Between the Times: The Travail of the Protestant Establishment in America, 1900-1960

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During the first six decades of the last century, the so-called mainline Protestant denominations in America were compelled to accommodate to the growing influences of diverse religions and growing secularization. In this book, twelve historians examine the nature of the American Protestant establishment and its response to the growing pluralism of the times. The goals of the establishment are first examined from the inside, as they were voiced from the pulpit, expressed in education and through the media, and applied in ecumenical and social-reforming ventures. The establishment is then viewed through the eyes of outsiders - Jews and Catholics - and those at the periphery of the establishment's core - and women. The authors conclude that the period surveyed forms a distinct epoch in the evolution of American Protestantism. The days when Protestant cultural authority could be taken for granted were certainly over, but a new era in which religious pluralism would be widely accepted had not yet arrived.