the rise of liberal religion book culture and american spirituality in the twentieth century

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The Rise Of Liberal Religion

Author : Matthew Hedstrom
ISBN : 9780195374490
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 48 MB
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Winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Best First Book Prize of the American Society of Church History Named a Society for U. S. Intellectual History Notable Title in American Intellectual History The story of liberal religion in the twentieth century, Matthew S. Hedstrom contends, is a story of cultural ascendency. This may come as a surprise-most scholarship in American religious history, after all, equates the numerical decline of the Protestant mainline with the failure of religious liberalism. Yet a look beyond the pews, into the wider culture, reveals a more complex and fascinating story, one Hedstrom tells in The Rise of Liberal Religion. Hedstrom attends especially to the critically important yet little-studied arena of religious book culture-particularly the religious middlebrow of mid-century-as the site where religious liberalism was most effectively popularized. By looking at book weeks, book clubs, public libraries, new publishing enterprises, key authors and bestsellers, wartime reading programs, and fan mail, among other sources, Hedstrom is able to provide a rich, on-the-ground account of the men, women, and organizations that drove religious liberalism's cultural rise in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Critically, by the post-WWII period the religious middlebrow had expanded beyond its Protestant roots, using mystical and psychological spirituality as a platform for interreligious exchange. This compelling history of religion and book culture not only shows how reading and book buying were critical twentieth-century religious practices, but also provides a model for thinking about the relationship of religion to consumer culture more broadly. In this way, The Rise of Liberal Religion offers both innovative cultural history and new ways of seeing the imprint of liberal religion in our own times.

The Routledge History Of Twentieth Century America

Author : Jerald Podair
ISBN : 9781317485650
Genre : History
File Size : 34. 53 MB
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The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States is a comprehensive introduction to the most important trends and developments in the study of modern United States history. Driven by interdisciplinary scholarship, the thirty-four original chapters underscore the vast range of identities, perspectives and tensions that contributed to the growth and contested meanings of the United States in the twentieth century. The chronological and topical breadth of the collection highlights critical political and economic developments of the century while also drawing attention to relatively recent areas of research, including borderlands, technology and disability studies. Dynamic and flexible in its possible applications, The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States offers an exciting new resource for the study of modern American history.

What Would Jesus Read

Author : Erin A. Smith
ISBN : 9781469621333
Genre : Religion
File Size : 26. 42 MB
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Since the late nineteenth century, religiously themed books in America have been commercially popular yet scorned by critics. Working at the intersection of literary history, lived religion, and consumer culture, Erin A. Smith considers the largely unexplored world of popular religious books, examining the apparent tension between economic and religious imperatives for authors, publishers, and readers. Smith argues that this literature served as a form of extra-ecclesiastical ministry and credits the popularity and longevity of religious books to their day-to-day usefulness rather than their theological correctness or aesthetic quality. Drawing on publishers' records, letters by readers to authors, promotional materials, and interviews with contemporary religious-reading groups, Smith offers a comprehensive study that finds surprising overlap across the religious spectrum--Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, liberal and conservative. Smith tells the story of how authors, publishers, and readers reconciled these books' dual function as best-selling consumer goods and spiritually edifying literature. What Would Jesus Read? will be of interest to literary and cultural historians, students in the field of print culture, and scholars of religious studies.

Religion And The Marketplace In The United States

Author : Jan Stievermann
ISBN : 9780190266578
Genre : Religion
File Size : 35. 22 MB
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Alexis de Tocqueville once described the national character of Americans as one question insistently asked: "How much money will it bring in?" G.K. Chesterton, a century later, described America as a "nation with a soul of a church." At first glance, the two observations might appear to be diametrically opposed, but this volume shows the ways in which American religion and American business overlap and interact with one another, defining the US in terms of religion, and religion in terms of economics. Bringing together original contributions by leading experts and rising scholars from both America and Europe, the volume pushes this field of study forward by examining the ways religions and markets in relationship can provide powerful insights and open unseen aspects into both. In essays ranging from colonial American mercantilism to modern megachurches, from literary markets to popular festivals, the authors explore how religious behavior is shaped by commerce, and how commercial practices are informed by religion. By focusing on what historians often use off-handedly as a metaphor or analogy, the volume offers new insights into three varieties of relationships: religion and the marketplace, religion in the marketplace, and religion as the marketplace. Using these categories, the contributors test the assumptions scholars have come to hold, and offer deeper insights into religion and the marketplace in America.

Guaranteed Pure

Author : Timothy Gloege
ISBN : 9781469621029
Genre : Religion
File Size : 40. 3 MB
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American evangelicalism has long walked hand in hand with modern consumer capitalism. Timothy Gloege shows us why, through an engaging story about God and big business at the Moody Bible Institute. Founded in Chicago by shoe-salesman-turned-revivalist Dwight Lyman Moody in 1889, the institute became a center of fundamentalism under the guidance of the innovative promoter and president of Quaker Oats, Henry Crowell. Gloege explores the framework for understanding humanity shared by these business and evangelical leaders, whose perspectives clearly differed from those underlying modern scientific theories. At the core of their "corporate evangelical" framework was a modern individualism understood primarily in terms of economic relations. Conservative evangelicalism and modern business grew symbiotically, transforming the ways that Americans worshipped, worked, and consumed. Gilded Age evangelicals initially understood themselves primarily as new "Christian workers--employees of God guided by their divine contract, the Bible. But when these ideas were put to revolutionary ends by Populists, corporate evangelicals reimagined themselves as savvy religious consumers and reformulated their beliefs. Their consumer-oriented "orthodoxy" displaced traditional creeds and undermined denominational authority, forever altering the American religious landscape. Guaranteed pure of both liberal theology and Populist excesses, this was a new form of old-time religion not simply compatible with modern consumer capitalism but uniquely dependent on it.

