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By Paul K. Conkin

In a piece of awesome breadth and readability, Paul Conkin bargains an even-handed and in-depth examine the foremost American-made different types of Christianity—a various team of non secular traditions, every one of which displays an important holiday from western Christian orthodoxy.Identifying six distinct forms, Conkin examines the main denominations consultant of every unique number of American Christianity: recovery (Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ); humanistic (Unitarians, Universalists); apocalyptic (Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses); Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); religious (Christian technology, Unity); and ecstatic (Holiness and Pentecostal denominations). concentrating on the early years and maturation of those teams, he discusses their founders and leaders, origins and outdated global roots, and crucial doctrines and practices. Conkin closes each one bankruptcy with a advisor to extra reading.The first entire survey of those American originals, this booklet will function a priceless source on a few spiritual traditions whose individuals not just include an important percent of the yankee inhabitants but in addition make up an expanding share of Christian converts all over the world.

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One communal group, the Shakers, made up (a handful of survivors still make up) a quite original American religion, even though its dominant prophet, Ann Lee, immigrated from England. The doctrines about her, and the unique institutions of the Shakers, were American inventions. The Shakers were unique, not because of their communalism, but because of some doctrines closely tied to it. The Hutterites, the largest communal sect in both the United States and Canada, are, in doctrines and values, model Anabaptists.

Stone. The New England Christian movement was never as loose and amorphous as the one in the South. Arguably, it began in 1801 in Lyndon, Vermont. There a thirty-year-old Baptist physician, Abner Jones, suffered through an agonizing religious renewal during the New England revivals at the turn of the century and decided to give up a successful medical practice to become a soon-impoverished lay preacher. A Baptist always (he believed in the immersion of adult converts), he like thousands of others converted in the revivals soon came to doubt major tenets of Calvinism and repudiated the creed and the name of his fellow Baptists.

Neither Smith nor Jones had a classical education or any sophistication in theology. They used what they believed to be common sense in interpreting the Bible. They were as evangelical and as fervent in preaching at revivals, in trying to save souls, and in affirming an affectionate or spiritual Christianity as O'Kelly's ex-Methodists. But from the beginning the New England Christians not only repudiated creeds (in some sense, so did all the restorationists) but remained much more tolerant of doctrinal diversity than Campbell's later Disciples.

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