A Religious Legacy, With Its Leftward Tilt, Is Reconsidered

“For decades the dominant story of postwar American religious history has been the triumph of evangelical Christians …  ultimately routing their more liberal mainline Protestant counterparts in the pews, on the offering plate and at the ballot box,” Jennifer Schuessler writes at The New York Times. “But now a growing cadre of historians of religion are reconsidering the legacy of those faded establishment Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians, tracing their enduring influence on the movements for human rights and racial justice, the growing ‘spiritual but not religious’ demographic and even the shaded moral realism of Barack Obama — a liberal Protestant par excellence, some of these academics say.” Schuessler interviews several historians with recent books out about liberal religion, including R&P contributor Matthew S. Hedstrom and R&P editorial advisory board member Leigh E. Schmidt. 

Read at The New York Times

© 2011 Religion & Politics