Attending to the National Soul: Evangelical Christians In Australian History, 1914-2014
Hardback | Dec 2019 | Monash University Publishing | 9781925835366 | Forthcoming | GEN | AUD$49.95, NZD$59.99
Following on from The Fountain of Public Prosperity, the acclaimed historical account of Australian evangelical Christianity in the period preceding the First World War, in this major new contribution Stuart Piggin and Robert Linder tell the story of how Australian evangelical Christians responded to the decline of the British empire and to the expanding international reach of their religious mission and beliefs, of how these Christians reacted to the challenges of secularism, and of how they have sought to ‘attend to the national soul’: sensitising the national conscience and helping to shape the national consciousness.
The authors offer an extensive treatment of evangelical involvement in the First and Second World Wars, and in the wars in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan. They consider Alan Walker and Billy Graham and the development of an energetic evangelism more calculated to address global fears and personal anxieties. And they show that although, by the beginning of the twenty-first century, the movement had trifurcated into conservative, progressive and Pentecostal branches, each had learned the necessity of bringing a prophetic ministry to bear on social issues in order to achieve greater engagement with the wider society.
This ambitious study seeks to recognise the influence of ‘the public opening up of the word of Christ to the world’, ‘to tell the truth about his influence’ on Australia’s social and cultural history, and to show that, in spite of secularism’s success in marginalising faith, evangelical Christianity continues to be as much a public ethic as a personal credo.