A. J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist (Religion in America) by R. G. Robins

By R. G. Robins

A.J. Tomlinson (1865-1943) ranks one of the major figures of the early Pentecostal flow, and prefer such a lot of of his cohorts, he was once as complicated as he used to be colourful. Arriving in Appalachia as a house missionary decided to uplift and evangelize terrible mountain whites, he stayed to develop into the co-founder and leader architect of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and the Church of God of Prophecy, which including their minor offspring now represent the third-largest denominational family members inside of American Pentecostalism. R.G. Robins's biography recreates the area during which Tomlinson operated, and during his tale bargains a brand new knowing of the origins of the Pentecostal stream. students have tended to view Pentecostalism as in basic terms one amongst many anti-modernist events of the early 20th century. Robins argues that this can be a misreading of the movement's origins-the results of projecting the modernist/fundamentalist controversy of the Twenties again onto the sooner non secular panorama. looking to go back the tale of Pentecostalism to its right ancient context, Robins means that Pentecostalism may still rightly be visible as an outgrowth of the novel holiness circulate of the past due 19th century. He argues that, faraway from being anti-modern, Pentecostals tended to include modernity. Pentecostal modernism, in spite of the fact that, used to be a operating classification or ''plainfolk'' phenomenon, and it's the plainfolk personality of the move that has led such a lot of students to mislabel it as anti-modern or fundamentalist. during the compelling narrative of Tomlinson's existence tale, Robins sheds new mild on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American faith, and gives a extra sophisticated lens by which to view the spiritual dynamics of our personal day. v

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Extra info for A. J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist (Religion in America) 1st edition by Robins, R. G. (2004) Hardcover

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61 For that very reason the answers to the questions of modern life given by men like Tomlinson gained added plausibility for their hearers. 62 My theoretical argument, to large degree, continues themes outlined by Timothy Smith over forty years ago in Revivalism and Social Reform in MidNineteenth-Century America. Smith argued then for the continuity of holiness with the American religious mainstream. He delineated its ties to American revivalism and showed that revivalism in turn lay at the very wellspring of American popular culture.

Smith argued then for the continuity of holiness with the American religious mainstream. He delineated its ties to American revivalism and showed that revivalism in turn lay at the very wellspring of American popular culture. Finally, Smith demonstrated the essentially progressive nature of holiness spirituality and culture. I adapt and extend that argument in several ways. ” Those two would later collide in the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy, resulting in the distortions of memory addressed above.

Tomlinson, Ambrose’s cousin, looked back on a shimmering half century of advance in Westfield, Indiana. Year by year, he recalled, the market had drawn nearer, reaching first Cincinnati, then Lafayette, and now Westfield itself. But the most wondrous change of all had been the dramatic increase in the speed and ease of transportation. Trails had given way to dirt roads, and dirt roads had given way to thoroughfares paved in gravel. An ordinary workday could now carry a person, traveling at upward of ten miles per hour, 100 miles from home.

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