The Kingdom of God Has No Borders
A Global History of American Evangelicals
Oxford University Press 2018
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network August 24, 2018 Zeb Larson
Melani McAlister’s The Kingdom of God Has No Borders (Oxford University Press, 2018) is a global history of evangelicals since 1945 and focuses on the complexities and contradictions that encompass the modern evangelical movement in the U.S. as it looks at the rest of the world. McAlister begins by examining the impact of the civil rights movement in the United States and the decolonization of much of the Global South to show how evangelical Christians tried to respond to a changing world. In discussions of international events ranging from evangelical perceptions of the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa to contemporary views of the Islamic world, McAlister deconstructs the paradigms that inform evangelical opinions: concerns with persecution of fellow Christians, proselytization, and an eagerness to work with and around members of the Global South.
The book turns much of the conventional wisdom about evangelicals in the United States on its head. While the popular stereotype of evangelical Christians as politically conservative and simultaneously politically apathetic persists despite its numerous inconsistencies, this book instead examines the disparate voices and conversations taking place within the evangelical community, many of them coming from more liberal voices. Rather than a uniformly conservative political bloc, what emerges is a community that is strikingly fragmentary and debating the best ways to ensure their faith remains relevant in a shifting world.
Zeb Larson is a PhD Candidate in History at The Ohio State University. His research is about the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to [email protected].