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The American Religion 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
He seems to treat each fairly and justly as one from a background in literature and humanities, one with such an intellect and critical mind would do. History must judge each of these religious movements without the jaundiced eye of one who wants desperately to defend or equally angrily to defame the groups about which they write. Thus, this work is refreshing in the fairness with which it treats each. No religious movement is without its problems. Their founders and promulgators are always men and women who, even if they claim to be representing Deity or the Son of Deity, are mere mortals like ourselves. They are subject to foibles as well as we and few claimed to be perfect.
Among the numerous books that seek to defame many of these religions, particularly the Mormons or LDS, it is refreshing to see a fair appraisal by one who has nothing to gain nor to lose. Objectivity is something that is often missing in books such as this. Professor Bloom deserves praise for looking at an interesting, but not an easy subject to critique with an unbiased eye.Read more ›
Bloom makes his case that this new American Religion is an entirely personal experience of God(or Jesus), uncontaminated by scripture or exegesis. It claims to be a submission of will; in effect it is an apotheosis of the self. Its method is to invite God into one's own mind. Enthusiasm, that is Happiness and Joy, are the payoff.
But is it Christian? No, says Bloom. It is Gnosticism, or something very like it. Once engulfed by the Spirit, one's mind realizes that this material world is the present battle ground of Good vs. Evil. And that very soon the Apocalypse shall herald an End of Days. Yeah for the Apocalypse! Yippee!
Clearly Bloom intends the book to be a warning. America is the most religious of Western Nations. It is the most powerful on earth. And it has forged a religion of narcissism and self-righteousness that claims that this country is the new Jerusalem. And out there, were the Evil lurks, it will battle God's enemy. Meanwhile, out there, others are thinking the exact same thing about us.
I cannot fault the premise of the book, which is thoughtfully constructed. There is more to be found in it than criticism. True believers should stay away, nonetheless. While Bloom is careful to express his admiration, it can at times seem feint praise.
Given Bloom's profession, literary criticism, I thought he might prove to be a more compelling storyteller. Sadly, the book reads as one written by a professor. That explains the four-star rating.
The book is a product of original thought, but one wishes for greater clarity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Harold Bloom makes some very good points here that perhaps even those faithful members of the "American Religions" should consider reading. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
It wasn't an easy read. I would have preferred to read a more recent explanation. It was difficult to follow.Published 17 months ago by Sarah baldwin rose
A very interesting thesis with a lot of truth, but the writing is florid, repetitive, and overwrought. Read morePublished 18 months ago by G in Ohio
If you're curious about alternate white-Protestant Christian religions (with a bit of Reagan-bashing), this i the kind of book you want. Read morePublished 21 months ago by AMber Smith
Joseph Smith's genius and prophetic revelations provided a complete explanation of Adam's fall, the teachings of Adam, teachings so old and accurate, as to parrallel ancient... Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by Golden Lion
i love this book, is very useful, and everything is very clear and easy to study and understand. I will recommend this book 100%Published on April 17, 2013 by Claudia Trincado