By David A. Hollinger
The function of liberalized, ecumenical Protestantism in American background has too frequently been obscured through the extra flamboyant and orthodox models of the religion that oppose evolution, embody slender conceptions of kin values, and proceed to insist that the U.S. could be understood as a Christian state. during this e-book, one in every of our preeminent students of yankee highbrow historical past examines how liberal Protestant thinkers struggled to embody modernity, even on the fee of yielding a lot of the symbolic capital of Christianity to extra conservative, evangelical groups of faith.
If faith isn't easily a personal obstacle, yet a possible foundation for public coverage and a countrywide tradition, does this suggest that spiritual rules could be topic to an analogous type of strong public debate in general given to principles approximately race, gender, and the economic system? Or is there anything particular approximately spiritual principles that invitations a suspension of severe dialogue? those essays, accrued right here for the 1st time, exhibit that the serious dialogue of spiritual rules has been critical to the method in which Protestantism has been liberalized through the historical past of the USA, and make clear the complicated dating among faith and politics in modern American life.
After Cloven Tongues of Fire brings jointly in a single quantity David Hollinger's so much influential writings on ecumenical Protestantism. The e-book good points an informative normal advent in addition to concise introductions to every essay.
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The writer of Human Dignity and modern Liberalism argues that the character and alertness of up to date liberalism is considerably dissonant with the inner most dispositions and so much continual ethical sentiments of people, and it accordingly distorts human self-understanding and defaces human dignity.
Lengthy prior to our time, the notice liberal intended: depart society by myself to regulate itself. In economics, it intended laissez-faire and personal estate. In govt, it intended the guideline of legislations. In civic lifestyles, it intended extra liberty. Freedom used to be the watchword, the answer to no matter what ailed the social order.
Its achievements are chronicled within the pages of this really good e-book, edited via Alan Bullock and Maurice surprise, released first in 1957, within the phrases of the champions of liberalism in England from the 18th century and ahead. Liberalism beaten protectionism. It completed absolute defense of non-public estate, civil liberties for girls and Jews, the tip of slavery, the institution of the liberty of organization and faith, the top of mercantilism and the institutionalization of loose alternate, the top of torture and cruelty in penal legislation, the hard-core competition to imperialism, the get together of the service provider type, the heralding of individualism. Liberalism's achievements are outstanding and sweeping. analyzing via this quantity with its orations and declarations, you could think your middle racing with pleasure. The statism of outdated used to be being swept away. within the minds of those nice figures, there may perhaps by no means be an excessive amount of liberty. And but the publication additionally files the swap that started to overtake liberalism within the overdue nineteenth century, all caused by what Hans Hoppe has referred to as the good failing of liberalism: its trust that the country may itself be made liberal, benign, or even a part of the constitution of society itself. And so that you start to become aware of a transformation within the narrative, all in accordance with the parable of the potential of strong executive. the 1st area to fall is schooling, as we would count on. Then we've slippage within the quarter of international coverage, stemming from the view that the country itself may possibly develop into the liberator of peoples. global conflict I then replaced every thing and liberalism misplaced its anti-statist center and deserted laissez-faire in economics.
The function of liberalized, ecumenical Protestantism in American heritage has too frequently been obscured via the extra flamboyant and orthodox types of the religion that oppose evolution, embody slim conceptions of relations values, and proceed to insist that the USA could be understood as a Christian kingdom.
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Additional info for After Cloven Tongues of Fire : Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History
After the cloven tongues of fire have shown the possibility for a species- wide solidarity, how can that solidarity be institutionalized? Beyond mystical moments, how can one diminish social divisions in the long run, in the course of earthly life day after day? The ecumenists were more institution builders than revivalists, more devoted to creating and maintaining communities than to facilitating a close emotional relationship with the divine, and more frankly concerned with social welfare than with the state of the individual soul.
This mood of self-interrogation demands emphasis. One of the most neglected features of twentieth-century American history is the intensity and range of the self-critique carried out by the intellectual leadership of mainstream liberal Protestantism during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The critical revision of inherited traditions was no monopoly of such people, to be sure, but they made a great production of attacking the ethnocentrism and sectarianism they professed to find all around them, including in their own churches.
At issue for Marty in 1961 was not only the long-awaited acceptance of Catholics into full and equal partnership as Americans. 7 The notion of a Protestant nation was being renounced, and so too was the notion of a Christian nation, and even of a religious nation. Marty’s outlook was far from that of evangelicals at the time. This point requires underscoring because in later decades evangelicals joined forces ecumenically with many Catholic and Jewish organizations in opposition to abortion, in support of Israel, and in other common causes.
After Cloven Tongues of Fire : Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History by David A. Hollinger
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