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Christian : the politics of a word in America

by Bowman, Matthew Burton,

Format: Print Book 2018
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Homewood Non-Fiction Collection BR115.P7 B6675 2018
Location  CLP - Homewood
 
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
 
Call Number  BR115.P7 B6675 2018
 
 
CLP - Lawrenceville Non-Fiction Collection BR115.P7 B6675 2018
Location  CLP - Lawrenceville
 
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
 
Call Number  BR115.P7 B6675 2018
 
 
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction BR115.P7 B6675 2018
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  BR115.P7 B6675 2018
 
 
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection BR115.P7 B6675 2018
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
 
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
 
Call Number  BR115.P7 B6675 2018
 
 
Summary

Religious diversity has long been a defining feature of the United States. But what may be even more remarkable than the sheer range of faiths is the diversity of political visions embedded in those religious traditions. Matthew Bowman delves into the ongoing struggle over the potent word "Christian," not merely to settle theological disputes but to discover its centrality to American politics.

As Christian: The Politics of a Word in America shows, for many American Christians, concepts like liberty and equality are rooted in the transcendent claims about human nature that Christianity offers. Democracy, equality under the law, and other basic principles of American government are seen as depending on the Christian faith's sustenance and support. Yet despite this presumed consensus, differing Christian beliefs have led to dispute and disagreement about what American society and government should look like. While many white American Protestants associate Christianity with Western Euro-American civilization, individual liberty, and an affirmation of capitalism, other American Christians have long rejected those assumptions. They maintain that Christian principles demand political programs as wide-ranging as economic communalism, international cooperation, racial egalitarianism, and social justice.

The varieties of American Christian experience speak to an essentially contested concept of political rights and wrongs. Though diverse Christian faiths espouse political visions, Christian politics defy clear definition, Bowman writes. Rather, they can be seen as a rich and varied collection of beliefs about the interrelationships of divinity, human nature, and civic life that engage and divide the nation's Christian communities and politics alike.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Bowman (The Urban Pulpit), associate professor of history at Henderson State University, pulls together a thought-provoking series of case studies that charts the long history of Christian political rhetoric in the United States. He is particularly interested in how ¿Americans have used the language of Christianity to assert the transcendent authority of their democracy against threats they labeled materialistic¿ during the 20th century, beginning with a chapter on Spiritualist radical Victoria Woodhull¿s 1872 presidential campaign and ending with one on the fracturing of the late-20th-century religious right. In between, Bowman considers such diverse case studies as the development and contestation of a Western civilization curriculum at Columbia and Howard Universities, Catholic citizenship and activism during the Great Depression, and black activists¿ use of Christianity to combat white supremacy in a global context. Most striking for our current political moment may be Bowman¿s attention to the ways the politically powerful have used Christianity to claim a divine right to govern, derived¿as they saw it¿from the superiority of a racialized white Christian cultural heritage. Bowman, in this rigorous study, persuasively argues that Christianity has shaped a collective understanding of the national past and continues to lend spiritual weight to competing visions for America¿s future. (Apr.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Religion -- 20th century.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Religion -- 21st century.
Christianity and politics -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Christianity and politics -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
Publisher Cambridge, Massachusetts :2018
Language English
Description 304 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 229-291) and index.
ISBN 9780674737631
0674737636
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