Secularism in Antebellum America

ISBN-10: 0226533239
ISBN-13: 9780226533230
Edition: 2011
List price: $52.00
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Description: Ghosts. Railroads. Sing Sing. Sex machines. These are just a few of the phenomena that appear in John Lardas Modern's pioneering account of religion and society in nineteenth-century America. This book uncovers surprising connections between secular  More...

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Book details

List price: $52.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/15/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Ghosts. Railroads. Sing Sing. Sex machines. These are just a few of the phenomena that appear in John Lardas Modern's pioneering account of religion and society in nineteenth-century America. This book uncovers surprising connections between secular ideology and the rise of new technologies that opened up new ways of being religious. Exploring the eruptions of religion in New York's penny presses, the budding fields of anthropology and phrenology, and Moby-Dick, Modern challenges the strict separation between the religious and the secular that remains integral to discussions about religion today. Modern frames his study around the dread, wonder, paranoia, and manic confidence of being haunted, arguing that experiences and explanations of enchantment fueled secularism's emergence. The awareness of spectral energies coincided with attempts to tame the unruly fruits of secularism-in the cultivation of a spiritual self among Unitarians, for instance, or in John Murray Spear's erotic longings for a perpetual motion machine. Combining rigorous theoretical inquiry with beguiling historical arcana, Modern unsettles long-held views of religion and the methods of narrating its past.

John Lardas Modern is assistant professor of religious studies at Franklin and Marshall College. He is the author of The Bop Apocalypse: The Religious Visions of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue
Introduction: The Metaphysics Of Secularism
Evangelical Secularism And The Measure Of Leviathan
Toward A Genealogy Of Spirituality
A Short Biography Of Lewis Henry Morgan With Curious Asides On The Affect Of Spirituality And The Emergence Of Anthropological Comprehension
The Touch Of Secularism
Epilogue What Do I Love When I Love My Machine?
Index

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