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Embodying the Global Soul: Internationalism and the American Evangelical Left
Department of History, Asbury University, 1 Macklem Dr., Wilmore, KY 40390, USA
Received: 18 June 2012; in revised form: 13 September 2012 / Accepted: 19 September 2012 / Published: 27 September 2012
Abstract: In the last half of the twentieth century, neo-evangelicalism moved from an anticommunist nationalist consensus to a new internationalism characterized by concern for human rights, justice, and economic development. Case studies of World Vision, a global relief and development organization, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a campus ministry, demonstrate that this trajectory was due in part to a growing global reflex in which many missionaries and third-world evangelicals “spoke back” to American evangelicalism. Interpreting the Bible for themselves—and increasingly for American evangelicals—substantial numbers of non-Western converts and missionaries offered sharp criticisms of American politics, culture, and capitalism. These critiques, sacralized by their origins on the mission field, helped turn some young evangelicals toward Vietnam protests, poverty relief, civil rights, and a tempered nationalism. By the 1970s, these progressive elements—and a more resolute global concern generally—had become important markers of the evangelical left.
Keywords: evangelical left; progressive evangelical; World Vision; InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; evangelicalism; Latin American Theological Fraternity; Lausanne; Stanley Mooneyham; Samuel Escobar; René Padilla
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Swartz, D.R. Embodying the Global Soul: Internationalism and the American Evangelical Left. Religions 2012, 3, 887-901.
Swartz DR. Embodying the Global Soul: Internationalism and the American Evangelical Left. Religions. 2012; 3(4):887-901.
Swartz, David R. 2012. "Embodying the Global Soul: Internationalism and the American Evangelical Left." Religions 3, no. 4: 887-901.