the production of american religious freedom

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The Production Of American Religious Freedom

Author : Finbarr Curtis
ISBN : 9781479843800
Genre : Religion
File Size : 81. 40 MB
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Americans love religious freedom. Few agree, however, about what they mean by either “religion” or “freedom.” Rather than resolve these debates, Finbarr Curtis argues that there is no such thing as religious freedom. Lacking any consistent content, religious freedom is a shifting and malleable rhetoric employed for a variety of purposes. While Americans often think of freedom as the right to be left alone, the free exercise of religion works to produce, challenge, distribute, and regulate different forms of social power. The book traces shifts in the notion of religious freedom in America from The Second Great Awakening, to the fiction of Louisa May Alcott and the films of D.W. Griffith, through William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes Trial, and up to debates over the Tea Party to illuminate how Protestants have imagined individual and national forms of identity. A chapter on Al Smith considers how the first Catholic presidential nominee of a major party challenged Protestant views about the separation of church and state. Moving later in the twentieth century, the book analyzes Malcolm X’s more sweeping rejection of Christian freedom in favor of radical forms of revolutionary change. The final chapters examine how contemporary controversies over intelligent design and the claims of corporations to exercise religion are at the forefront of efforts to shift regulatory power away from the state and toward private institutions like families, churches, and corporations. The volume argues that religious freedom is produced within competing visions of governance in a self-governing nation.

The Production Of American Religious Freedom

Author : Finbarr Curtis
ISBN : 9781479882113
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 74. 29 MB
Format : PDF
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Americans love religious freedom. Few agree, however, about what they mean by either “religion” or “freedom.” Rather than resolve these debates, Finbarr Curtis argues that there is no such thing as religious freedom. Lacking any consistent content, religious freedom is a shifting and malleable rhetoric employed for a variety of purposes. While Americans often think of freedom as the right to be left alone, the free exercise of religion works to produce, challenge, distribute, and regulate different forms of social power. The book traces shifts in the notion of religious freedom in America from The Second Great Awakening, to the fiction of Louisa May Alcott and the films of D.W. Griffith, through William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes Trial, and up to debates over the Tea Party to illuminate how Protestants have imagined individual and national forms of identity. A chapter on Al Smith considers how the first Catholic presidential nominee of a major party challenged Protestant views about the separation of church and state. Moving later in the twentieth century, the book analyzes Malcolm X’s more sweeping rejection of Christian freedom in favor of radical forms of revolutionary change. The final chapters examine how contemporary controversies over intelligent design and the claims of corporations to exercise religion are at the forefront of efforts to shift regulatory power away from the state and toward private institutions like families, churches, and corporations. The volume argues that religious freedom is produced within competing visions of governance in a self-governing nation.

The Peyote Road

Author : Thomas C. Maroukis
ISBN : 9780806185965
Genre : History
File Size : 77. 28 MB
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Despite challenges by the federal government to restrict the use of peyote, the Native American Church, which uses the hallucinogenic cactus as a religious sacrament, has become the largest indigenous denomination among American Indians today. The Peyote Road examines the history of the NAC, including its legal struggles to defend the controversial use of peyote. Thomas C. Maroukis has conducted extensive interviews with NAC members and leaders to craft an authoritative account of the church’s history, diverse religious practices, and significant people. His book integrates a narrative history of the Peyote faith with analysis of its religious beliefs and practices—as well as its art and music—and an emphasis on the views of NAC members. Deftly blending oral histories and legal research, Maroukis traces the religion’s history from its Mesoamerican roots to the legal incorporation of the NAC; its expansion to the northern plains, Great Basin, and Southwest; and challenges to Peyotism by state and federal governments, including the Supreme Court decision in Oregon v. Smith. He also introduces readers to the inner workings of the NAC with descriptions of its organizational structure and the Cross Fire and Half Moon services. The Peyote Road updates Omer Stewart’s classic 1987 study of the Peyote religion by taking into consideration recent events and scholarship. In particular, Maroukis discusses not only the church’s current legal issues but also the diminishing Peyote supply and controversies surrounding the definition of membership. Today approximately 300,000 American Indians are members of the Native American Church. The Peyote Road marks a significant case study of First Amendment rights and deepens our understanding of the struggles of NAC members to practice their faith.

The Myth Of American Religious Freedom

Author : David Sehat
ISBN : 0199793115
Genre : Religion
File Size : 28. 61 MB
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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.

Beyond Religious Freedom

Author : Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
ISBN : 9781400873814
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 27. 88 MB
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In recent years, North American and European nations have sought to legally remake religion in other countries through an unprecedented array of international initiatives. Policymakers have rallied around the notion that the fostering of religious freedom, interfaith dialogue, religious tolerance, and protections for religious minorities are the keys to combating persecution and discrimination. Beyond Religious Freedom persuasively argues that these initiatives create the very social tensions and divisions they are meant to overcome. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd looks at three critical channels of state-sponsored intervention: international religious freedom advocacy, development assistance and nation building, and international law. She shows how these initiatives make religious difference a matter of law, resulting in a divide that favors forms of religion authorized by those in power and excludes other ways of being and belonging. In exploring the dizzying power dynamics and blurred boundaries that characterize relations between "expert religion," "governed religion," and "lived religion," Hurd charts new territory in the study of religion in global politics. A forceful and timely critique of the politics of promoting religious freedom, Beyond Religious Freedom provides new insights into today's most pressing dilemmas of power, difference, and governance.

Divine Hierarchies

Author : Sean McCloud
ISBN : 9780807831601
Genre : Religion
File Size : 68. 94 MB
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Placing the neglected issue of class back into the study and understanding of religion, Sean McCloud reconsiders the meaning of class in today's world. More than a status grounded in material conditions, says McCloud, class also entails relationships, ide

Spiritual Marketplace

Author : Wade Clark Roof
ISBN : 1400823080
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25. 12 MB
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In large chain bookstores the "religion" section is gone and in its place is an expanding number of topics including angels, Sufism, journey, recovery, meditation, magic, inspiration, Judaica, astrology, gurus, Bible, prophesy, evangelicalism, Mary, Buddhism, Catholicism, and esoterica. As Wade Clark Roof notes, such changes over the last two decades reflect a shift away from religion as traditionally understood to more diverse and creative approaches. But what does this splintering of the religious perspective say about Americans? Have we become more interested in spiritual concerns or have we become lost among trends? Do we value personal spirituality over traditional religion and no longer see ourselves united in a larger community of faith? Roof first credited this religious diversity to the baby boomers in his bestselling A Generation of Seekers (1993). He returns to interview many of these people, now in mid-life, to reveal a generation with a unique set of spiritual values--a generation that has altered our historic interpretations of religious beliefs, practices, and symbols, and perhaps even our understanding of the sacred itself. The quest culture created by the baby boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs and practices and of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths and spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups and alternative communities; and still others create their own mix of values and metaphysical beliefs. Spiritual Marketplace charts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, born-again Christians, mainstream believers, metaphysical believers and seekers, and secularists. Drawing on surveys and in-depth interviews for over a decade, Roof reports on the religious and spiritual styles, family patterns, and moral vision and values for each of these subcultures. The result is an innovative, engaging approach to understanding how religious life is being reshaped as we move into the next century.

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