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Mainline ChristianityThe Past and Future of America's Majority Faith$
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Jason S. Lantzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814753309

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814753309.001.0001

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In a State of Perpetual Decline

In a State of Perpetual Decline

(p.85) 5 In a State of Perpetual Decline
Mainline Christianity

Jason S. Lantzer

NYU Press

This chapter illustrates how the decline of the Seven Sisters was triggered by the rise of consumerism, the communications revolution, and the challenges of cultural engagement beyond politics. These factors continue to have implications for the Seven Sisters and for the emerging new Mainline of the twenty-first century. The battle between modernists and fundamentalists increasingly focuses on the secularization of culture. While modernists were able to control denominational hierarchies within the Seven Sisters, they began to lose touch with wider Christian America. Thus, even as their denominational power grew, the old Mainline was becoming less and less mainstream in the second half of the twentieth century. In addition, the democratic spirit of American Christianity, as well as new parachurch organizations and technology, aggravated the Sisters' decline.

Keywords:   Seven Sisters, consumerism, communications revolution, modernists, fundamentalists, Christian America, parachurch organizations

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