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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

What’s New about the New Evangelical Social Engagement?

What’s New about the New Evangelical Social Engagement?

(p.265) 12 What’s New about the New Evangelical Social Engagement?
The New Evangelical Social Engagement

Joel Carpenter

Oxford University Press

The “new” evangelical social engagement is rather new, but not unprecedented. There have been at least two other recent instances of evangelical social engagement: First, the so-called “new evangelicals,” riding the wave of a major American revival of religious interest in the early days of Billy Graham’s career in the 1950s. Second, the group of “young evangelicals” arising out of the 1960s civil rights and antiwar movements, whose 1973 manifesto, “The Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern,” argued that the earlier generation’s ethical agenda was deeply inadequate. Evangelicals needed to address the challenges of economic justice, peacemaking, racial reconciliation, and gender concerns. These earlier episodes are too close in time to the current one for us not to be looking for precedents and influence. This essay will take up some of central insights in this book about contemporary movements and identify them with classic evangelical traits. While social engagement has often been inspired by evangelical renewal, the search for personal transformation and for authentic faith has always been the central impulse of evangelicalism.

Keywords:   Evangelicals, Neo-evangelicals, Social concern, Chicago Declaration, History, 1950s, 1970s

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