Jill Gill has produced a remarkable account of the declining influence of mainline Protestantism and the NCC in the 1960s and 70s.
Diana Butler Bass's new book is warm and winsome. But it lacks the particularizing power of her earlier work's grounding in stories about specific communities and people.
"Ecumenical leaders of the 1960s took a series of risks," says historian David Hollinger, "asking their constituency to follow them in directions that many resisted."
Anytime you say something is new while also ignoring something old, it begs the question of what labels you use and how slippery their definitions are.
"Are we witnessing the death of America's denominations?" asks Russell D. Moore, pointing out that people tend to choose a church based mostly on the nursery or the music. This is not new information.