Wednesday, April 19, 2006

America the Bad Idea

I’m in the home stretch for my final exam. It is due Monday, but I really run out of time today! Did a piece on the relationship between Christianity and the American Revolution. I am now convinced that America is a screwed up idea from the beginning. Unfortunately the actions of Bush now make perfect sense, which is anything but comforting. I would really recommend the work of Mark Noll, very insightful. I read a fair chunk of Christians and the American Revolution. I’m sure I’ll have much to blog about once my exam is submitted.

14 comments:

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Did you read any Karen Armstrong in research? Her book "Battle For God" addresses this issue a lot. I posted on this a few months back (Emerging Church & Nationalism). I'd love to read what you wrote.

Peace,
Jamie

One of Freedom said...

Hey Jamie,

I didn't, but that book is definitely on my reading list. This was a take-home exam so once it is marked I might post it. I have a blog post half written on the subject though.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

I look forward to it. I think you'd appreciate Armstrong as well. Have you read my post on nationalism? I'd love you input on it some time.

Peace,
Jamie

One of Freedom said...

I haven't yet, but will. Likely this afternoon once the family is sorted out (work and school and all that fun).

One of Freedom said...

Jamie. Very interesting to come to similar conclusions from different sources. Left you a comment on your blog.

Kenny said...

Frank, have you read any of the work by Bernard Bailyn, specifically his book entitled, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution? I'd highly recommend it. And, for what it's worth, I'm not a big Armstrong fan, though I've only read one of her works thus far. I can't quite put my finger on why just yet.

One of Freedom said...

Hey Kenny. I haven't. In fact I wouldn't have covered off this topic if it were not an exam question that I looked at and decided I knew very little about. I have looked more specifically at the age of Modernity and Western religion, but not specifically the American Revolution. Not sure why, maybe because I'm a bit of a Canadian snob.

Kenny said...

Nice. Canadian snob. Isn't that supposed to be an oxymoron? Curious though, what was your paper for, what course? And then I guess that leads me to ask why you say 'America is screwed up from the beginning' if you didn't do a great deal of research on the American Revolution? I once picked up a great book at Benjamin Books (in the Rideau Centre, thrid floor) for really cheap on a history of Jesus in America. It's a remainder bookstore, and I've even got some Emerging Church books there, if you're interested...

One of Freedom said...

Kenny, I should do some more digging. This was for an exam question for a Contemporary Church history and the question was to deal with the relationship between the Am. Revolution and Christianity.

However, I did dig enough to find two things fairly consistant in the development of the American Civil religion. The persuit of civil liberty (which is anything but a Christian idea) and the idea of a divine national destiny.

Kenny said...

Frank, fair enough. Was just curious. And the topic, as you might imagine, is almost endless. But the Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, published by Blackwell, is a good place to start, if you're interested. Has some big history names as editors and contributors.

One of Freedom said...

That's cool, I used teh Blackwell companion to the Enlightenment for a lot of my preliminary work. They make a great reference.

Kenny said...

That's with Roy Porter as editor correct? He's one of my favourite historians. If you looking for a great read, both of his last works, on the Enlightenment (one on Britain, the other on the Body), are really good.

One of Freedom said...

Next time I do a history course I'm consulting you for books. I am sure I have access to all those books through the St. Paul library but unless you know what you are going after you ust sorta stumble around. I found Noll by chance and the Blackwell companion was next to the really excellent Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. A lot of what I have on the Enlightenment in my library at home (which is pretty decent for pure theology and spirituality) are general histories and a couple of collections of selected Enlightenment authors (mostly philosophers). I was reading a bit from Rousseau last night that also confirmed my ideas/fears about the development of civil religion (his bit on civil religion actually).

Kenny said...

I'd be happy to help, though my knowledge isn't exhaustive. Is the St Paul's library better than the UofO? Cause OttawaU's library is lackluster when it come to anything but Canada. I know you're doing a degree there, which one and what's your topic? I'm curious regarding your view of civil religion. Why do you see it as a bad thing? Not that you shouldn't, just wondering. As for Rousseau, I have an abiding interest in his thought as well. Do you know All Books by the ByTowne Theatre? They have good philosophy books, including Rouseau, for cheap!