Brad Vermurlen, "Reformed Resurgence: The New Calvinist Movement and the Battle Over American Evangelicalism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

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Since the turn of the millennium, American Evangelical Protestantism has seen a swell of interest in Calvinist theology. Variously described as the New Calvinism or Neo-Reformed Christianity, the latter half of the first decade saw a resurgence of Reformed theology, especially among younger Evangelicals. Brad Vermurlen presents an insightful sociological study of this resurgence of reformed Christianity, interpreted through the lens of strategic action field theory in his new book Reformed Resurgence: The New Calvinist Movement and the Battle Over American Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2020). Using a field theoretic model to analyze data collected through ethnographic observation, interviews with Christian leaders, and digital and print content analysis, Vermurlen explains how New Calvinist Christian leaders positioned themselves within the broader field of American Evangelicalism and solidified their movement within a variety of precipitating causes and game-like maneuvers. In the end, Reformed Resurgence offers a lucid account of how a conservative religious movement can survive, and even thrive, in a hyper-modern, secularizing society. To find out more about Brad Vermurlen, visit

Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.

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