Civic Revivalism

Margaret Lamberts Bendroth

in Fundamentalists in the City

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195173901
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835577 | DOI:

Series: Religion in America

  Civic Revivalism

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Revivalist J. Wilbur Chapman’s “simultaneous crusade”, held in the winter of 1909, used the Progressive-era language of civic uplift to save the city of Boston. The campaign was broad and inclusive, incorporating coordinated efforts by the revivalist and hundreds of assistants fanning out into Boston-area churches. Aimed primarily at the city’s businessmen, the Chapman crusade invoked a language of cultural masculinity to energize the city’s evangelical Protestants in a new, positive effort to remake Boston along more godly lines. The crusade also signaled a shift among evangelical Protestants that mirrored changes taking place in Boston’s political institutions, then dominated by the powerful figures of James Michael Curley and Cardinal O’Connell. In both religion and politics, the specific local attachments of ward politics and denomination were being replaced by new more diffuse, symbolic allegiances to popular leaders and causes.

Keywords: progressive era; masculinity; James Michael Curley; Cardinal O’Connell; ward politics

Chapter.  6442 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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