Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion’s Presence of the Past (University of Massachusetts Press, 2022)
Religion is a subject often overlooked or ignored by public historians. Whether they are worried about inadvertent proselytizing or fearful of contributing to America’s ongoing culture wars, many heritage professionals steer clear of discussing religion’s formative role in the past when they build collections, mount exhibits, and develop educational programming. Yet religious communities have long been active contributors to the nation’s commemorative landscape.
Exhibiting Evangelicalism provides the first account of the growth and development of historical museums created by white evangelical Christians in the United States over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Exploring the histories of the Museum of the Bible, the Billy Graham Center Museum, the Billy Sunday Home, and Park Street Church, Devin C. Manzullo-Thomas illustrates how these sites enabled religious leaders to develop a coherent identity for their fractious religious movement and to claim the centrality of evangelicalism to American history. In their zeal to craft a particular vision of the national past, evangelicals engaged with a variety of public history practices and techniques that made them major players in the field—including becoming early adopters of public history’s experiential turn.
Based on extensive research in numerous archives and drawing upon previously inaccessible sources, Exhibiting Evangelicalism offers a new narrative of the culture wars and of religion’s role in shaping public culture in the United States.
This book is a volume in the “Public History in Historical Perspective” series, published by the University of Massachusetts Press.
Worthy of the Calling: Biographies of Paul & Lela Swalm Hostetler, Harvey and Erma Heise Sider, and Luke Jr. and Doris Bowman Keefer (Brethren in Christ Historical Society Press, 2014) – Coauthored with Beth Hostetler Mark and AnnaRuth Sider Osborne
This edited volume collects biographies of three twentieth-century leaders of the North American Brethren in Christ Church. Together the biographies explore the experiences of Brethren in Christ couples engaged in pastoral ministry, missionary work, church administration, and theological education.
For a review of the book, see John Hawbaker’s review in Brethren in Christ History and Life.
Articles & Book Reviews
My scholarship has appeared in a number of academic journals, including Church History, Fides et Historia, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Brethren in Christ History and Life, The Conrad Grebel Review, The Covenant Quarterly, and more.
Below are links to some of my scholarly articles:
- “Born-Again Brethren in Christ: Anabaptism, Evangelicalism, and the Cultural Transformation of a Plain People,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 90, no. 2 (April 2016): 203-237.
- “From Second Work to Secondary Status: The Shifting Role of Holiness in Brethren in Christ Theology,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 42, no. 2 (August 2019): 249-279. (A version of this article first appeared in Wesleyan Theological Journal 52, no. 2 [Fall 2017]: 63-91.)
For a complete list of my publications, check out my curriculum vitae.
Book Project — Storyteller: The Life and Times of E. Morris Sider. This book is a biography of one of the most important scholars of the Brethren in Christ tradition whose work as a historian, college professor, editor, and public intellectual has significantly deepened the denomination’s engagement with and knowledge of its past. Under contract with the Brethren in Christ Historical Society.