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Journal Article

"Public" and "Private" Protestantism Reconsidered: Introducing the "Loyalists"

Donald A. Luidens and Roger J. Nemeth
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 26, No. 4 (Dec., 1987), pp. 450-464
DOI: 10.2307/1387097
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1387097
Page Count: 15
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"Public" and "Private" Protestantism Reconsidered: Introducing the "Loyalists"
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Abstract

Martin Marty's model of division in American Protestantism proposed the existence of two "parties": a "private" one which focused on individual salvation and pietism, and a "public" one which emphasized social reform. Dean Hoge studied the condition of the two parties in the early 1970s with a series of theological indices. These have been replicated in a recent study of the laity of the Reformed Church in America. Findings suggest that, while the "private" party is vital in the RCA, the current form of "public" party appears to be a marginal one. In addition, a third, "loyalist" party, with a limited, institutional focus, has significant support. This group has a theology akin to that of the "private" party, but it holds a much stronger allegiance to the denomination, its traditions, and the congregations of the church.

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