THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD: Revivalism in America by Daniel Cohen

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD: Revivalism in America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A history of revivalism gives Cohen a chance to recycle his Jesus Movement research first used in The New Believers (KR, 524, J-184). But on the whole this is a responsible harkening back to those early frontier camp meetings which reached Americans who were, contrary to myth, not very religious and not likely to meld into the stern Calvinist company of the predestined elect. Cohen recognizes that, while in large part a reaction against Calvinism, revivalism never followed hard and fast theological lines and he traces the movement's evolution from muscular evangelism (Dwight Moody scorned audiences that had ""too many Christians"" in them) into professional showmanship that reaches an already churched public to confirm their existing religious and conservative political views. In the context of this relatively serious-minded presentation, Cohen's portraits of such evangelists and Dwight Moody and Billy Sunday are striking and his criticisms of the Billy Graham organization measured enough to give previously uncritical admirers second thoughts.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1975
Publisher: Four Winds