Christianity Goes Modern: The Nineteenth Century

Sources: Mark Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada (Eerdmans, 1992); Jane Garnett, "The Nineteenth Century," in Richard Harries and Henry Mayr-Harting, eds., Christianity: Two Thousand Years (Oxford, 2001); Brian Moynahan, The Faith (Doubleday, 2000).

Reading: Eph. 6:10-20.

The Industrial Revolution overturns agrarian Europe, bringing growth with severe dislocation
Protestant Evangelicals (especially Wesleyans) pioneer social reforms: schools, YMCA, Salvation Army, Temperance, Bible societies, labor unions, prison ministries, soup kitchens and shelters, revivalists, camps, lecture circuits, slide shows
(Similar European and American Catholic revivals center in Marian devotion)

Protestant churches split along racial lines and over the Civil War (Sojourner Truth)
The black Church receives American faith and purges it of racism
Awakenings and revivals raise American Christian commitment, create a "frontier tradition"
This sets the stage for worldwide Pentecostalism in the twentieth century

These changes remake industrial societies and industrialize Christian faith (Max Weber)

Strife and Separatism: Religion Struggles with 'Progressive' Ideologies
Darwinism offers a Malthusian reign of Nature
Marxist analysis predicts proletarian rule as the Hegelian end of history
Nationalism makes the nation-state one's ultimate basis for identity
Rugged individualism pits economic competitors against each other
All proclaim eschatologies without reference to Israel, Jesus, Church
These ideologies set the stage for twentieth century battles with Christianity

Catholics Take a Hard Line against (?) Modernity
The papacy centralizes (Ultramontanism) and Vatican I declares its teaching infallible
Sympathy grows with Catholic claims to antiquity and authority (Oxford Movement)
Italian and German unification strip the Church's papal states and temporal authority
Catholics back monarchies against democratic republics
Over the next fifty years the Catholic Church comes to terms with liberal democracy

Meanwhile, beyond Europe, the Faith Grows ...