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The New Evangelical Social Engagement

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The New Evangelical Social Engagement

In recent years evangelical Christians have been increasingly turning their attention toward issues such as the environment, international human rights, economic development, racial reconciliation, and urban renewal. Such engagement marks both a return to historic evangelical social action and a pronounced expansion of the social agenda advanced by the Religious Right in the past few decades. For outsiders to evangelical culture, this trend complicates simplistic stereotypes. For insiders, it brings contention over what "true" evangelicalism means today.

The product of a Center-hosted conference in spring of 2012, The New Evangelical Social Engagement begins with an introduction that broadly outlines this "new evangelicalism." Editors Brian Steensland and Philip Goff identify its key NESE.web.jpgelements, trace its historical lineage, account for the recent changes taking place within evangelicalism, and highlight the implications of these changes for politics, civic engagement, and American religion. The essays that follow bring together an impressive interdisciplinary team of scholars to map this new religious terrain and spell out its significance in what is sure to become an essential text for understanding trends in contemporary evangelicalism.

"The standard academic view of American evangelicalism is growing more dated by the year. Many new movements and subcultural shifts are underway in evangelicalism that open up possibilities for major changes in the future. Steensland and Goff offer one of the best windows into these important changes among evangelicals. This is a must-read for any student of American religion, culture, politics, and civil society." --Christian Smith, author of Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults

The New Evangelical Social Engagement is available now from Oxford University Press.