America's God From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln

ISBN-10: 0195182995
ISBN-13: 9780195182996
Edition: 2005
Authors: Mark A. Noll
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Description: Religious life in early America is often equated with the fire-and-brimstone Puritanism best embodied by the theology of Cotton Mather. Yet, by the nineteenth century, American theology had shifted dramatically away from the severe European  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/21/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 640
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 2.266

Religious life in early America is often equated with the fire-and-brimstone Puritanism best embodied by the theology of Cotton Mather. Yet, by the nineteenth century, American theology had shifted dramatically away from the severe European traditions directly descended from the Protestant Reformation, of which Puritanism was in the United States the most influential. In its place arose a singularly American set of beliefs. In America's God, Mark Noll has written a biography of this new American ethos. In the 125 years preceding the outbreak of the Civil War, theology played an extraordinarily important role in American public and private life. Its evolution had a profound impact on America's self-definition. The changes taking place in American theology during this period were marked by heightened spiritual inwardness, a new confidence in individual reason, and an attentiveness to the economic and market realities of Western life. Vividly set in the social and political events of the age, America's God is replete with the figures who made up the early American intellectual landscape, from theologians such as Jonathan Edwards, Nathaniel W. Taylor, William Ellery Channing, and Charle Hodge and religious inspired writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catherine Stowe to dominant political leaders of the day like Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. The contributions of these thinkers combined with the religious revival of the 1740s, colonial warfare with France, the consuming struggle for independence, and the rise of evangelical Protestantism to form a common intellectual coinage based on a rising republicanism and commonsense principles. As this Christian republicanism affirmed itself, it imbued in dedicated Christians a conviction that the Bible supported their beliefs over those of all others. Tragically, this sense of religious purpose set the stage for the Civil War, as the conviction of Christians both North and South that God was on their side served to deepen a schism that would soon rend the young nation asunder. Mark Noll has given us the definitive history of Christian theology in America from the time of Jonathan Edwards to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. It is a story of a flexible and creative theological energy that over time forged a guiding national ideology the legacies of which remain with us to this day.

Mark A. Noll is McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is author or editor of 35 books, including the award-winning America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln.

List of Tables
Introductory
Introduction: Theology and History
Theology in Colonial America
The Long Life and Final Collapse of the Puritan Canopy
Synthesis
Republicanism and Religion: The American Exception
Christian Republicanism
Theistic Common Sense
Colonial Theologies in the Era of the Revolution
Innovative (but Not "American") Theologies in the Era of the Revolution
Evangelization
The Evangelical Surge ...
... and Constructing a New Nation
Ideological Permutations
Americanization
Assumptions and Assertions of American Theology
The Americanization of Calvinism: Contexts and Questions
The Americanization of Calvinism: The Congregational Era, 1793-1827
The Americanization of Calvinism: Explosion, 1827-1860
The Americanization of Methodism: The Age of Asbury
The Americanization of Methodism: After Asbury
Crisis
The "Bible Alone" and a Reformed, Literal Hermeneutic
The Bible and Slavery
Failed Alternatives
Climax and Exhaustion in the Civil War
Conclusion: Contexts and Dogma
Historiography of Republicanism and Religion
Notes
Glossary
Select Bibliography
Index

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