American Christianity

Use in-text citations for your sources and examples. Such material does not have to include outside source material.

Book to use: https://www.routledge.com/Religion-in-America-9th-…

Questions: Choose 4 and write 5 pages for each question

1) How and why does the image of a “City Upon a Hill” describe the nature of American Christianity? What made this idea a particularly Puritan one? And lastly, to what extent does this image continue to remain relevant in American public life today?

2) If you were to narrate a history of American evangelicalism, what plot points, or important events, would you focus your attention on? The Awakenings? The American Revolution? The Protestant Reformation? All of it? The choice is yours. Be sure to use examples in your answer.

3) To what extent does the history of religion in America depend on Christianity exclusively? Can a history of American religion be told specifically through traditions born largely outside of the United States (including Christianity)? How does the power of Christianity in America shape how religion is explored, or discussed, in academic settings?

4) How and why can the Civil War be understood as a “theological crisis?” What are the benefits of using such a framework to narrate history? How did the disagreement over slavery set a precedent for future conflicts in American Christianity?

5) How does the theme of interpretation help us understand the history of religion in America following the Civil War? How does this theme apply to the Civil War itself, and to the disagreements between “liberals” and “conservatives” in the early 20th century?

6) Where do terms “liberal” and “conservative” come from? What events helped usher in, or produce, such terms? What role to theological debate play in creating such terms? And lastly, how do these terms continue to remain relevant today? Do such terms still make sense?

7) What does Robert Wuthnow mean by New Fractures? How did the terms “liberal” and “conservative” shape such terrain of conflict? How does American religious conflict shift from inter-traditional conflict to intra-traditional conflict?

8) What is the definition of Culture War? What is its history in the recent past? How does the media shape the nature of Culture War? And lastly, what do we mean when we say the discourse of cultural warfare? How do the terms “liberal” and “conservative” add fuel to the fire?

9) What is the relationship between religion and consumerism? Is consumerism a type of religion? Or will it replace what we would call “religion?” What values does Capitalism encourage in its adherents? How does these values reflect the Gospel of Wealth?

10) How does the Social Gospel differ from the Christianity of Jerry Falwell? How does Martin Luther King reflect a social understanding of Christianity? Did Falwell have a point? What is the proper role of “the church” when it comes to issues of social concern? Such as abortion, same sex marriage, and/or gun control/immigration?

 

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