American Evangelicals Today assesses the contemporary social, religious, and political characteristics of evangelical Protestants today, and it does so in light of (1) whether these characteristics are similar to, or different from, the corresponding characteristics of adherents of other major faith traditions in American religious life, and (2) the extent which these particular characteristics among evangelicals may have changed over the past four decades. In addition, it analyzes the extent which evangelicals are divided today, and it does so within the framework of four potential factors that might shape such divisions -- racial/ethnic differences, generational differences, educational differences, and religious differences.
American Evangelicals Today is designed to serve as an accessible, but scholarly, overview of American evangelicals, one that is appealing to all scholars, students, and laity alike. Smidt offers a discussion of the nature of evangelical Protestantism, highlights the particular analytical issues at play when one seeks to determine just who are to be classified as evangelicals, and reveals some of the contradictory findings that can emerge through the use of these different analytical frameworks for defining evangelicals. The volume not only analyzes the current characteristics of evangelicals in light of those exhibited by other religious traditions as well as how evangelicals have changed over time, but it looks toward the future, addressing generational differences and other possible factors for change among evangelical Protestants.