Download Critical Issues in American Religious History: A Reader by Robert R. Mathisen PDF

By Robert R. Mathisen

American citizens as a spiritual humans event either stress and indecision as they combat with numerous severe matters each day. American society continuously struggles with its non secular prior. the first and secondary fabrics incorporated during this quantity music spiritual America's efforts to articulate its identification and future and enforce its spiritual creeds and beliefs in an ever-changing society.

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Additional info for Critical Issues in American Religious History: A Reader

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Williams Source: Peter W. Williams, America’s Religions: From Their Origins to the Twenty-first Century. Copyright © 1990, 1998, 2002 by Peter W. Williams. Used with permission of the University of Illinois Press. Not all that long ago, American religious history was something of a family affair. The “master narrative,” or overarching framework, for the enterprise could be described in a book title by Baptist church historian Winthrop Hudson: The Great Tradition of the American Churches. Hudson and others were firmly rooted in a Protestant tradition based on the premise that the churches of the Reformation, divided as they might be into distinct denominations, provided the norm for the American religious experience.

But I trust that it will come as no surprise at this point in the book that there is a more fundamental reason: textbook authors and publishers are sufficiently secular that religion is no longer considered relevant enough, or sufficiently Interpreting Religion in America 27 likely to be true, to have anything other than a historical role to play in the stories textbooks tell. In 1989 and 1992 I reviewed forty-two high school textbooks in American and world history, economics, home economics, biology, physics, and physical science, which are approved for use in North Carolina schools.

Yet it was clear that one could no longer talk about American religion as something that used to be important. At least according to the most concrete indexes—numbers, buildings, and money— it was a spectacular success. One exaggerated but suggestive interpretation said that rapid growth had from the beginning determined the whole nature of American Protestantism. 25 24 See, for instance, Will Herberg’s acute and influential Protestant-Catholic-Jew (Garden City, NY, 1955). 25 Franklin H. Littell, From State Church to Pluralism (New York, 1962).

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