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From State Church to Pluralism: A Protestant Interpretation of Religion in American History
From State Church to Pluralism A Protestant Interpretation of Religion in American History Author:Franklin Hamlin Littell How will American Protestants respond to the historical shift from Protestant dominance to more fluid conditions in which Catholicism and Judaism also have great force and influence? By the anxiety expressed in anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism? By reaffirming "the American tradition"? — In answer Dr. Littell, professor of theology at Southern M... more »ethodist University, explodes the very categories that have shaped our stoudy of American church history. With fresh eyes, he looks at the vision of religious unity in early America and sees it as "a lie which must be struck down: America was, in her colonial period--like continental Europe--officially religious and in fact characterized by 'baptized heathenism'; in her early years as a nation she was overwhelmingly unchurched and heathen, regardless of pretensions and public claims."
Without false ideals of the past, the author can perceive the uniqueness of the situation today. The true Golden Age, Littell argues, lies, if anywhere, in the years just ahead; and through his realistic analysis he encourages that honest "consciousness of calling" that will determine whether religion in America is to be vital or effete.« less