Can Somebody Shout Amen!

Patsy Sims, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-312-01397-4
Throughout the South, the tradition of the Great Revival, almost 200 years old, survives and flourishes in male-dominated evangelism. As Sims (The Klan) concludes from observation of a variety of evangelists and faith healers, there is no clear way to distinguish charlatans from the sincere who purport to be emissaries of the Lord. Instead, she conveys the human elements, the needs that bring ""many poor as well as middle-class Protestants who feel lost and estranged in an increasingly complicated world'' into the auditoriums and tents of revivalists. With Sims's respectful guidance and nonjudgmental approach, the reader enters a unique, unfamiliar world. Though not as well known as their flamboyant progenitor, Billy Sunday, each of the revivalists interviewed (H. Richard Hall, Mike Shreve, Wayne Simmons et al.), sometimes referred to as ``one-man denominations,'' is shown as a powerful influence on the lives of many Americans. A bibliography on the contemporary revival phenomenon is appended. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-8131-0886-5
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