American Religious Liberalism by Leigh E. Schmidt, Sally M. Promey

By Leigh E. Schmidt, Sally M. Promey

Religious liberalism in the US has usually been equated with an ecumenical Protestant institution. against this, American spiritual Liberalism attracts recognition to the huge range of liberal cultures that shapes America’s spiritual pursuits. The essays amassed right here push past standard tropes and limits to interrogate non secular liberalism’s dense cultural leanings through spirituality within the arts, the politics and piety of spiritual cosmopolitanism, and the interplay among liberal faith and liberal secularism. Readers will discover a kaleidoscopic view of a number of the revolutionary strands of America’s non secular earlier and found in this richly provocative volume.

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45 The poet weaved homoeroticism into the divine fabric of a God-­permeated universe, implicitly sanctioning the sexual desires that so tormented Symonds. In Symonds’s book on Walt Whitman, published just af­ter the poet’s death, he praised Whitman’s cosmic enthusiasm in safely general terms, but he also came much closer to identifying the poet with homosexuality than anyone had yet suggested in print. ” On the other hand, Symonds continued, the poet “does not in set terms condemn desires, or warn his disciples against their perils.

Miller, “What Walt Whitman Means to the Negro,” 73. 30. Miller’s speech receives a literary and historical—though not a religious—analysis in George B. Hutchinson, “Whitman and the Black Poet: Kelly Miller’s Speech to the Walt Whitman Fellowship,” Ameri­can Literature 61, no. 1 (March 1989): 46–58. : Harvard University Press, 2008), but her discussion begins with Benjamin Mays, who was a generation younger than Miller. 31. Ann Braude, Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-­Century America, 2nd ed.

Whether it is Ann Douglas bemoaning the decline of Calvinism and the rise of vacuous sentimentalism or religious historians’ comprehensive overviews of Ameri­can Christianity, the claim that the nineteenth century witnessed a significant transformation of religious authority has become something of a historiographic cliché. Not only is the nice Jesus banal, but so is the historical narrative that underwrites him. My objective is to take banality seriously by describing the formation of this cliché as well as unpacking it.

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