Encyclopedia Of American Cultural And Intellectual History

Author : Mary Kupiec Cayton
ISBN : 068480560X
Genre : History
File Size : 43. 96 MB
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The Urban Pulpit

Author : Matthew Bowman
ISBN : 9780199977604
Genre : History
File Size : 62. 27 MB
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Matthew Bowman explores the world of a neglected group of American Christians: the self-identified liberal evangelicals who began in late nineteenth-century New York to reconcile traditional evangelical spirituality with progressive views on social activism and theological questions. These evangelicals emphasized the importance of supernatural conversion experience, but also argued that scientific advances, new movements in art, and the decline in poverty created by a new industrial economy could facilitate encounters with Christ. The Urban Pulpit chronicles the struggle of liberal evangelicals against conservative Protestants who questioned their theological sincerity and against secular reformers who grew increasingly devoted to the cause of cultural pluralism and increasingly suspicious of evangelicals over the course of the twentieth century. Liberal evangelicals walked a difficult path, facing increasing polarization in twentieth-century American public life; both conservative evangelicals and secular reformers insisted that religion and science were necessarily at odds and that evangelical Christianity was incompatible with cultural diversity. Liberal evangelicals rejected these simple dichotomies, but nonetheless found it increasingly difficult to defend their middle way. Drawing on history, anthropology, and religious studies, Bowman paints a complex portrait of these understudied Christians at work, at worship, and engaged in advocacy in the public square.

Between The Pigeonholes

Author : Alison Falby
ISBN : STANFORD:36105131748225
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 77. 16 MB
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Aldous Huxley described Gerald Heard as "that rare being a learned man who [made] his mental home on the vacant spaces between the pigeonholes." Heard's off-beat interests made him a cultural and intellectual pioneer on both sides of the Atlantic in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Despite accolades from such figures as E.M. Forster, who characterized him as "one of the most penetrating minds in England," and Christopher Isherwood, who described him upon his death as one of the "few great magic mythmakers and revealers of life's wonder," Heard is largely unknown today. Between the Pigeonholes is the first published full-length study of Gerald Heard. Alison Falby examines Heard's ideas and contexts in interwar Britain and postwar America, demonstrating his significance in several important twentieth-century movements. These movements include popular science and psychology, psychical research, Eastern spirituality, pacifism, cooperativism, and Californian counter-culture. All of Heard's involvements expressed his desire to convey religious ideas in the modern languages of biological, social, and physical science. Falby also traces Heard's shifting political leanings from left-liberal in the early-1930s to libertarian in the early-1960s. She finds that his modernist theological approach, conventionally associated with liberal religion and politics, provided spiritual fodder for those on both the Left and the Right: Isherwood and W.H. Auden on the one hand, and Clare Boothe Luce and Spiritual Mobilization on the other. Using Heard as a prism through which to examine popular ideas, Falby shows that the twentieth century contained much political and religious heterogeneity. This heterogeneity illustrates the diverse and overlapping roots of both liberal religion and conservative politics in the twenty-first century.

Jews And The American Soul

Author : Andrew R. Heinze
ISBN : 0691117551
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 51. 38 MB
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What do Joyce Brothers and Sigmund Freud, Rabbi Harold Kushner and philosopher Martin Buber have in common? They belong to a group of pivotal and highly influential Jewish thinkers who altered the face of modern America in ways few people recognize. So argues Andrew Heinze, who reveals in rich and unprecedented detail the extent to which Jewish values, often in tense interaction with an established Christian consensus, shaped the country's psychological and spiritual vocabulary. Jews and the American Soul is the first book to recognize the central role Jews and Jewish values have played in shaping American ideas of the inner life. It overturns the widely shared assumption that modern ideas of human nature derived simply from the nation's Protestant heritage. Heinze marshals a rich array of evidence to show how individuals ranging from Erich Fromm to Ann Landers changed the way Americans think about mind and soul. The book shows us the many ways that Jewish thinkers influenced everything from the human potential movement and pop psychology to secular spirituality. It also provides fascinating new interpretations of Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Western views of the psyche; the clash among Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish moral sensibilities in America; the origins and evolution of America's psychological and therapeutic culture; the role of Jewish women as American public moralists, and more. A must-read for anyone interested in the contribution of Jews and Jewish culture to modern America.

Apostles Of Reason

Author : Molly Worthen
ISBN : 9780199896462
Genre : History
File Size : 63. 38 MB
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In Apostles of Reason, Molly Worthen offers a sweeping history of modern American evangelicalism. Traditionally, evangelicalism has been seen as a cohesive - indeed almost monolithic - religious movement. Sometimes religion drops out of the picture and evangelicalism is treated strictly as apolitical force. Worthen argues that these views are false. Evangelicalism is, rather, a community of believers preoccupied by three elemental concerns: how to reconcile faith and reason; how to know Jesus; and how to bring faith to a secularized public square. In combination, under the pressures ofmodernity, and in the absence of a guiding authority capable of resolving uncertainties and disagreements, these debates have shaped evangelicals into a distinctive spiritual community.

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