At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Evensen, Bruce J. God's Man for the Gilded Age: D. L. Moody and the Rise of Modern Mass Evangelism. Oxford.

Christian Century: “Evensen’s approach is ideal...” Booklist: “An absorbing cross-disciplinary work of cultural history.” Publishers Weekly: “Although Moody is a fascinating character and subject, Evenson’s academic tone and his extensive use of footnotes sometimes make for dry reading.” Books and Culture: “Bruce J. Evensen, a communications professor at DePaul University, masterfully recounts both how the newspapers elevated Moody to celebrity status and how they came to occupy a central role in modern mass evangelism. Less satisfactory is the author's portrayal of the religious, economic, and social forces which swirled around the Moody revival campaigns. The author's adulation of both Moody and his 20th-century spiritual heir, Billy Graham, makes this a bright shining portrait of urban revivalism unclouded by even a shadow of irony... Evensen has done landmark research on Moody and the urban press. Missing is a sense of Moody's Gilded Age context and of what it might mean to be God's man in a time so named. The result is a book full of facts, but insufficiently grounded in the kind of critical theological or historical reflection that could tease out those facts' larger significance.” Journalism History: “Evensen writes with lush detail, which is evidence of his meticulous research of press accounts of the day. After several chapters, however, these details become tedious, interrupting the flow of the narrative. The book’s value is its ability to speak to a wide audience. For religion and history scholars, it serves as a strong history of a well-known and ‘beloved’ religious figure. For journalism and media scholars, the book illustrates the power that the press has in creating and molding icons of American culture.”


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