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When Sunday Meets Monday: American Evangelicals, their Gospel, and the Workplace

SHUTT, CASEY,SPENCER (2011) When Sunday Meets Monday: American Evangelicals, their Gospel, and the Workplace. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The relationship between American evangelicalism and contemporary society is a complex one. By looking at evangelical attitudes toward work, this study aspires to at least begin untangling some of this convoluted relationship. Drawing upon history, theology, and sociology, especially ethnographic methods and interviews, this study argues that when American evangelicals think about engaging their workplaces evangelism takes center stage. While, at a glance, this gospel and the effort to share it may seem at odds with contemporary sensibilities, a closer examination reveals certain concessions to culture among the evangelicals studied. More specifically, evangelical thoughts concerning work reveal that two central features of the gospel being shared, namely, sin and redemption, appear to be morphing in ways more congruent with contemporary culture. The evangelical relationship with their surrounding world reveals a tension between cultural distance and distinction, on the one hand, and cultural nearness or congruence, on the other. This tension does not mean that evangelicalism is necessarily on track to fail, as secularization proponents might argue. On the contrary, American evangelicalism, it will be suggested, actually finds a degree of sustainability in the world thanks to this tension. Moreover, some of this accommodation to culture accentuates important features indigenous to the evangelical tradition. Evangelical attitudes toward work, then, point to a complex and surprising relationship between evangelicalism and contemporary society.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:religion and culture; American evangelicals; religion and the workplace; vocation; gospel; evangelism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Jul 2011 10:02

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