Against Infidel Literature and Damnable Heresies: Christian Fundamentalism from the Postbellum Period to the Scopes Trial
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Building on the work of historians like George Marsden and Ernest Sandeen, this paper attempts to examine the development of Christian Fundamentalism in American from 1860-1925 with a particular focus on the genealogy of Fundamentalist doctrine, political involvement, and coalition character. This thesis is an attempt to explore the Fundamentalist family tree in its generative period with an eye towards key characters, seminal texts, and moments of unification and fragmentation. The takeaways of this project are twofold. First, that by studying the history of Fundamentalism as a genealogy, rather than a denominational history, one can get a more encompassing sense of the various influencing perspectives, characters, and lineages within the broader Fundamentalist coalition. Secondly, the thesis confirms the work of previous scholars that Fundamentalist faith and practice does not come from a vacuum nor does it emerge from the inaccurately characterized illiterate South. Instead, it is rooted in a lineage of respected academics and theologians like Dwight Moody, R.A. Torrey, and William Bell Riley, whose work in support of the Fundamentalist movement continue to fuel discourse from liberal seminaries to evangelical pulpits.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2018
- F&M Theses Collection