Recent scholars of American religion have shown new interest inevangelicalism and pentecostalism. Of particular interest is the subject of revivalism―an enthusiastic or ecstatic form of religion that has affected American religious institutions, ideas, behavior, and adherents throughout the nation's history. In Embodying the Spirit Michael J. McClymond and his fellow contributors offer a new look at this extensive and often puzzling phenomenon. Going beyond institutional history, they examine a wide range of cases, from colonial to contemporary America. The contributors explore the role of gender, church architecture, Latino revivalism, youth groups, radio evangelism, Catholic revivalism, and recent events such as the Toronto Blessing―an outbreak of laughter, crying, and dancing that began at Toronto's Airport Vineyard Church in 1994 and has since spread to other congregations throughout the world.
In a thoughtful afterword, church historian Martin Marty admits that while we cannot know for sure why revivals happen, it matters that they do, and books such as this help us deepen our understanding and appreciation of them. This book will appeal to scholars and students of popular religion as well as to general readers interested in the subject.
Contributors: Fred W. Beuttler, University of Illinois at Chicago; Candy Gunther Brown, Saint Louis University; Finbarr Curtis, University of California, Santa Barbara; Gaston Espinosa, Northwestern University; Philip Goff, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; Philip Harrold, University of Findlay; Jeanne Halgren Kilde, Macalester College; Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago; Michael J. McClymond, Saint Louis University; Walter F. Pitts, Louisiana State University; Philip J. Richter, Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme in Salisbury, England; Douglas James Slawson, National University in San Diego.