Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago (forthcoming August 1, 2015, with Oxford University Press)

Description from OUP: “In Union Made, Heath W. Carter advances a bold new interpretation of the origins of American Social Christianity. While historians have often attributed the rise of the Social Gospel to middle-class ministers, seminary professors, and social reformers, this book places working people at the very center of the story. The major characters–blacksmiths, glove makers, teamsters, printers, and the like–have been mostly forgotten, but as Carter convincingly argues, their collective contribution to American Social Christianity was no less significant than that of Walter Rauschenbusch or Jane Addams.

Leading readers into the thick of late-19th-century Chicago’s tumultuous history, Carter shows that countless working-class believers participated in the heated debates over the implications of Christianity for industrializing society, often with as much fervor as they did in other contests over wages and the length of the workday. Throughout the Gilded Age the city’s trade unionists, socialists, and anarchists advanced theological critiques of laissez faire capitalism and protested “scab ministers” who cozied up to the business elite. Their criticisms compounded church leaders’ anxieties about losing the poor, such that by the turn-of-the-century many leading Christians were arguing that the only way to salvage hopes of a Christian America was for the churches to soften their position on “the labor question.” As denomination after denomination did just that, it became apparent that the Social Gospel was, indeed, ascendant–from below.”

 

Currently, I have three other books under contract:

Between the Pew and the Picket Line: Christianity and the Working Class in Industrial America (forthcoming with University of Illinois Press in early 2016)

This volume, which I am co-editing with Christopher D. Cantwell and Janine Giordano Drake, includes some of the latest work at the suddenly bustling intersection of religion and labor in modern American history.  In addition to a Foreword by Ken Fones-Wolf, the book boasts essays by Erik Gellman, Alison Collis Greene, Brett Hendrickson, Dan McKanan, Matthew Pehl, Kerry Pimblott, Jarod Roll, Arlene M. Sanchez-Walsh, and Evelyn Sterne.

Turning Points in the History of American Evangelicalism (under contract with William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)

This volume, which I am co-editing with Laura Rominger Porter, brings together many of the leading scholars of American evangelicalism, each of whom has agreed to write an essay reflecting on a major turning point in the history of the tradition.  Contributors include Harry Stout, Catherine Brekus, Jon Butler, Richard Carwardine, Marguerite Van Die, Luke Harlow, George Marsden, Edith Blumhofer, Mark Hutchinson, Dennis Dickerson, Grant Wacker, and Darren Dochuk.  Nathan Hatch will write a Foreword, Martin Marty an Afterword, and the entire volume will be dedicated to Mark Noll.

A Documentary History of Religion in America (under contract with William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)

This new, concise edition of the classic Noll/Gaustad reader (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2) will offer the wide coverage of the original but in a more accessible and affordable single volume.

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