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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
"Amazing Pressure": The Hidden History of Stewardship in American Protestantism
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: 2012-12-18
Number of pages: 382
As Americans, we like to see ourselves as a "giving" peple, willing to support religious and secular efforts through our contributions of time and money. But for all its popularity, what does this framing concept of stewardship mean for our giving? How did we come to rely so entirely on this idea? What can we discover through a look back to its origins? Can a fuller understanding of stewardship prompt us to fresh thinking about our own giving? This is a tale of the American Protestant search for money and meaning in giving, drawing on historical texts to tell a story that has been largely hidden from view. The story is told through the writingss of key figures-pastors, lay leaders, thinkers, novelists, fundraisers-spanning American life for the past two centuries. Through introductory essays, Robert W. Lynn, a respected historian of giving traditions in Protestantism, sets these voices in their broader social context. This is a story specific to Protestant congregations, yet relevant to many other American organizations as well. It is above all the story of a great pressure to raise funds-an "amazing pressure," in the apt description of one 19th century church leader, Jeremiah Evarts-and of the struggles of Evarts and others to reconcile their fundraising with their faith through differing visions of giving. The authors hope that listening to these lesser known but compelling voices and understanding the context in which they lived and worked may serve to nourish our own imaginations about giving.