The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity
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The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  12 reviews
One of our foremost historians of religion here chronicles the arrival of Christianity in the New World, tracing the turning points in the development of the immigrant church that have led to today's distinctly American faith. Taking a unique approach to this fascinating subject, Noll focuses on what was new about organized Christian religion on the American continent by c...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 25th 2001 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published August 31st 2001)
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Calvary Church
Mark Noll is at it again with an effortless survey of Christianity in North America. Noll reminds us that Christianity in North America is an “import religion,” with very few distinctly American denominations. The religion of America is truly an “old religion in a new world.” However, over time, the old religion takes on distinctly American features due in large measure to issues such as space (North America is a big place with room for religious groups to spread out), pluralism (religious freed...more
This book is severely hamstrung by the American- and Christian-centric views of the author. The title is the first indication of what I mean. If you google the phrase "old religion," you will find that it refers to Paganism. But Noll either doesn't know or doesn't care and so has very misleadingly titled his book. Nor is the book really about "North American" Christianity. Canadian and Mexican Christianities are given only a cursory glance.

This kind of bias mars the rest of the book as well. The...more
"Christianity in America is so intermingled with democratic, voluntaristic, and innovative aspects of American society that modern European models of a traditional church opposed by elite secular intellectuals in league with the sovereign state simply do not apply. ... A history of Christianity in America provides many details to illustrate how this religious situation has pointed sometimes to Christian integrity, sometimes to the ironic loss of Christian integrity. Not historical scholarship bu...more
Fantastic book. The author went beyond recounting the witch trials and Great Awakenings and blah, blah, blah to dig into the context of Christianity in the US. I recognize that few others are as fascinated by this as I am, but I just soaked it up.

The author is a professor at the evangelical Wheaton College, and his perspective (bias?) definitely was evident. Plus he just skimmed right over pesky topics like missionary work among the Native Americans and only gave a nod to black churches. But he...more
Helpful in analyzing what made American Christianity distinct from its Old World parents.
A very dense but thorough book of American religious history, the movements that define it, and the individuals who shaped it. Definitely a book to have on hand as both reading and reference material.

The only reason I gave it four stars is I feel I didn't get as much out of it as a layperson. I loved all of the information in it, though I wish I had more background in American theologists. Perhaps a good book for me to revisit at some time in the future after more study.
Noll is an exceptional writer that takes the potentially boring topic of Church history in America and makes it applicable and interesting. Where this book does lack is that it focuses on the historical aspects and is a little thin on the Theological. This is a more academic work that his well known "Turning Points" and as a result Noll makes assumptions about his readers background of the theological. I highly recommend this excellent overview of the Church in America.
Jake Belder
This is one of the most interesting books I've read on the history of Christianity in North America. Noll does a very through job discussing the development of Christianity in the new world, especially the forces at work that contributed to the shape of Christianity in North America today. A must read if you want to understand why Christianity is the way it is in North America.
This book tells the story of Christianity in North America, particularly the United States. It is an overall history, from colonial times to the present. Although much of the material is available elsewhere, the book is comprehensive and brings together the history, providing an excellent guide to the beginner or the more advanced student.
This is a great book that educates us on early American Christianity, when the colonies were first formed.
Shauli Chaudhuri
If you are interested in the history of Christianity in North America, you can read this as an option
Anything by Mark Noll is grrrrreat, and this book was no exception.
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Mark A. Noll (born 1946), Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, is a progressive evangelical Christian scholar. In 2005, Noll was named by Time Magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential evangelicals in America. Noll is a prolific author and many of his books have earned considerable acclaim within the academic community. The Scandal of the Evangelical...more
More about Mark A. Noll...
The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity The Civil War as a Theological Crisis America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada

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