The Vietnam War and its polarizing era challenged,
splintered, and changed The National Council of the
Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. (NCC), which was motivated
by its ecumenical Christian vision to oppose that war
and unify people. The NCCís efforts on the war exposed its
strengths and imploded its weaknesses in ways instructive
for religious institutions that bring their faith into politics.
Embattled Ecumenism explores the ecumenical vision, anti-
Vietnam War efforts, and legacy of the NCC. Gillís monumental
study serves as a window into the mainline Protestant
manner of engaging political issues at a unique time of
national crisis and religious transformation. In vibrant
prose, Gill illuminates an ecumenical institution, vision,
and movement that has been largely misrepresented by the
religious right, dismissed by the secular left, misunderstood by
laity, and ignored by scholars outside of ecumenical circles.
At a time when the majority of scholarly work is committed
to looking at the religious right, Gillís groundbreaking
study of the Protestant Left is a welcome addition. Embattled
Ecumenism will appeal to scholars of U.S. religion, politics,
and culture, as well as historians of evangelicalism and
general readers interested in U.S. history and religion.