‘American Lutheran Pietism’ by Paul P. Kuenning

Paul P. Kuenning, The Rise and Fall of American Lutheran Pietism: The Rejection of an Activist Heritage (Macon, Goergia: Mercer University Press, 1988)

Link s (in blue) in detailed table of contents


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7-8 Johann Arndt (p. 8 Outside of the Bible and Luther’s Small Catechism, no other writing has been so read and revered by Lutherans.” cited to Arndt p 176 “The pages of True Christianity are permeated with the conviction that love for God can be expressed in a tangible way only through love for one’s neighbor. This ‘neighbor love’ is viewed as the real test of faith that ‘distinguishes false Christians from true Christians.’ … Arndt’s chief contribution to the development of German Lutheran Pietism lay in a profound moral concern which proclaimed that ‘where one does not follow Christ in his life through faith, there is neither faith nor Christ’ and that neither the reading or hearing but the doing and practicing of the Word demonstrates true Christianity.”

9-11 Spener —

10 Pia Desideria “The central thrust of the book was a scathing attack on some of the evident evils existing within the church and its clergy. The gross lack of morality and spirituality was excoriated. An external or formal Christianity that accepted church attendance and reception of the sacrament as an indication of real discipleship was condened. A simple assent to doctrine or a verbal affirmation of confessions or creeds as evidence of a true faith was likewise denounced.”

11-12 Francke

17-18 Francke influence on Cotton Mather


70-72 Sanctification — good works part of justification
71 — It was, in fact, a reticence to deviate from the principle of sola fides that led Schmucker and his Pietist colleagues to “question orthodoxy’s insistence on regeneration in the baptism of infants and the presence of Christ in the Supper, regardless of the presence or absence of faith in the communicant.

75-6 anti-Catholic

76-77 Pietists for missions, evangelism “against the determined efforts of strict confessionalists to retain a German church.”

77-80 revivalism and Finney’s new measures pro and con [77-78] 1838 a reader of Lutheran Observer blasted the editor “for his alleged approval of these revivalitic measures. “Alter, for the Lutheran Church’s sake, the name of your [78] paper, call it New Measure, Fanatical, Methodistical, Anti-Lutheran Engine, or Advocate of Screaming, Falling, Clapping of Hands, of Hypocrisy and Lies.” (Italics in the original

79 Not only were the clergy required to give some tangible evidence of this change of heart, but also in most cases a demonstration of conversion was considered as the doorway to adult membership in the church. In his model constitution for congregations Samuel Schmucker had advocated that, before admitting a person into membership, “The church council in all cases … require evidence of those changes and acts which constitute genuine conversion.” [n35] With few exceptions, the English-speaking congregations connected with the General Synod accepted this suggestion and put it into practice, particularly thourhout the third and fourth decades of the nineteenth century.

David Bebbington’s definition of ‘evangelical’


The National Association of Evangelicals (https://www.nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/):

Historian David Bebbington also provides a helpful summary of evangelical distinctives, identifying four primary characteristics of evangelicalism:

  • Conversionism: the belief that lives need to be transformed through a “born-again” experience and a life long process of following Jesus
  • Activism: the expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts
  • Biblicism: a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority
  • Crucicentrism: a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as making possible the redemption of humanity

These distinctives and theological convictions define us — not political, social or cultural trends. In fact, many evangelicals rarely use the term “evangelical” to describe themselves, focusing simply on the core convictions of the triune God, the Bible, faith, Jesus, salvation, evangelism and discipleship.



Works Cited

“What is an Evangelical?” NAE: National Association of Evangelicals https://www.nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/

Roger Williams — misc. quotes

Mark DeWolfe Howe, The Garden and the Wilderness: Religion and Government in American Constitutional History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.

