The Puritan Origins Of American Patriotism
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📒The Puritan Origins Of American Patriotism ✍ George McKenna
✏The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism Book Summary : In this absorbing book, George McKenna ranges across the entire panorama of American history to track the development of American patriotism. That patriotism—shaped by Reformation Protestantism and imbued with the American Puritan belief in a providential “errand”—has evolved over 350 years and influenced American political culture in both positive and negative ways, McKenna shows. The germ of the patriotism, an activist theology that stressed collective rather than individual salvation, began in the late 1630s in New England and traveled across the continent, eventually becoming a national phenomenon. Today, American patriotism still reflects its origins in the seventeenth century. By encouraging cohesion in a nation of diverse peoples and inspiring social reform, American patriotism has sometimes been a force for good. But the book also uncovers a darker side of the nation’s patriotism—a prejudice against the South in the nineteenth century, for example, and a tendency toward nativism and anti-Catholicism. Ironically, a great reversal has occurred, and today the most fervent believers in the Puritan narrative are the former “outsiders”—Catholics and Southerners. McKenna offers an interesting new perspective on patriotism’s role throughout American history, and he concludes with trenchant thoughts on its role in the post-9/11 era.
📒American Exceptionalism And Civil Religion ✍ John D. Wilsey
✏American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion Book Summary : Ever since John Winthrop told his fellow colonists in 1630 that they were about to establish a City upon a Hill, the idea of having a special place in history has captured the American imagination. Through centuries of crises and opportunities, many have taken up this theme to inspire the nation. But others have criticized the notion because it implies a sense of superiority which can fuel racism, warmongering and even idolatry. In this remarkable book, John Wilsey traces the historical development of exceptionalism, including its theological meaning and implications for civil religion. From seventeenth-century Puritans to twentieth-century industrialists, from politicians to educators, exceptionalism does not appear as a monolithic concept to be either totally rejected or devotedly embraced. While it can lead to abuses, it can also point to constructive civil engagement and human flourishing. This book considers historically and theologically what makes the difference. Neither the term nor the idea of American exceptionalism is going away. John Wilsey s careful history and analysis will therefore prove an important touchstone for discussions of American identity in the decades to come.
📒Inventing A Christian America ✍ Steven K. Green
✏Inventing a Christian America Book Summary : One of the most enduring themes in United States history is that of its religious founding. This narrative is pervasive in school textbooks, political lore, and the popular consciousness. It is central to the way in which many Americans perceive the historical legacy of their nation. It is also largely a myth-one that this book sets out to unravel. Steven K. Green explores the historical record that supports the popular belief about the nation's religious origins. His aim is not to take part in the irresolvable debate over whether the Founders were devout Christians or atheistic deists, or whether the people of the founding generation believed chiefly in divine providence and the role of religion in public life or in separation of church and state. Rather, he seeks to explain how the ideas of America's religious founding and its status as a Christian nation became a leading narrative about the nation's collective identity. Moreover, Green takes seriously the notion that America's religious founding is a myth not merely in the colloquial sense, but also in a deeper sense, as a shared story that shapes the way we define ourselves and gives meaning to our history.
📒American Theology Superhero Comics And Cinema ✍ Anthony Mills
✏American Theology Superhero Comics and Cinema Book Summary : Stan Lee, who was the head writer of Marvel Comics in the early 1960s, co-created such popular heroes as Spider-Man, Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, and Daredevil. This book traces the ways in which American theologians and comic books of the era were not only both saying things about what it means to be human, but, starting with Lee they were largely saying the same things. Author Anthony R. Mills argues that the shift away from individualistic ideas of human personhood and toward relational conceptions occurring within both American theology and American superhero comics and films does not occur simply on the ontological level, but is also inherent to epistemology and ethics, reflecting the comprehensive nature of human life in terms of being, knowing, and acting. This book explores the idea of the "American monomyth" that pervades American hero stories and examines its philosophical and theological origins and specific manifestations in early American superhero comics. Surveying the anthropologies of six American theologians who argue against many of the monomyth’s assumptions, principally the staunch individualism taken to be the model of humanity, and who offer relationality as a more realistic and ethical alternative, this book offers a detailed argument for the intimate historical relationship between the now disparate fields of comic book/superhero film creation, on the one hand, and Christian theology, on the other, in the United States. An understanding of the early connections between theology and American conceptions of heroism helps to further make sense of their contemporary parallels, wherein superhero stories and theology are not strictly separate phenomena but have shared origins and concerns.
