Saving Faith: Making Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of the Secular Age by David MislinSaving Faith: Making Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of the Secular Age by David Mislin

Saving Faith: Making Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of the Secular Age

byDavid Mislin

Hardcover | September 18, 2015

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In Saving Faith, David Mislin chronicles the transformative historical moment when Americans began to reimagine their nation as one strengthened by the diverse faiths of its peoples. Between 1875 and 1925, liberal Protestant leaders abandoned religious exclusivism and leveraged their considerable cultural influence to push others to do the same. This reorientation came about as an ever-growing group of Americans found their religious faith under attack on social, intellectual, and political fronts. A new generation of outspoken agnostics assailed the very foundation of belief, while noted intellectuals embraced novel spiritual practices and claimed that Protestant Christianity had outlived its usefulness.Faced with these grave challenges, Protestant clergy and their allies realized that the successful defense of religion against secularism required a defense of all religious traditions. They affirmed the social value—and ultimately the religious truth—of Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. They also came to view doubt and uncertainty as expressions of faith. Ultimately, the reexamination of religious difference paved the way for Protestant elites to reconsider ethnic, racial, and cultural difference. Using the manuscript collections and correspondence of leading American Protestants, as well the institutional records of various churches and religious organizations, Mislin offers insight into the historical constructions of faith and doubt, the interconnected relationship of secularism and pluralism, and the enormous influence of liberal Protestant thought on the political, cultural, and spiritual values of the twentieth-century United States.

David Mislin is Assistant Professor in the Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University.
Title:Saving Faith: Making Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of the Secular AgeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:September 18, 2015Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801453941

ISBN - 13:9780801453946

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Gilded Age Crisis of Faith and the Reevaluation of Religious Pluralism1. Twilight Faith: The Embrace of Doubt as the Embrace of Diversity2. Correcting Elijah's Mistake: The Liberal Protestant Embrace of Comparative Religion3. An Expansive Kingdom of God: The Articulation of Protestant-Catholic-Jewish Commonality4. Drawing Together: The Cooperative Impulse in Liberal Religious Thought5. A Larger Vision: The Quest for Christian Unity6. Proclaiming Common Ground: The Goodwill Movement and the Shaping of a Jewish-Christian AmericaEpilogue: Making Religious Pluralism an American ValueNotes
Selected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"The United States has been a largely Christian nation, but its churchgoers have often invested more energy fighting among themselves—and poaching from other churches—than converting unbelievers. In this sprightly and meticulously researched new book, David Mislin shows how a coterie of liberal Protestants in the late nineteenth century embraced an ecumenical vision that sought to erase sectarian divisions and include Roman Catholics. By World War I even Jews were being courted. Saving Faith is an impressive contribution to the increasingly important history of religious pluralism in America." - Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and Medicine and of Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, coeditor of Gods in America