Cover image for After Cloven Tongues of Fire : Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History
Title:
After Cloven Tongues of Fire : Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History
Author:
Hollinger, David A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, [2013]
Physical Description:
xiv, 228 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
The role of liberalized, ecumenical Protestantism in American history has too often been obscured by the more flamboyant and orthodox versions of the faith that oppose evolution, embrace narrow conceptions of family values, and continue to insist that the United States should be understood as a Christian nation. In this book, one of our preeminent scholars of American intellectual history examines how liberal Protestant thinkers struggled to embrace modernity, even at the cost of yielding much of the symbolic capital of Christianity to more conservative, evangelical communities of faith. If religion is not simply a private concern, but a potential basis for public policy and a national culture, does this mean that religious ideas can be subject to the same kind of robust public debate normally given to ideas about race, gender, and the economy? Or is there something special about religious ideas that invites a suspension of critical discussion? These essays, collected here for the first time, demonstrate that the critical discussion of religious ideas has been central to the process by which Protestantism has been liberalized throughout the history of the United States, and shed light on the complex relationship between religion and politics in contemporary American life. After Cloven Tongues of Fire brings together in one volume David Hollinger's most influential writings on ecumenical Protestantism. The book features an informative general introduction as well as concise introductions to each essay.
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Contents:
The accommodation of Protestant Christianity with the enlightenment : an old drama still being enacted -- After cloven tongues of fire : ecumenical Protestantism and the modern American encounter with diversity -- The realist-pacifist summit meeting of March 1942 and the political reorientation of ecumenical Protestantism in the United States -- Justification by verification : the scientific challenge to the moral authority of Christianity in modern America -- James, Clifford, and the scientific conscience -- Damned for God's glory : William James and the scientific vindication of Protestant culture -- Communalist and dispersionist approaches to American Jewish history in an increasingly post-Jewish era -- Church people and others -- Enough already : universities do not need more Christianity -- Religious ideas : should they be critically engaged or given a pass?
ISBN:
9780691158426
Format :
Book

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Central Library BR525 .H63 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

The role of liberalized, ecumenical Protestantism in American history has too often been obscured by the more flamboyant and orthodox versions of the faith that oppose evolution, embrace narrow conceptions of family values, and continue to insist that the United States should be understood as a Christian nation. In this book, one of our preeminent scholars of American intellectual history examines how liberal Protestant thinkers struggled to embrace modernity, even at the cost of yielding much of the symbolic capital of Christianity to more conservative, evangelical communities of faith.


If religion is not simply a private concern, but a potential basis for public policy and a national culture, does this mean that religious ideas can be subject to the same kind of robust public debate normally given to ideas about race, gender, and the economy? Or is there something special about religious ideas that invites a suspension of critical discussion? These essays, collected here for the first time, demonstrate that the critical discussion of religious ideas has been central to the process by which Protestantism has been liberalized throughout the history of the United States, and shed light on the complex relationship between religion and politics in contemporary American life.



After Cloven Tongues of Fire brings together in one volume David Hollinger's most influential writings on ecumenical Protestantism. The book features an informative general introduction as well as concise introductions to each essay.


Author Notes

David A. Hollinger is the Preston Hotchkis Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former president of the Organization of American Historians. His books include Science, Jews, and Secular Culture: Studies in Mid-Twentieth-Century American Intellectual History (Princeton) and Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism .


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 The Accommodation of Protestant Christianity with the Enlightenment: An Old Drama Still Being Enactedp. 1
2 After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Ecumenical Protestantism and the Modern American Encounter with Diversityp. 18
3 The Realist-Pacifist Summit Meeting of March 1942 and the Political Reorientation of Ecumenical Protestantism in the United Statesp. 56
4 Justification by Verification: The Scientific Challenge to the Moral Authority of Christianity in Modern Americap. 82
5 James, Clifford, and the Scientific Consciencep. 103
6 Damned for God's Glory: William James and the Scientific Vindication of Protestant Culturep. 117
7 Communalist and Dispersionist Approaches to American Jewish History in an Increasingly Post-Jewish Erap. 138
8 Church People and Othersp. 170
9 Enough Already: Universities Do Not Need More Christianityp. 190
10 Religious Ideas: Should They Be Critically Engaged or Given a Pass?p. 199
Epilogue: Reinhold Niebuhr and Protestant Liberalismp. 211
Indexp. 227

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