It has often been pointed out — frequently with regret — that the history of American churches has been marked by a progressive deterioration in what might be called their standard of admission. From the time when New England invented the “half-way covenant” and thus permitted the baptized but possibly unregenerate descendants of the covenanted saints to participate in the church’s affairs, it has been the tendency of almost all American churches progressively to alleviate the rigors of belief and offer the hospitalities of church membership to persons who would rather like to be purified but find the process both tedious and discomforting. Though I am sure that something more basic to our social condition than law explains this drift away from the “old-time religion” to the new-time religiosity, I take it that the legal doctrines which I have been discussing played a not wholly insignificant part in strengthening the tendency. 53

“Mark De Wolfe Howe Dies; Lawyer, Historian Was 60,” Harvard Crimson, March 1, 1967 https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1967/3/1/mark-de-wolfe-howe-dies-lawyer/

Howe, a member of the Law School faculty since 1946, was Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History. … on graduation from Harvard Law in 1933, he clerked with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,

1928 — joined Paramount Pictures as a second assistant director and worked on pictures with Jimmy Durante and Fred Allen. Soon, however, Howe was back in Cambridge at the Law School.

Soon, however, Howe was back in Cambridge at the Law School.

Upon his graduation in 1933, his life took a turn that was to have a lasting effect on his career. The late Mr. Justice Frankfurter, then still in his professorial chair at the Law School, selected Howe to be secretary to Holmes. Similar to Holmes in background–both men had grandfathers who were men of the cloth, the father of each was at the center of the literary Boston of his day–Howe was ultimately to become the editor of Holmes’ letters and the author of Holmes’ biography, unfinished at Howe’s death.

— He published, in 1957 and 1963, two volumes of biography; Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: The Shaping Years, 1841-1870 and The Proving Years, 1870-1882. — wrote extensively on question of constitutional law, particularly on church-state relations, the subject of his recent book, The Garden and the Wilderness.

But despite his extensive scholarly commitments, Howe was deeply and passionately involved in public affairs. An active Democrat and adviser to many Democratic candidates for state office, Howe served on his ward committee until he felt obliged last year to resign so that he would be free to support publicly a Republican. Elliot L. Richardson ’41. Howe found his own party’s candidate for Attorney General in that election intolerable.

Robin Cohen on creolization

Robin Cohen, “Creolization and Cultural Globalization: The Soft Sounds of Fugitive Power,” Globalizations, 4.3 (September 2007), pp. 369– 384 http://www.ling.uqam.ca/atonet/soc8245/Cohen.pdf

xxx Cohen — Department of International Development, Oxford

It is generally accepted that a variety of similar terms—creolization, hybridity, syncretism, métissage, mélange, and others–are frequently used interchangeably. Social scientists need to develop clearer distinctions. Meanwhile, I can
[382 R. Cohen]
say that I prefer creolization (because of its links to existing and historical examples and its cultural reference points) and am less keen on hybridization (because of its biological implications). Other scholars have taken a different view. (382-83n3)


At a surface level, a resurgent and implacable US nationalism seems to
have been signalled with the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the declaration of a ‘Long War’ against
terrorism, especially Islamic jihadists. Harvey (2005) calls this ‘the new imperialism’. However,
some of the cracks emerge on closer examination. The US is overextended militarily; its share of
global GNP is declining; its erstwhile allies (like Germany and Turkey) are not so compliant; its
enemies (like Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela) are openly defiant; its trade and fiscal deficits
are massive; it is facing sustained resistance in Iraq; and it has lost the soft war (the power to
persuade) in many parts of the world. US nationalism is thus better understood not as the emergence of a new species, but as the thrashing about of a dinosaur, though one with plenty of life in
it yet. Similar arguments can be mounted in the cases of at least some other strident expressions
of nationalism, ethnicity and religious zealotry. (370)

While it is true to assert that creolization had its locus classicusin
the context of colonial settlement, imported black labour and often a plantation and island setting,
by indicating that there are other pathways for creolization I want to signify the potentially universal applicability of the term. To be a Creole is no longer a mimetic, derivative stance. Rather it
describes a position interposed between two or more cultures, selectively appropriating some
elements, rejecting others, and creating new possibilities that transgress and supersede parent cultures, which themselves are increasingly recognised as fluid. … (381)

