After Cloven Tongues of Fire : Protestant Liberalism in by David A. Hollinger

By David A. Hollinger

The function of liberalized, ecumenical Protestantism in American heritage has too usually been obscured by means of the extra flamboyant and orthodox models of the religion that oppose evolution, embody slender conceptions of relatives values, and proceed to insist that the us will be understood as a Christian kingdom. during this ebook, certainly one of our preeminent students of yankee highbrow background examines how liberal Protestant thinkers struggled to embody modernity, even on the expense of yielding a lot of the symbolic capital of Christianity to extra conservative, evangelical groups of faith.

If faith isn't easily a personal quandary, yet a possible foundation for public coverage and a countrywide tradition, does this suggest that non secular rules could be topic to an analogous type of powerful public debate in general given to principles approximately race, gender, and the economic climate? Or is there anything certain approximately non secular principles that invitations a suspension of serious dialogue? those essays, accrued right here for the 1st time, display that the severe dialogue of spiritual principles has been important to the method in which Protestantism has been liberalized during the historical past of the U.S., 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 booklet positive aspects an informative basic advent in addition to concise introductions to every essay.

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Although much of Robinson’s message was already incorporated into the discourse of liberal seminaries as a result of the calls for “demythologized” and “religionless” Christianity made somewhat cryptically by the German theologians Rudolph Bultman and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his breakaway best seller popularized as never before the strivings of a theological elite to update Christian teachings in relation to contemporary culture and modern notions of cognitive plausibility. 13 Robinson and his champions were quick to insist that the Christian faith was just as true as it ever was, once properly understood.

Fresh light on the Protestant-­Catholic relationship in the middle decades of the nineteenth century is cast by Jon Gjerde, Catholicism and the Shaping of 19th Century America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012). 12. Martin Marty, “Protestantism Enters Third Phase,” The Christian Century, January 18, 1961, 72. 13. I have discussed the coming together of these two antiprovincial revolts in “Ethnic Diversity, Cosmopolitanism, and the Emergence of the American Liberal Intelligentsia,” American Quarterly 27 (1975): 133–­151.

They also accepted perspectives on women and the family that reduced their capacity to reproduce themselves at precisely the same time they took positions on empire, race, sex, abortion, and divinity that diminished their ability to recruit new members from the Seventh Day Adventist and Church of the Nazarene, ranks that in earlier generations provided many converts to the more respectable Methodist and Episcopalian faiths. Evangelicals, by contrast, had more children and kept them. What happened to ecumenical Protestantism during the 1960s crisis and its aftermath can be instructively compared to what happened simultaneously to the Democratic Party in national politics.

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