History of American Christianity
by Leonard Woolsey Bacon
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Bacon introduced his History of American Christianity at the very end of the 19th century.
The book appeared just after the violence and controversy of the American Civil War,
and just as that of racial segregation and the World Wars began to brew. In spite of this,
Bacon’s History highlights the glories and triumphs of Christianity’s development in
the United States. In particular, he focuses on how all kinds of Christians from many
different countries have met and come together in America. He looks forward to a future
in which these Christians can live united in faith. While some critique Bacon’s History
for its perhaps excessive patriotism, others appreciate Bacon’s ecumenical vision. In any
case, the book stands in a rather unique place in American history. By virtue of this, it
tells the story of American Christianity in a way particularly refreshing for an American
era characterized by the political polarization of the church.