Research on Faith and Stewardship in American Culture

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Sun, 01/01/1989

Robert Lynn, in conjunction with Bangor Theological Seminary explored the origins and historical trajectories of stewardship and trusteeship within the American Protestant church tradition. His goal was to discover how American Christians in previous generations understood the stewardship of the talents of leaders, the stewardship of money, and the stewardship of caring for the common good. Lynn's inquiry centered around the thought and experience of three generations of church leaders, beginning with those who served new religious and church institutions in the 1830s and 1840s. He then examined leaders in the Progressive Era, 1890-1910. The previous two generations provide a background for understanding the most recent generation of church leaders, those who served from 1960-1980. In Lynn's view, this generation faced the most severe financial and morale crisis since the Depression of the 1930s. This research resulted in a 780-entry bibliography on Faith and Money, grouped chronologically and topically. Lynn intends to compile a documentary history on Faith and Money in America, a small popular work on Ministers and Money, and study guides for both of these publications. Lynn also prepared and delivered a series of essays and lectures on stewardship and trusteeship. (SM)