Mobile, transnational groups are themselves undergoing what has been described as ‘everyday cosmopolitanism’, while dominant, formerly monochromatic, cultures have themselves
become criss-crossed and sometimes deeply subverted by hybridisation and creolization. It is
this last quality that lends credence to the notion, advanced by the Swedish social anthropologist
Ulf Hannerz (1987) that we live in ‘creolizing world’. In his discussion of the global ecumene,
Hannerz (1992, pp. 217– 263) argues that cultures are no longer as bounded or autonomous as
they once were and that complex and asymmetrical flows have reshaped cultures which, given
existing forms and meanings of culture are not likely to result in global homogenization. He is
clear that ‘emerging hybridized webs of meaning’ (1992, p. 264) are not spurious or inauthentic
cultures. While these Creole cultures may be relatively unformed, because they are recent, they
can and do take on a complex character, often because the periphery is stronger than it may
appear. As Hannerz (1992, pp. 265 –266) maintains:

Creolization also increasingly allows the periphery to talk back. As it creates a greater affinity
between the cultures of the center and the periphery, and as the latter increasingly uses the same
organizational forms and the same technology as the center … some of its new cultural commodities
become increasingly attractive on a global market. Third World music of a creolized kind becomes
world music … Creolization thought is open-ended; the tendencies towards maturation and
saturation are understood as quite possibly going on side by side, or interleaving.

The creolization of the world in the sense described by Hannerz and other writers cited earlier
has provided a space for many people to create a new sense of home, a locus to express their
uniqueness in the face of cultural fundamentalisms and imperialism. Behind the strident assertions of nationalism, ‘old ethnicities’ and religious certainties is an increasing volume of cultural
interactions, interconnections and interdependencies, and a challenge to the solidity of ethnic
and racial categories. These are the soft sounds of fugitive power, but you may need to have
your ear cocked to the ground, or your finger on the pulse, if you are to hear them fully and
discern their influence. (382)

Creolization — New Orleans

Nick Spitzer, “Creolization as Cultural Continuity and Creativity in Postdiluvian New Orleans and Beyond,” Southern Spaces, Nov. 28, 2011 https://southernspaces.org/2011/creolization-cultural-continuity-and-creativity-postdiluvian-new-orleans-and-beyond/

Nick Spitzer of Tulane — The text of this essay is from Creolization as Cultural Creativity, eds. Robert Baron and Ana C. Cara. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2011. Published with permission.

On the larger question of re-understanding American vernacular culture, other artists, like the well-known blues singer Taj Mahal and the rising young Louisiana Creole fiddler Cedric Watson, have independently suggested that the United States might best be understood as a “Creole nation.”27 In a Creole nation one imagines that culture is viewed as a creative creolizing process where group identities show both continuity, synthesis, and differential change, rather than the more linear culturally centric or islanded multicultural conceptions of diverse social orders. These particular artists that gave a voice to such observations are from backgrounds that reflect Creole cultural contact and transformation: Taj Mahal is of African American and British West Indian parentage; Cedric Watson claims Louisiana Creole, Mexican Spanish, Native American, and African American cultural forebears. They are connected to Creole societies of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, and both are aware of the creolization in their personal identities and musical expressions.

