How Academics See Evangelicals: A Tentative Reading List

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, which is both a cathedral and a college chapel.

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, which is both a cathedral and a college chapel.

Last week, I asked for recommendations for resources on how academics view evangelical Christians. Thank you for all of your great suggestions! In addition to the comments on the blog, I received several more suggestions by email, as well as a generous offer: T. M. Luhrmann, whose book When God Talks Back inspired by post and research project, contacted me and offered to send me a review copy of her copy. I’ll be writing at least one post about the book later this year, most likely in June.

Image credit: Wikipedia

So, here is the tentative reading list I’ve assembled from your recommendations, in no particular order. Do you have any comments or further suggestions? 

I also plan on looking at Paul Bramadat’s The Church on the World’s Turf : An Evangelical Christian Group at a Secular University if I can find a decent price on it, as well as the Evangelical Studies Bulletin, which came recommended by James Sire. I’m not sure if ESB fits my original request, but when Dr. Sire recommends something, I read first and ask questions later.

Any additional suggestions? In addition to Elaine Ecklund’s excellent book, does anyone know of research on the interactions between scientists and evangelicals?

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Micheal Hickerson

The former Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, Micheal lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children and works as a web manager for a national storage and organization company. He writes about work, vocation, and finding meaning in what you do at No Small Actors.

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    Dave Vosburg commented on April 25, 2012 Reply


    There is some discussion of the interaction between evangelicals and scientists in Kinnaman’s book You Lost Me:

      Micheal Hickerson commented on April 26, 2012 Reply

      Thanks, Dave. If this project goes well, I might make science & evangelicals a focus of another project. I’d also like to read Plantinga’s new book on the subject.

    Dale commented on April 25, 2012 Reply

    Another possibility might be James Davison Hunter’s “To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World.” He critiques the Christian Right, Left, and Neo-Anabaptists and their world-changing views. He argues that we need a different paradigm of Christian engagement with the world, one that he calls “faithful presence.”

      Micheal Hickerson commented on April 26, 2012 Reply

      Thanks, Dale – Hunter’s book is excellent. I’ve already read it, so didn’t include it above, but it will probably be on the short list of any bibliography I create.

      Have you seen Ross Douthat’s new book Bad Religion? He seems to be covering similar ground to Hunter.

    Dale commented on April 26, 2012 Reply

    Haven’t seen it but sounds interesting. All the best with your reading!

    Byron Borger commented on May 21, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for asking about this, earlier. I’ll keep thinking. Here is an interesting guy who writes for USA Today, maybe even working on a book called “The Evangelicals You Don’t Know” or something like that…

  • David Parry commented on September 30, 2014 Reply

    Not sure if you will still be checking this. If so, it seems worth adding:
    Molly Worthen, Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2013)
    Kate Bowler, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford University Press, 2013)
    Edward Dutton, Meeting Jesus at University: Rites of Passage and Student Evangelicals (Ashgate, 2008)

    In general, OUP USA seems to publish quite a bit on evangelical topics (by evangelical scholars and non-evangelical or non-Christian scholars).

  • Tom Grosh IV commented on October 1, 2014 Reply

    Yes, David! Your suggestions of material are much appreciated. The Emerging Scholars Network is continually engaged in dialogue regarding the best materials to share online, at conferences and on campus. In 2014-2015, we will give significant attention to updating various resource pages ( I am exploring some structure/platforms and shared approaches for more frequent updating of material. If you have recommendations, please let me know. Thank-you.

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