Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 311 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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"As Green explains, myth is not fable or fantasy but a comforting interpretation of the past that we create to make the discomfort of today more tolerable and explicable." -- John H. Barnhill, Historical Journal of Massachusetts
"Green's book is admirably clear, disciplined, and short. It should be required reading for anyone trying to comprehend the perennial Christian America story."--Journal of American History
"Steven Green's Inventing a Christian America is that rare book where scholarship and sensitivity can calm one of America's most volatile issues. Its breadth and fairness allow understanding and perspective to run ahead of simply inaccurate notions about America's 'Christian foundations.' The result is a marvelously readable account of the fascinating ways religious freedom actually emerged in America and uplifted nation and religion together."--Jon Butler, Howard R. Lamar Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies, Yale University
"With impressive command of both historical and legal sources, Steven K. Green debunks the durable myth that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. At a time when Baptists have largely abandoned their historic task of patrolling the wall of separation, when Americans pine for what the author characterizes as 'a grand, and uncomplicated, story about the nation's beginnings,' Inventing a Christian America demonstrates that the myth of Christian origins was nineteenth-century invention. In a conversation that typically generates more heat than light, Inventing a Christian America stands out for both its irenic tone and its judicious scholarship."--Randall Balmer, author of Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter
"Inventing a Christian America is the most thorough critique of Christian nationalism available today. Steven Green approaches this controversial subject with scholarly insight, a generally irenic spirit, and a comprehensive analysis of the literature produced by those who defend the idea that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Anyone interested in this subject must read this book."--John Fea, author of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction
"Green helps retrace the steps of an enduring idea to the present day. Highly recommended."--M.S. Hill, CHOICE
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
Steven K. Green is Fred H. Paulus Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Religion, Law, and Democracy at Willamette University. He is the author of The Bible, the School, and the Constitution: The Clash that Shaped Modern Church-State Doctrine and The Second Disestablishment: Church and State in Nineteenth-Century America.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- Publication Date : June 1, 2015
- File Size : 1628 KB
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; 1st Edition (June 1, 2015)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 311 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00W5XWB4S
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #731,110 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Nevertheless, the book reminds me of a major problem of C. Vann Woodward’s Strange Career of Jim Crow (1955), which argued that Jim Crow laws were not put in place immediately following the Civil War but were enacted later in the century. The thesis works well if you are a 20th-century professor focusing on legal records and archival documents. The thesis works less well if you are an African American entering a southern white restaurant in 1870.
Green does well to conclude by reminding his readers that history is complicated. The evidence he himself presents is complicated enough. Add to that the understanding of the new nation that was carried in the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of ordinary 19th-century Americans, and the complexity grows. Myths are not necessarily lies. We don’t have to endorse the inanities of Christian nationalists plucking quotations from the Founders out of context to believe that for practical purposes the American colonies and the early United States were indeed founded, at least roughly, on Christian principles.