CAPTIVES OF THE WORD by Louis & Bess W. Cochran


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This volume in the publisher's ""Religion in America"" series concerns the ""peculiar people"" or Campbellites, as they Were called before becoming more generally known as the Disciples of Christ. The authors trace the founding of the Disciples by Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander in the opening years of the nineteenth century, and the church's rapid growth, particularly after, the Civil War, in the central and western states, Up to the present decade when the church's membership numbers some six and one-half million faithful. What is wrong with the book is what is Wrong, generally, with much religious historiography today. The authors tend to view their subject ideally rather than objectively, and to gloss over -- or at least to neutralize -- the conflicts and the problematic personalities that make. history -- and especially religious history -- not only interesting but intelligible. The clash, for example, between the progressives and the conservatives among the Disciples, which resulted in the separation of the two factions into two-Churches -- the Disciples of Christ and the Church of Christ -- is treated with a tameness which does little justice to the actual event. If, therefore, Captives of the Word may be recommended, one may do so only to the undemanding reader.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1969
Publisher: Doubleday