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History of American Christian Movements: Evangelicals and Fundamentalists

Distinctly North American Christian groups such as Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Shakers, Mormons, Adventists, and Christian Scientists


This research guide introduces some distinctively North American Christian movements --that is, Christian groups that arose in North America, practically speaking in the United States.  "Christian" is meant very broadly here --historically more than doctrinally or ideologically.  These movements have provided a great deal of material for social history, women's history, and various alternative accounts of American history, and are shaped by a recurring vacillation between conceiving themselves as "central" or "peripheral" to mainstream American life.

Reference Media

Evangelicalism topic page, from Literati by CredoReference (topic essay is from Encyclopedia of American Studies, 2016)

Evangelicalism, from Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century (2000)

Evangelicalism, from Britain and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History (2005)

Fundamentalism topic page from Literati by CredoReference (topic essay is from The Columbia Encylopedia, 2008)

Reference Books

Internet Resources

Historical Resources

  1. Early Americas Digital Archive
  2. Religion and the Founding of the American Republic (Exhibition at the Library of Congress, 1998)
  3. The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925
  4. Princeton Theological Review, 1903-1929 (in 10 subseries)

Resources About Individuals

  1. Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University
  2. Charles Grandison Finney and the Revival
  3. Billy Graham Center Archives

Resources By Evangelical Organizations

  1. Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals (at Wheaton College)
  2. Christianity Today (well-known conservative evangelical popular periodical)
  3. Sojourners (web-site both of the periodical and the community in Washington, D.C.)

Other Resources of Interest

  1. Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life (at Boston College)
  2. Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Movement 1954-1985 (companion website of the PBS Series)
  3. Pew Research Center Publications on Religion
  4. Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (includes playable mp3s)

Printed Books @ SHU Library

Statistical Sources

A map of adherents of evangelical churches in the United States, published by the Association of Religion Data Archives (see box below) maintained at Pennsylvania State University and funded by grants from The Lilly Endowment, The John Templeton Foundation, and the University.  See also discussion at the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals.

Research Databases

ATLAReligion : Indexes religious and theological literature, including a full range of index citations of journal articles, essays in multi-author works, and book reviews

Historical Abstracts with Full Text: offers both full-text and citations to articles about Shakers both as a group, and as individuals.

Educator's Reference Complete: has useful citations and full-text on topics of religious commitments, controversies, and education

Association of Religion Data Archives (at Pennsylvania State University) maintains statistics and survey information regarding many Evangelical groups, which have to searched individually by name.  (There is no catch-all category "Evangelical" in their data sets.)

SHU Library searches

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LibGuide Author

Written by Peter Gavin Ferriby, Ph.D., University Librarian.  Last revised August 2016.