📒One Nation Under God ✍ John D. Wilsey
✏One Nation Under God Book Summary : Is America a Christian nation? This question has loomed large in American culture since the Puritans arrived on American shores in the early seventeenth century. More recently, the Christian America thesis has been advocated by many evangelical leaders across the denominational spectrum. This book contributes to the conversation by critiquing, from an evangelical perspective, the idea that America is a Christian nation as articulated by specific writers over the past three decades. Wilsey asserts that the United States was not conceived as a Christian nation, but as a nation with religious liberty. Herein lies the genius of the Founders and the uniqueness of America.
📒The Faith Instinct ✍ Nicholas Wade
✏The Faith Instinct Book Summary : Noted science writer Nicholas Wade offers for the first time a convincing case based on a broad range of scientific evidence for the evolutionary basis of religion.
📒Benjamin Elijah Mays Schoolmaster Of The Movement ✍ Randal Maurice Jelks
✏Benjamin Elijah Mays Schoolmaster of the Movement Book Summary : In this first full-length biography of Benjamin Mays (1894-1984), Randal Maurice Jelks chronicles the life of the man Martin Luther King Jr. called his "spiritual and intellectual father." Dean of the Howard University School of Religion, president of Morehouse College, and mentor to influential black leaders, Mays had a profound impact on the education of the leadership of the black church and of a generation of activists, policymakers, and educators. Jelks argues that Mays's ability to connect the message of Christianity with the responsibility to challenge injustice prepared the black church for its pivotal role in the civil rights movement. From Mays's humble origins in Epworth, South Carolina, through his doctoral education, his work with institutions such as the National Urban League, the NAACP, and the national YMCA movement, and his significant career in academia, Jelks creates a rich portrait of the man, the teacher, and the scholar. Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement is a powerful portrayal of one man's faith, thought, and mentorship in bringing American apartheid to an end.
📒The Origins Of American Religious Nationalism ✍ Sam Haselby
✏The Origins of American Religious Nationalism Book Summary : Sam Haselby offers a new and persuasive account of the role of religion in the formation of American nationality, showing how a contest within Protestantism reshaped American political culture and led to the creation of an enduring religious nationalism. Following U.S. independence, the new republic faced vital challenges, including a vast and unique continental colonization project undertaken without, in the centuries-old European senses of the terms, either "a church" or "a state." Amid this crisis, two distinct Protestant movements arose: a popular and rambunctious frontier revivalism; and a nationalist, corporate missionary movement dominated by Northeastern elites. The former heralded the birth of popular American Protestantism, while the latter marked the advent of systematic Protestant missionary activity in the West. The explosive economic and territorial growth in the early American republic, and the complexity of its political life, gave both movements opportunities for innovation and influence. This book explores the competition between them in relation to major contemporary developments-political democratization, large-scale immigration and unruly migration, fears of political disintegration, the rise of American capitalism and American slavery, and the need to nationalize the frontier. Haselby traces these developments from before the American Revolution to the rise of Andrew Jackson. His approach illuminates important changes in American history, including the decline of religious distinctions and the rise of racial ones, how and why "Indian removal" happened when it did, and with Andrew Jackson, the appearance of the first full-blown expression of American religious nationalism.
📒Political Religion Beyond Totalitarianism ✍ J. Augusteijn
✏Political Religion Beyond Totalitarianism Book Summary : The success of fascist and communist regimes has long been explained by their ability to turn political ideology into a type of religion. These innovative essays explore the notion that all forms of modern mass-politics, including democracies, need a form of sacralization to function.
📒Saints And Strangers ✍ Joseph A. Conforti
✏Saints and Strangers Book Summary : In the first general history of colonial New England to be published in over twenty-five years, Joseph A. Conforti synthesizes current and classic scholarship to explore how Puritan saints and "strangers" to Puritanism participated in the making of colonial New England. Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop's famous description of New England as a "city upon a hill" has tended to reduce the region's history to an exclusively Pilgrim-Puritan drama, a world of narrow-minded founders, the First Thanksgiving, steepled churches, and the Salem witchcraft trials. In a concise volume aimed at general readers and college students as well as historians, Conforti shows that New England was neither as Puritan nor as insular as most familiar stories imply. As the region evolved into British America's preeminent maritime region, the Atlantic Ocean served as a highway of commercial and cultural encounter, connecting white English settlers to different races and religious communities of the transatlantic world. The Puritan elect—but also Natives, African slaves, and non-Puritan white settlers—became active participants in the creation of colonial New England. Conforti discusses how these subcommunities of white, red, and black strangers to Protestant piety retained their own cultures, coexisted, and even thrived within and beyond the domains of Puritan settlement, creating tensions and pressure points in the later development of early America.