From a more critical point of view some scholars, especially anthropologists, have debated the utility and appropriateness of even using “creolization” as a way to universally describe and interpret the processes of continuity and creativity in cultural identities, expressions, ecologies, economies, and related realms.28 A key concern raised in the discussion is that specific Creole societies often recreate either the insular and intolerant hierarchies of the former colonial metropole in the provincial setting or, as they evolve into settled ethnic communities, find ways to exclude those who do not fit into the reified mix of genealogy and cultural markers used to maintain those ethnic boundaries. Examples from New Orleans and other Louisiana Creole communities are not uncommon, and Viranjini Munasinghe describes the plight of marginalized East Indians in the colonially derived West Indies Creole communities.29


Still, we are bound by our comparative and ethnographic traditions to find ways to describe and interpret how cultural communities in the present maintain links to varied pasts—often multiple Old Worlds—and creatively address the present and future in transformations that allow for recognizable linkages between times and places. In this light, cultural creolization is a useful way to address traditional creativity in many forms, variations, and places in the world. The people called Creoles who have made that process explicit in their identity and aesthetic expressions of their culture will continue to discuss, argue, and sometimes disagree about group boundaries; and those feeling excluded from Creole groups may add to the discontent.

The question of “Who is a Creole?” will likely remain, but what has emerged as more broadly significant is that cultural creolization as a means of describing tradition, creativity, and continuity from past and present into the future of human communities is a hopeful and engaged human discourse when compared to the alternative: global monoculture and assimilation within nation-states.

New Orleans is distinctive within the United States with its Carnival, music, cuisine, and building artisanship, but shares these expressions broadly with Creole societies of the Caribbean through parallel development in the New World, African European plantation colonial sphere as well as long-term intraregional migrations. The city has long been a kind of Creole hearth of creativity and symbolic soul for America and anywhere in the world where creolization as a vernacular process creatively connecting the past to the future of community-based culture has not been made explicit. As Rebirth Brass Band leader Philip Frazier says, “Without New Orleans, there is no America.”30

Nick Spitzer on New Orleans’ Cultural History

Krister Stendahl on ‘the People of God’

Krister Stendahl, “Formation of Christian Folks in a Plural World: Response by Krister Stendahl to the paper “Formation of the Laos” [by Godlind Bigalke],” May 10, 1997, Le Cénacle, Geneva, 7-10 May 1997, World Council of Churches https://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/education-and-ecumenical-formation/ecumenical-lay-formation/formation-of-the-laos/response-by-krister-stendahl

Godlind Bigalke

As Barbara Schwahn makes so clear in her reflections on “The People of God” (Document No. 6, p.10), the laos theology needs the full context of the whole creation as a corrective. Jesus’ choice of the Kingdom as the aim and end of the whole enterprise, i.e., the Mending of the Creation (what Jews call Tikkun Olam) is paradigmatic. The laos, when faithful and creative, is supposed to help in that mending not only of itself but of the world. And the imago dei, i.e. that all are created in the image of God, is the common bond of humankind, and a fact more decisive than the tarnish and brokenness that have occured subsequently and that varies in degrees according to various doctrinal traditions.

Beyond and prior to all religious covenants that constitute communities of faith and of culture, there is the bond of common humanity, in the image of God, which should not be belittled in the interest of glorifying one’s own special revelation.

Thus I hail Godlind Bigalke’s instinctive choice of the imago dei as the starting point in considering the topic for formation/transformation/yea restoration. To which I add the Lord’s Prayer, the extended cry for the coming of the Kingdom, the mended creation.

Godlind Bigalke, “Formation of the Laos,” May 7, 1997, Le Cénacle, Geneva, 7-10 May 1997, World Council of Churches https://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/education-and-ecumenical-formation/ecumenical-lay-formation/formation-of-the-laos/index

Chicago’s Swede Town

Ulf Beijbom, “Chicago’s ‘Swede Town’: Gone but Not Forgotten,” Swedish Pioneer Historical Quarterly, 15.4 (Oct. 1964), 144-58. http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/npu_sahq/id/3072

[quotes Ernst Olson’s 1908 history]
In 1850 that part of the city was an open, almost uninhabited prairie, the only objects that broke the monotony of the scene being large stumps or individual trees
still left standing. The locality was low and swampy
with here and there pools of stagnant water inhabited
by snakes and other reptiles. To the north from the
present Division street line stretched an extensive
swamp covered with underbrush and vines. Although
the district was platted and streets were laid out on
paper, there were in fact no other thoroughfares than
Kinzie street, North Clark street and Chicago avenue
if indeed those might be so styled in their almost impassable state.10

According to the same source the low price of building
lots favored the settling of the area by poor immigrants.
Land north of Division street could be bought for $100 an
acre and “at Chicago avenue lots could be had for nothing
provided that the applicants agreed to put up two-story
houses on them, this stipulation being designed to attract
people to the neighborhood and raise the value of realty.”
The census of 1870 is the first to indicate a really compact
Swedish settlement area.

