Event Title

A Comparison of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and American Evangelicalism: Understanding the Current State of Evangelicalism in America from a Kuhnian Perspective

Location

Breakout Session A: Humanities and Social Sciences

CASB 104

Start Date

8-4-2022 2:30 PM

End Date

8-4-2022 2:45 PM

Description

This research paper examines similarities between the nonlinear pattern of scientific development described in Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 seminal work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and the progression of American Evangelicalism with a focus on its current state. By examining similarities between the two, I answer the question, “Is American Evangelicalism in a state of crisis leading to a revolution and paradigm shift?” In order to lay the groundwork for a comparison to American Evangelicalism, I explore Kuhn’s pattern and trace its stages through the initial development of a scientific paradigm, the resulting period of normal scientific activity, the rising crises caused by unresolved anomalies, and the ensuing revolution and paradigm shifts. I define American Evangelicalism, a movement with significant political and social power, then describe its community, practitioners, paradigm, and normal practice from a Kuhnian perspective. Once this foundation has been laid, I explore the concept of anomalies in the form of social and scientific issues such as the status of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community and the challenges to Biblical inerrancy that contribute to crises challenging the reigning paradigm of American Evangelicalism. My research strategy includes collection of data from various organizations, scholars, historians, and popular writers in books, journals, online articles, statements, and social media accounts. This research paper concludes that American Evangelicalism is in a state of crisis parallel to Kuhn’s description of a scientific crisis, and the reigning paradigm is being challenged by competing paradigms which are precipitating a revolution. After I draw these conclusions, I briefly examine the benefits of understanding American Evangelicalism from a Kuhnian perspective.

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Apr 8th, 2:30 PM Apr 8th, 2:45 PM

A Comparison of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and American Evangelicalism: Understanding the Current State of Evangelicalism in America from a Kuhnian Perspective

Breakout Session A: Humanities and Social Sciences

CASB 104

This research paper examines similarities between the nonlinear pattern of scientific development described in Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 seminal work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and the progression of American Evangelicalism with a focus on its current state. By examining similarities between the two, I answer the question, “Is American Evangelicalism in a state of crisis leading to a revolution and paradigm shift?” In order to lay the groundwork for a comparison to American Evangelicalism, I explore Kuhn’s pattern and trace its stages through the initial development of a scientific paradigm, the resulting period of normal scientific activity, the rising crises caused by unresolved anomalies, and the ensuing revolution and paradigm shifts. I define American Evangelicalism, a movement with significant political and social power, then describe its community, practitioners, paradigm, and normal practice from a Kuhnian perspective. Once this foundation has been laid, I explore the concept of anomalies in the form of social and scientific issues such as the status of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community and the challenges to Biblical inerrancy that contribute to crises challenging the reigning paradigm of American Evangelicalism. My research strategy includes collection of data from various organizations, scholars, historians, and popular writers in books, journals, online articles, statements, and social media accounts. This research paper concludes that American Evangelicalism is in a state of crisis parallel to Kuhn’s description of a scientific crisis, and the reigning paradigm is being challenged by competing paradigms which are precipitating a revolution. After I draw these conclusions, I briefly examine the benefits of understanding American Evangelicalism from a Kuhnian perspective.