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Author Stevens, Jason W., 1975-

Title God-fearing and free [electronic resource] : a spiritual history of America's Cold War / Jason W. Stevens.

Imprint Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2010.

Copies

Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe ProQuest E-Book  Electronic Book    ---  Available
Description xiii, 434 p.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Introduction: Going beyond modernism from World War I to the Cold War -- Pt. 1. How a theologican served the opinion elite, and how an evangelist startled them. Christianity, reason, and the national character -- Origins of an ailing polemic -- Pt. 2. Narratives of blindness and insight in an era of confession. Guilt of the thirties, penitence of the fifties -- McCarthyism through sentimental melodrama and film noir -- Pt. 3. Cold War cultural politics and the varieties of religious experience. The mass culture critique's implications for American religion -- Jeremiads on the American arcade and its consumption ethic -- Pt. 4. Versions of inwardness in Cold War psychology and the neo-Gothic. Controversies over therapeutic religion -- Locating the enigma of Shirley Jackson -- Pt. 5. The styles of prophecy. Voices of reform, radicalism, and conservative dissent -- James Baldwin and the wages of innocence -- Epilogue: Putting an end to ending our innocence.
Summary Religion has been on the rise in America for decades -- which strikes many as a shocking new development. To the contrary, Jason Stevens asserts, the rumors of the death of God were premature. Americans have always conducted their cultural life through religious symbols, never more so than during the Cold War. In God-Fearing and Free, Stevens discloses how the nation, on top of the world and torn between grandiose self-congratulation and doubt about the future, opened the way for a new master narrative. The book shows how the American public, powered by a national religious revival, was purposefully disillusioned regarding the country's mythical innocence and fortified for an epochal struggle with totalitarianism. Stevens reveals how the Augustinian doctrine of original sin was refurbished and then mobilized in a variety of cultural discourses that aimed to shore up democratic society against threats preying on the nation's internal weaknesses. Suddenly, innocence no longer meant a clear conscience. Instead it became synonymous with totalitarian ideologies of the fascist right or the communist left, whose notions of perfectability were dangerously close to millenarian ideals at the heart of American Protestant tradition. As America became riddled with self-doubt, ruminations on the meaning of power and the future of the globe during the "American Century" renewed the impetus to religion. Covering a wide selection of narrative and cultural forms, Stevens shows how writers, artists, and intellectuals, the devout as well as the nonreligious, disseminated the terms of this cultural dialogue, disputing, refining, and challenging it -- effectively making the conservative case against modernity as liberals floundered. - Publisher.
Reproduction Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 2015. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest affiliated libraries.
Subject Cold War -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
Christianity and politics -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Church history -- 20th century.
Genre/Form Electronic books.
Added Author ProQuest (Firm)
ISBN 9780674055551 (alk. paper)
0674055551 (alk. paper)
9780674058842 (e-book)

 
    
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