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 | October 27, 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:October 27, 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 Pluralism

1. Twilight Faith: The Embrace of Doubt as the Embrace of Diversity

2. Correcting Elijah's Mistake: The Liberal Protestant Embrace of Comparative Religion

3. An Expansive Kingdom of God: The Articulation of Protestant-Catholic-Jewish Commonality

4. Drawing Together: The Cooperative Impulse in Liberal Religious Thought

5. A Larger Vision: The Quest for Christian Unity

6. Proclaiming Common Ground: The Goodwill Movement and the Shaping of a Jewish-Christian America

Epilogue: Making Religious Pluralism an American Value

Selected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"David Mislin's provocative and elegant book rewrites our understanding of religion’s adaptation to modern American life. Mislin highlights the dynamics by which liberal American Protestants came to celebrate rather than lament increasing diversity. The 'Christian doubters,’ pioneers in comparative religions, and leaders of early ecumenical and goodwill movements he chronicles not only set the stage for the wider embrace of pluralism after World War II but also have much to teach us, in yet another moment of great religious conflict, about this vital yet unfinished work."—Matthew S. Hedstrom, University of Virginia, author of The Rise of Liberal Religion