Description : Throughout American history, legal battles concerning the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty have been among the most contentious issue of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Religious Liberty and the American Supreme Court: The Essential Cases and Documents represents the most authoritative and up-to-date overview of the landmark cases that have defined religious freedom in America.
Description : Traditional understandings of the genesis of the separation of church and state rest on assumptions about "Enlightenment" and the republican ethos of citizenship. In The Religious Roots of the First Amendment, Nicholas P. Miller does not seek to dislodge that interpretation but to augment and enrich it by recovering its cultural and discursive religious contexts--specifically the discourse of Protestant dissent. He argues that commitments by certain dissenting Protestants to the right of private judgment in matters of Biblical interpretation, an outgrowth of the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, helped promote religious disestablishment in the early modern West. This movement climaxed in the disestablishment of religion in the early American colonies and nation. Miller identifies a continuous strand of this religious thought from the Protestant Reformation, across Europe, through the English Reformation, Civil War, and Restoration, into the American colonies. He examines seven key thinkers who played a major role in the development of this religious trajectory as it came to fruition in American political and legal history: William Penn, John Locke, Elisha Williams, Isaac Backus, William Livingston, John Witherspoon, and James Madison. Miller shows that the separation of church and state can be read, most persuasively, as the triumph of a particular strand of Protestant nonconformity-that which stretched back to the Puritan separatist and the Restoration sects, rather than to those, like Presbyterians, who sought to replace the "wrong" church establishment with their own, "right" one. The Religious Roots of the First Amendment contributes powerfully to the current trend among some historians to rescue the eighteenth-century clergymen and religious controversialists from the enormous condescension of posterity.
Description : Sam Haselby offers a new and persuasive account of the role of religion in the formation of American nationality, showing how a contest within Protestantism reshaped American political culture and led to the creation of an enduring religious nationalism. Following U.S. independence, the new republic faced vital challenges, including a vast and unique continental colonization project undertaken without, in the centuries-old European senses of the terms, either "a church" or "a state." Amid this crisis, two distinct Protestant movements arose: a popular and rambunctious frontier revivalism; and a nationalist, corporate missionary movement dominated by Northeastern elites. The former heralded the birth of popular American Protestantism, while the latter marked the advent of systematic Protestant missionary activity in the West. The explosive economic and territorial growth in the early American republic, and the complexity of its political life, gave both movements opportunities for innovation and influence. This book explores the competition between them in relation to major contemporary developments-political democratization, large-scale immigration and unruly migration, fears of political disintegration, the rise of American capitalism and American slavery, and the need to nationalize the frontier. Haselby traces these developments from before the American Revolution to the rise of Andrew Jackson. His approach illuminates important changes in American history, including the decline of religious distinctions and the rise of racial ones, how and why "Indian removal" happened when it did, and with Andrew Jackson, the appearance of the first full-blown expression of American religious nationalism.
Description : My research in the intellectual and spiritual sphere of nineteenth century Russia revealed that ever since the penetration of the fashion able anti-ecclesiastical views of the Encyclopedists into Russia, the aristocrats had grown indifferent to religion. The spiritual vacuum created as a result of such conditions could not last, however, for a prolonged period of time; least of all during the decades following the r860's when Russia's moral, socio-political, and religious problems were most acute. The subsequent quest for salvation and the general religious inquiry among Russia's elite, as they were known in the West, manifested itself chiefly in the writings of such profound religious and philosophical thinkers as V. Solov'ev, K. Leont'ev, N. Fedorov, Dos toevskij, and Tolstoj. They constitute, however, only a fraction of those tormented by the longing for religious truth and guidance in an age of transition and uncertainty. There existed among Russia's aristocracy in the second half of the nineteenth century a widespread socio-religious movement known as Radstockism or Pashkovism, which aimed for a religious renovation and with it a transformation of Russia on an ethical and moral basis. These aristocrats were men and women who in their youth were in different to all faith, but who had never abandoned the search for a solution to their own and to Russia's problems. The solution to these problems they believed to be based on moral and religious principles found in Evangelical Christianity.
Description : Scholarly interest in print culture and in the study of religion in modern China has increased in recent years, propelled by maturing approaches to the study of cultural history and by a growing recognition that both were important elements of China's recent past. The influence of China in the contemporary world continues to expand, and with it has come an urgent need to understand the processes by which its modern history was made. Issues of religious freedom and of religion's influence on the public sphere continue to be contentious but important subjects of scholarly work, and the role of print and textual media has not dimmed with the advent of electronic communication. This book, Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China1800-2012, speaks to these contemporary and historical issues by bringing to light the important and abiding connections between religious development and modern print culture in China. Bringing together these two subjects has a great deal of potential for producing insights that will appeal to scholars working in a range of fields, from media studies to social historians. Each chapter demonstrates how focusing on the role of publishing among religious groups in modern China generates new insights and raises new questions. They examine how religious actors understood the role of printed texts in religion, dealt with issues of translation and exegesis, produced print media that heralded social and ideological changes, and expressed new self-understandings in their published works. They also address the impact of new technologies, such as mechanized movable type and lithographic presses, in the production and meaning of religious texts. Finally, the chapters identify where religious print culture crossed confessional lines, connecting religious traditions through links of shared textual genres, commercial publishing companies, and the contributions of individual editors and authors. This book thus demonstrates how, in embracing modern print media and building upon their longstanding traditional print cultures, Christian, Buddhist, Daoist, and popular religious groups were developed and defined in modern China. While the chapter authors are specialists in religious traditions, they have made use of recent studies into publishing and print culture, and like many of the subjects of their research, are able to make connections across religious boundaries and link together seemingly discrete traditions.
Description : New religious movements such as the Moonies, Jehovah's Witnesses and Hare Krishnas are now well established in mainstream cultural consciousness. But responses to these 'cult' groups still tend to be overwhelmingly negative, characterized by the furious reactions that they evoke from majority interests. Modern societies need to learn how best to respond to such movements, and how to interpret their benefits and dangers. Researching New Religious Movements provides a cutting-edge analysis of the controversy around new religions in America and Europe today. Drawing on original fieldwork, it explores the battles between the recruiting factions of groups like the Moonies, and the anti-cult movements and Church societies that have mobilized to oppose these. It considers academic and media interventions on both sides, placing special emphasis on the problems of objectivity inherent in the language of 'sects', 'abduction' and 'brainwashing'. Ideal for students, researchers and professionals, this provocative and much-needed book takes the debate over new religious movements to a newly sophisticated level.