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Myth of American Religious Freedom

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Freedom of religion was one of the bedrock principles of the founding, and one of the keys to the success of the American experime... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

Freedom of religion was one of the bedrock principles of the founding, and one of the keys to the success of the American experiment. In this provocative book, David Sehat argues that this is far from true. In fact, for most of American history, a ",moral establishment", used the law to enforce a Protestant Christian morality that made little room for people of other faiths or none. This book tells the story of the rise and fall of the American moral establishment, with a particular focus on the dissenters who came under its thumb. Sehat offers an engrossing and wide-ranging argument that seeks to overturn a lot of what we think we know about American history.

Autorentext

David Sehat is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia State University.



Klappentext

In the battles over religion and politics in America, both liberals and conservatives often appeal to history. Liberals claim that the Founders separated church and state. But for much of American history, David Sehat writes, Protestant Christianity was intimately intertwined with the state. Yet the past was not the Christian utopia that conservatives imagine either. Instead, a Protestant moral establishment prevailed, using government power to punish free thinkers and religious dissidents. In The Myth of American Religious Freedom, Sehat provides an eye-opening history of religion in public life, overturning our most cherished myths. Originally, the First Amendment applied only to the federal government, which had limited authority. The Protestant moral establishment ruled on the state level. Using moral laws to uphold religious power, religious partisans enforced a moral and religious orthodoxy against Catholics, Jews, Mormons, agnostics, and others. Not until 1940 did the U.S. Supreme Court extend the First Amendment to the states. As the Supreme Court began to dismantle the connections between religion and government, Sehat argues, religious conservatives mobilized to maintain their power and began the culture wars of the last fifty years. To trace the rise and fall of this Protestant establishment, Sehat focuses on a series of dissenters--abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, socialist Eugene V. Debs, and many others. Shattering myths held by both the left and right, David Sehat forces us to rethink some of our most deeply held beliefs. By showing the bad history used on both sides, he denies partisans a safe refuge with the Founders.



Inhalt

Preface Introduction: The Myth of American Religious Freedom Part I Moral Law 1 Contested Liberties 2 A Godless Government? 3 The Moral Establishment Part II Challengers 4 The Moral Purpose of Slavery and Abolition 5 Moral Reproduction and the Family Part III Retrenchment 6 Morals, Citizenship, and Segregation 7 Women's Rights, Woman's Individuality, and the Bible 8 Religion, Morals, and Law Part IV Fragmentation 9 A Conflict of Authorities 10 Liberal and Conservative Moral Visions 11 The Liberal Moment 12 A Moral Majority? Conclusion: Moral Maximalism and Religious Control Acknowledgments Notes Index

Produktinformationen

Titel: Myth of American Religious Freedom
Autor:
EAN: 9780199792573
ISBN: 978-0-19-979257-3
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (pdf)
Herausgeber: Oxford University Press
Genre: Religion, Theologie
Veröffentlichung: 14.01.2011
Jahr: 2011
Untertitel: Englisch