VOICES OF AMERICAN FUNDAMENTALISM: Seven Biographical Studies by C. Allyn Russell


Email this review


This dispassionate, thoroughly professional series of biographical sketches portrays the leaders of the fundamentalist movement during the heated ""modernist"" controversy of the Twenties. All but the ""Great Commoner"" William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate and humiliated prosecutor at the Scopes trial, are now virtually unknown, and these compact accounts of their careers and views provide an effective introduction not only to the fundamentalist outlook, but also to the remarkable resourcefulness and diversity of this important strain in modern Christianity. These ultra-conservative spokesmen, who emerged in explicit opposition to the ethical optimism and accommodation to modernity of liberal Protestants like Harry Emerson Fosdick, championed a supernaturalistic and moralistic understanding of Christianity founded on a doctrine of biblical inerrancy. Although they generally shared the positions of conservative Protestants--deity of Jesus, justification by faith, bodily return of Christ, etc.--the fundamentalists were much more aggressive and intransigent in propagating their views and excessively concerned with such peripheral issues as prohibition and evolution. A colorful, energetic crew from the violent populist Frank Norris, once tried for murder, to the urbane, scholarly Gresham Machen, founder of Westminster Seminary.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1976
Publisher: Westminster