Netherlands American Studies Association

New NASA publications: American Evangelical Missions to Europe in the 20th Century

2019 will see the publication of Return to Sender: American Evangelical Missions to Europe in the 20th Century (vol. 63 in Theologie: Forschung und Wissenschaft).

Based on a conference held at the RIAS in 2015, this collection of studies by American and European scholars explores the various ways in which American evangelicals found their way to postwar Europe, what they did there, and how they were received. With attention to the American and European organizations that brokered their mission, the social and political settings that framed their activities, and the mixed results of their efforts, these studies provide a much-needed overview how an important twentieth-century style of Christianity “returned” to Europe.

The chapters include famous American evangelists such as Billy Graham and Francis Schaeffer, initiatives of missionary organizations such as Operation Mobilisation, the Belgian Gospel Mission, Youth for Christ, the Jesus Movement and results in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Poland.

Readers who cannot wait until the book’s publication may consider sinking their teeth in the the special issue of Trajecta 26 (2017.2) on Evangelicals in the Low Countries, edited by Aaldert Prins, Hans Krabbendam, and Bart Wallet, (191 pp, € 25).

The term “evangelical” identifies a culture of religious practice and belief found within an Anglo-American Protestant framework. The special issue of Trajecta is centered on the roots of this distinct religious tradition in Europe and its development in Belgium and the Netherlands. The nine essays add a transnational layer that looks beyond the evident Anglo-American inspiration and the cross-border Dutch-Belgian encounter. Included here are case studies on the evangelism campaigns of Billy Graham after World War II, the spread of evangelical publications, the efforts to found new denominations and mission centers in the Low Countries after World War I, of encounters with African evangelicalism and Pentecostalism in more recent migrant churches, as well as evangelical missionary activities in Russia and Israel.

As the study of evangelicalism in the Low Countries has thus far been primarily concentrated on national and local case studies, this special volume aims to pave the way for a more integrated and transnational approach to the history. Individual issues can be ordered via the Katholiek Documentation Center in Nijmegen.