This book provides a history of Presbyterians in American culture from the early eighteenth to the late twentieth century. Longfield assesses both the theological and cultural development of American Presbyterianism, with particular focus on the mainline tradition that is expressed most prominently in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He explores how Presbyterian churches—and individuals rooted in those churches—influenced and were influenced by the values, attitudes, perspectives, beliefs, and ideals assumed by Americans in the course of American history. The book will serve as an important introduction to Presbyterian history that will interest historians, students, and church leaders alike.
Bradley J. Longfield has provided a well-written and up-to-date overview of the Presbyterian experience. Professors, seminarians, clergy, and interested lay people will all benefit from the author's lively account of the successes Presbyterians have enjoyed and the difficulties they have encountered in the more than three centuries since the first presbytery was organized in America.
-James H. Moorhead is Mary McIntosh Bridge Professor of American Church History at Princeton Theological Seminary and senior editor of The Journal of Presbyterian History. Among his books are Princeton Seminary in American Religion and Culture.
During this time of crisis in theological and institutional identity, the PCUSA needs as never before a deep historical perspective on how the church has defined itself in relationship to other Protestant churches and the wider American culture. Bradley Longfield has given us this perspective. His lucid and accessible history of American Presbyterians frames the story in terms of the interaction between leaders of the church and a host of important issues from education and moral reform to politics, war, missions, and revivals. Readers of this engaging book will learn not only about Presbyterians but about the important issues that have faced all American Protestants from the colonial period to through the twentieth century.
- Mark Valeri is Ernest Trice Thompson Professor of Church History at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Among his books are Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America which won the Philip Schaff Prize from the American Society of Church History.