A Religious History of America (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 1901
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
“... more comprehensive, more illuminating, and more up-to-date in this new edition with Leigh E. Schmidt.” (Mark A. Noll, Professor of History, Wheaton College)
“A comprehensive, graceful narrative that truly represents the pluralism, momentum, and vitality of American religious life.” (Amanda Porterfield, Professor of History, University of Wyoming)
“An immensely valuable resource ... adds texture and nuance to a very complicated story, making a classic textbook even better.” (Gary Laderman, Associate Professor of American Religious History and Cultures, Emory University)
“Stands among the very best of the American religious histories.” (Dr. E. Brooks Holifield, Charles Howard Candler Professor, Emory University)
“A well-balanced enhancement of an excellent work...recommended.” (Library Journal) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
Présentation de l'éditeur
A Dynamic Account of Religion's Central Role in American History--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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This text was originally written by Edwin Scott Gaustad in 1966; this edition was revised by one of Gaustad's students, Leigh Schmidt, in 2002. The authors address the issue of overkill in certain historical themes from the start - referencing a pop song, they make the case that seeing the beginnings of American religious history as a New England/Puritan event is biased at best - there was a much older settlement in Florida, St. Augustine, but as it was both outside the original thirteen colonies and not a Protestant settlement, it tends to be set aside in favour of the mainstream Protestant origins. Orthodox, Jewish, and other religious beginnings similarly are given a second-class status by `traditional' history timelines and narratives. Of course, this is to say nothing of Native American religious traditions, or the continuation/adaptation of African religious traditions among the slave populations in the colonies and states.
The chapters on beginnings thus start with an overview of the state of Native American religions immediately prior to the era of colonisation, as well as the various Mediterranean expeditions (primarily Spanish, but also some Portuguese) into the islands and interior of the Americas. French expeditions north (into Canadian lands) and south (Louisiana) are included here. After this, the Anglican and English establishments in the developing coastal thirteen colonies are discussed in detail, including official Anglican (Church of England settlements), as well as dissident groups (of which the Puritans were but one such group). Different colonies took on different religious complexions; some colonies had `official' religions, but enforcement of uniformity of practice was often beyond the scope of authorities even in the smaller colonies. Before long, the Eastern seaboard of North America was a rich collection of diverse communities, including most major Protestant groups from Europe.
It is a common idea that the `founding fathers' of the nation were all religious men; in fact, there was great diversity among them, as was true of the rest of the nation, and even those nominally attached to one tradition had significant variances from their traditions - for example, Thomas Jefferson was officially an Anglican, the established church of Virginia colony, but his worship practices and beliefs were vastly different from the official line. The idea of separation of church and state, now a sacrosanct idea enshrined in the Constitution, was by no means a given among the revolutionary leaders (Patrick Henry argued strongly for Christianity, if not Anglicanism, to be continued as the official and state-supported faith). The American revolution, in a sense, demoted Anglicanism, and set up other denominations to also take on new prominence and independence. Methodism, which had been an internal movement of the Anglicans, now expressed their independence in dramatic ways. Expansion to the West often carried religious culture of communities to different locations, which included utopian experiments (New Harmony, Shakers, etc.) and new denominational forms (the Disciples of Christ forming out of the Presbyterian church is a good example of this).
Against the backdrop of this growing nation and growing Christendom (both in terms of sheer size as well as diversity) was the issue of slavery, which divided communities, denominations, and even families before finally splitting the nation into Civil War. The efforts of the Abolitionists are often highlighted in history, while the complicity of religious leaders and denominational authorities in accepting the institution of slavery is often downplayed; Gaustad and Schmidt do address the issue here.
The final two sections look at the every growing diversity of religious expression in America, as well as the formation and decline of various mainstream elements. Urbanisation led to a new national ethos, and as the current generation becomes the first generation in the history of America where more people live in cities than rural areas, the changes are only just beginning. Immigration throughout the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought new traditions, as well as new variants of older traditions; Jewish communities often had a further element of ethnicity in synagogues, and the split between Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist is largely an American-fueled experience. Divisions along racial lines in denominations were solidified in many ways, with several Christian denominations and other religious groups attending to the needs of African Americans. Influences from Asian religions also began to take hold in urban society, as well as home-grown religious institutions such as the Christian Science movement.
Also prominent in the final section of the text is the political side in modern society with regard to religion. The Civil Rights Movement, the increasing concern for church/state separation issues, issues regarding gender, sexuality, and the continuing use of religion as a political weapon are discussed. Movements toward union and reunion in Christian denominations, ecumenical and interfaith cooperation, and shifting patterns of belief and practice are discussed in forward-thinking terms, looking toward a new century (and new millennium) more diverse than ever.
At the end of each primary section, the authors have listed in narrative form suggested readings, arranged topically as well as by methodology and focus. The authors also include a general bibliography (listing recent websites in addition to book titles), and a useful index. Broad and accessible, this text is comprehensive without being oppressive in detail or tone, and a good primer for student and interested lay-reader alike.
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