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Homespun GospelThe Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism$
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Todd M. Brenneman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199988983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199988983.001.0001

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Cure for the Common Historiography: The Future of Evangelicalism and Evangelical Studies

(p.144) Conclusion
Homespun Gospel

Todd M. Brenneman

Oxford University Press

By comparing evangelical sentimentality to “An Evangelical Manifesto,” it becomes apparent that there are tensions in evangelicalism over the shape and direction of the movement. The evangelicals of the manifesto want an evangelicalism that is divorced from therapeutic culture, commodification, and easy equation with conservative political agendas. Yet many evangelicals turn to these very things to guide their lives. What many evangelicals do not realize, however, is that reliance on sentimentality is working counter to their desires especially in the realm of politics. Sentimentality is leading to a transformation in the doctrinal positions in the movement and preventing deep engagement with social problems in the United States or abroad. These transformation means that definitions of evangelicalism must change to identify who is an evangelical and what constitutes evangelicalism.

Keywords:   Evangelical Manifesto, Sentimentality, Therapeutic culture, Commodification, Politics, Definitions of evangelicalism

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