Monday, December 08, 2008

Pg. 99: David Hempton's "Evangelical Disenchantment"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Evangelical Disenchantment: Nine Portraits of Faith and Doubt by David Hempton.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this engaging and at times heartbreaking book, David Hempton looks at evangelicalism through the lens of well-known individuals who once embraced the evangelical tradition, but later repudiated it. The author recounts the faith journeys of nine creative artists, social reformers, and public intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including such diverse figures as George Eliot, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Vincent van Gogh, and James Baldwin. Within their highly individual stories, Hempton finds not only clues to the development of these particular creative men and women but also myriad insights into the strengths and weaknesses of one of the fastest growing religious traditions in the modern world.

Allowing his subjects to express themselves in their own voices—through letters, essays, speeches, novels, apologias, paintings—Hempton seeks to understand the factors at work in the shaping of their religious beliefs, and how their negotiations of faith informed their public and private lives. The nine were great public communicators, but in private often felt deep uncertainties. Hempton’s moving portraits highlight common themes among the experiences of these disillusioned evangelicals while also revealing fresh insights into the evangelical movement and its relations to the wider culture.

Featuring portraits of:

· George Eliot
· Frances W. Newman
· Theodore Dwight Weld
· Sarah Grimk√©
· Elizabeth Cady Stanton
· Frances Willard
· Vincent van Gogh
· Edmund Gosse
· James Baldwin
Read an excerpt from Evangelical Disenchantment, and learn more about the book at the Yale University Press website.

David Hempton is Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, Harvard University. His book Methodism: Empire of the Spirit, published by Yale University Press, was awarded the Jesse Lee Prize.

Visit David Hempton's Harvard Divinity School faculty webpage.

The Page 99 Test: Evangelical Disenchantment.

--Marshal Zeringue