Journal of Discipliana

Document Type

Book Review


With skill and insight James Gorman has brought Richard Hughes’s 1996 classic history of the character of Churches of Christ to the present (2022), incorporating new scholarship since the 1980s, adding original material, and streamlining the narrative. In the first edition Hughes developed his interpretive premises in detail with extensive examples in two sections containing fourteen chapters (“The Making of a Sect” and “The Making of a Denomination”). Gorman has crafted a third section (“The Fragmentation of a Denomination”) from material taken from Hughes’s section two, adding an entirely new chapter on the twenty-first century, and reducing the book’s total number of chapters from fourteen to nine. Despite the significant reduction in overall wordcount, Gorman maintains the fullness of the story and the coherent narrative that made the original edition so engaging and fascinating.

Author Bio

Douglas A. Foster serves as Scholar-in-Residence in the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University. He served as a General Editor for The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement and The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History. He is also the author of A Life of Alexander Campbell (Eerdmans, 2020).