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The Urban PulpitNew York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism$
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Matthew Bowman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199977604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977604.001.0001

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Liberal Piety, Social Reform, and the Institutional Church

Liberal Piety, Social Reform, and the Institutional Church

(p.110) 4 Liberal Piety, Social Reform, and the Institutional Church
The Urban Pulpit

Matthew Bowman

Oxford University Press

Emerging from sources as diverse as Briggs’s scriptural theology, the aesthetics of the nineteenth century romantic movement and the pulpit theology of pastors like Horace Bushnell and Henry Ward Beecher, liberal evangelicalism gave religious weight to social activism. Combining a new interest in behavior and liturgy with an emergent sense of social responsibility, liberal evangelicalism reached its apex in the institutional church movement, which appeared in the 1890s to aid the poor of the city. The institutional church expressed not merely an impulse toward charity and social service, but also an emerging liturgical style that embodied the converting Word of God in the behavior and personality of believing Christians.

Keywords:   Institutional Church, Social Gospel, Progressivism, Aesthetics, Liberalism

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