American Thought and Culture, 15211680.""

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History   [4688  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational   [12529  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Everything you wanted to know--and more!  Sep 7, 2009
Hollifield's magisterial knowledge of the terrain provides the reader with far more than just a history of Christian clergy in America. This book is in effect a history of America's religious history written from the vantage of the ecclesiastical leaders who shaped and/or misshaped it. Hollifield gets inside their stained glass world to provide not only an intellectual tour of the theological/cultural shifts of the American religious experience but more particularly what congregational leadership felt like to the "called" in each successive period. And, aside from the wealth of historical detail within each chapter, Hollifield's introductory analysis of the dilemma of American clergy is a gem of clarity and insight. jdd
 
An excellent and timely study  Nov 19, 2007
Most of us are aware that ministers, priests, and rabbis play an important role in contemporary American political and cultural life. But few of us understand how that role has changed over time. This study, by one of the most prominent scholars of American theology and church history, elucidates these changes with remarkable clarity and insight. I highly recommend the book to all who wish to understand the history of clerical authority and influence in this country.
 
A Masterful Study!  Nov 13, 2007
What do Tammy Faye Baker, Pat Robertson, and Jesse Jackson have in common? They are cultural icons that Professor Holifield's masterful study puts into an entertaining and historically useful context. Americans have been worried about the decline of Christianity and the loss of respect for clergy since the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower. Dr. Holifield's lucid discussion allows us to see the sweep of American history, and his incisive consideration of the eternal paradox --how to be in the world but not of the world--that clergy face makes that history come to life. This book will be useful not only to readers interested in Christian clergy but also to any reader who wonders how it is possible to juggle American identity with religious commitments that transcend national boundaries. This is MUST READING as we head into Election Year 2008.
 

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