Discusses the manner in which nationalistic expression forged a new religious relevance to the American experience and the extent to which these diverse styles of religious nationalism created and reflected tension in twentieth-century America.
Pulpit Politics discusses the manner in which nationalistic expression forged a new religious relevance to the American experience and the extent to which these diverse styles of religious nationalism created and reflected tension in twentieth-century America.
Vinz identifies the form of American nationalism as the nationalism of messianism, but demonstrates that Protestant leadership throughout the twentieth century gave no consistent voice on what America should be messianic about, displaying a cacophonous mix of nationalistic expressions that both reflected and contributed to societal confusion. This book enables the reader to understand the American struggle to focus on national meaning, to appreciate the long standing polarization of absolutes inherent in the American experience, and suggests potential scenarios of resolution.
Warren L. Vinz is Professor of History at Boise State University.
"I find three themes coursing through the chapters. One is relevant to the Protestant definitional instance: pluralism. A second theme, one that speaks its name here and there, is 'transcendent authority.' The third theme is, of course, American nationalism of a singular set of sorts. If Vinz's cast of characters are representative in any way, the one thing with which they all somehow wrestle is the meaning of religious life in America and of the nation's mission and destiny.
"Because there is so much ambiguity, nuance, and texture on this particular subject, Vinz's book is helpful in impressive ways. Those who do the sorting and defining after him will neglect this book at their parallel. Those who stumble onto his subjects because they read this book will have embarked on an adventure that they are as likely to enjoy as Vinz does. It shows." — Martin E. Marty, from the Foreword
"This book is consistently well written, opening up complexities of various American Protestant personalities in areas of their thinking about religion and the U.S. nationhood that speak to issues of the past three decades." — Eldon G. Ernst, American Baptist Seminary of the West and Graduate Theological Union