Fundamentalism And American Urban Culture: Community and Religious Identity in Paul Rader’s Chicago, 1915-1937
Paul Rader’s life (1879-1937) followed the rise of American fundamentalism from the Western frontier to Chicago. Beginning in 1915, Rader used popular music, colorful stories and new technology to capture the imagination of the Moody Church. The ministry grew as thousands of urban Chicagoans seemingly embraced his Premillennial and Holiness theology–a theology not readily associated with Chicago history. This paper explores the impact of Rader’s brand of fundamentalist theology and methods of modern consumerism on Chicago’s urban culture, the Moody Church, and Chicago’s evangelical community.
In the Evangelical Sense: The Swing Trial and Late Nineteenth-Century Urban Protestantism
This paper traces the heresy trial of David Swing in 1874 Chicago, arguing that the trial brought to the foreground concerns among Protestant clergy regarding their capacity to properly “Christianize” or convert not only the city’s inhabitants but urban space itself. This paper proposes that the Swing Trial marked an important point in the history of urban Protestantism in two respects. First, clergy divided over what theology “in the evangelical sense” demanded and to what extent this theology precluded alliances in spiritual or moral reform. Second, in acquitting Swing, Chicago clergy downplayed theology as their rationale, instead arguing that social Christianization took precedence.
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