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The New Evangelical Social Engagement$
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Brian Steensland and Philip Goff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199329533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199329533.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Global Reflex

Global Reflex

International Evangelicals, Human Rights, and the New Shape of American Social Engagement

(p.221) 10 Global Reflex
The New Evangelical Social Engagement

David R. Swartz

Oxford University Press

The rise of public evangelicalism can be explained in part by new attention to global concerns. This chapter, in a close analysis of evangelical rhetoric and activism regarding human rights, tracks the transformation of a narrowly focused anticommunism at midcentury into a new and broader internationalism at the end of the twentieth century. This new global sensibility stresses social justice in addition to personal evangelism. It emphasizes economic development in addition to disaster relief. It values ecumenism over sectarianism. These trajectories were sparked in part by the global experience and from international evangelicals themselves, whose presence in key institutions—such as the Latin American Theological Fraternity, the World Evangelical Fellowship, the Lausanne Congress, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship—helped to broaden and intensify American evangelical political commitments. By the 2000s, evangelicals on the left and the right had spearheaded the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act, a clear indication of evangelicalism’s heightened level of social engagement.

Keywords:   Evangelicals, Human rights, Global issues, International, Economic development, Religions freedom

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