In the neighborhood of the industrial community which
began to expand along the river bank areas, workingmen’s
quarters developed. Mention was previously made that the
low cost of building lots helped in the settling of poor immigrants on the Near North side. Quite early Wells street
(See Fig . 2) came to be the boundary between the majority
of this group of low income laborers and its minority of the
more affluent. East of this street the leading merchants and
industrialists of the time built their homes while the workingmen’s frame cottages marked the area west of it. The
continuing expansion of industrial activity on the city’s
North Side caused a heightened population growth—between 1862 and 1870 the number of inhabitants was
doubled: from 35,000 to 70,000. The majority of these people were of German or Irish origin; the former lived mostly [154] north of Chicago avenue within the Scandinavian area
the Irish were domiciled in the quarters south of it.

{Chicago Ave. sometimes known as “Swedish Clodhoppers’ Lane” (152)]

Swede Town’s character of a laboring class urban district
was enhanced after the Great Fire because of the law
against building frame houses south of Chicago avenue and
east of Wells street since very few people in the low income
bracket could afford the approved brick dwellings. However, not all the houses in Swede Town were of wooden
construction. Along the more important business streets
such as Chicago avenue and Wells street there were many
two- and four-story business buildings of brick. The business streets were bordered with wooden sidewalks while
the streets themselves were for the most part unpaved.

The residential streets were lined with one-story frame
cottages with an attic under the sharply sloping roof. Because of the rectangular shape of the building lots houses
were built with the gable toward the street.13
A high bridge
stairway led to the entrance. Because of the street level
having been raised the older houses in many cases had their
ground floor partially below the street level. The simple
and practical construction of these houses had naturally
been required because of the owner’s lack of funds. The
part of the lot (usually 25×100 feet in size) which was not
occupied by the building, was used for a small garden plot.
The Swedes, most of whom were born in rural parts of the
old country, must have felt very much at home in the
country-like village milieu which thus came to characterize
their city district, and the newcomers’ transplantation from
a definite rural community to an urban one was undoubtedly less of a shock.

It was this rather circumscribed small part in the almost
explosion-like expansion of the metropolis that became the
“capital” for the Illinois Swedes. Here more churches were
established and more newspapers started than in any other
Swedish settlement in the Middle West, and Swede Town’s [155] many business enterprises helped to make it an important
economic center.
In May 1849 the first of Swede Town’s churches was organized: the St. Ansgarius Episcopal church, with its temple at Franklin and Indiana streets and, after the Fire, on
Sedgwick street. The Swedish American pioneer emigrant,
Gustaf Unonius, conducted the work of this church for
many years. In January 1853 sons and daughters of the
Swedish state church met in Chicago for the organizing of
the Immanuel church, a work to which the doughty Erland
Carlsson was to dedicate the greater part of his life. Its first
church building—until 1871—was on Superior street, thereafter on Sedgwick and Hobbie streets.
The preaching of the now almost legendary Methodist
preachers Olof and Jonas Hedstrom resulted in the formation of a congregation which, in 1854, secured a meeting
hall at the corner of Illinois and Market streets. At about
the same time the Baptists had established themselves
among the Swedes on the North side. In December 1868
the next to the oldest Mission Covenant church in the
United States was organized and had its headquarters on
North Franklin street.

13 See Marquis’ Handbook of Chicago (1885) pp. 5-28.