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God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide Hardcover – March 15, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0199565511 ISBN-10: 0199565511 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199565511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199565511
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,332,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This book is an ambitious and highly readable study. Acclaimed by senior scholars in the field, and deservedly so... Intelligent and wide-ranging in scope, yet closely reasoned and elegantly written, this volume will find a home on the shelves of scholars in several disciplines, among them reliion, history, and the social sciences. Howard mananges to stand in the ranks of cultural commentators like Jean Baudrillard." --The Historian

About the Author

Thomas Albert Howard is Professor of History at Gordon College.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Herodotus on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What's behind the scorn Europeans often have for the United States?

Thomas Albert Howard, in his God and the Atlantic, surveys Europe's ideological, religious, and political conflict between the proponents of the French Revolution, on the one hand, and the restorationists of "throne and altar" crowd, on the other, and pursuasively sees therein the origins of some strands of Europe's anti-Americanism.

America's lack of a religious establishment was seen by the restorationists as indifference, if not hostility to religion, and something of a threat to their efforts in Europe. However, America's religiosity, even though lacking a religious establishment, was seen by leftist ideologues of the French Revolution as a threat to their program to undermine religion. America could not win for losing.

There were occasional Europeans, however, who did developed a more constructive view of America and Howard highlights two of them: Philip Schaff and Jacques Maritain, both religious -- one Protestant, the other Catholic. His accounts of their intellectual journeys are fascinating.

This is one of those unforgetable books. It's a gem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph M. Hennessey on July 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is well worth your time and effort. Its basic thesis is that, when conservative, even reactionary attitudes for religion are winning the culture war, [in Europe, but derivatively in the USA), then arises a more radical liberal, even secular agnostic stance toward religion. On the other hand, when that agnostic secular attitude toward the Christian religion seemed to be in ascendance, then there always seemed to be a recovery for the believers. Often times, especially in the United States from the founding til WWII, the attitude of the state toward religion was what one might call 'positive neutrality,' never instituting a theocracy, which would violate the First Amenment, but recognizing that religion would help Americans be good, law-abiding citizens.

I would say this was true for most of the modern period, but the agnostic/secular state, led by the US Supreme Court since 1947, has been in ideological war against believers in all religions, but especially Christians, to the detriment of our culture, which upholds our secular state, a fact which all our Founders, including the Deists, believed in.

On p. 3, Howard states that it was the state-managed religions in Europe which led to throwing the religious baby out with the ancien regime bathwater, whereas there was no such regime in the US, although the Puritan regime in New England came close.

Howard locates the beginning of secularism (p. 13)at the French Revolution, but I think he undervalues the anti-religious, anti-clerical writings of the philosophes prior to the revolution.

As the first reviewer noted, the sections on Philip Schaff and Jacques Maritain are particularly worthwhile. On p.
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