Pursuit of the Kingdom of God and Its Influence on Democratic Values in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain and the U.S.
Publication Year: 2013
At the heart of the biblical myth of chosenness is the idea that God has blessed a people to be a blessing to others. It is a mission of solemn responsibility. The six British and American thinkers examined in this study embraced the myth of chosenness for their countries, believed that the liberties they enjoyed were inherently tied to their Protestant faith, and that it was their mission to protect and spread that faith, and its democratic fruit, at home and abroad.
Each theologian in this study—Robert William Dale, Hugh Price Hughes, and Brooke Foss Westcott in England; Walter Rauschenbusch, Henry Codman Potter, and Josiah Strong in the United States—wanted, in Rauschenbusch's words, to “Christianize the social order,” seeking to evolve their countries into true Christian nations that would lead to an international kingdom of God. They were all products of their time, yet ahead of their time, and their pursuit of a true, free, national Christianity helped support the development of Western democratic values. However, their belief in chosenness also fuelled imperialistic claims, neglected the rights of native peoples, led to anti-Catholicism, and hindered the religious liberties of others.
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
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I would like to thank my University of Cambridge supervisor, Professor Davidlearning curve when it came to European history, a penchant for journalisticcolloquialisms, and a tendency toward self-indulgence when it came to wordlimits. I appreciate your direction and patient reading in helping me transformmy broad vision into a feasible research project. Further, I am thankful to Dr...
The Search for Shared Values
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One of the ongoing debates in contemporary theology, philosophy, sociology,andpoliticsisoverwhatrole,ifany,religionshouldplayinthepublicsphere,ortheroutinepublicexchangeofideas.1 LedbythinkerssuchasJ?rgenHabermas,there has been a growing recognition of the role Judeo-Christian thought hadin establishing Western democratic values and new interpretations of what...
Where, When, and Who
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This book will examine how prominent Christian thinkers applied their faithto the formation of national identity and to the debates on religious liberty,social reform, and political liberty in late-nineteenth-century England and theUnited States. In order to explore the dynamics involved?the push and pullof theological and secular ideas, national, and denominational differences?this...
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Central to the civil religion of these nineteenth-century thinkers was theappropriation of a biblical myth: the Old Testament concept of chosenness,with its emphasis on covenant responsibility. Christians claimed they were theinheritors of the chosenness enjoyed by the ancient Jews early in their history,and Christian-dominated nations, both Catholic and Protestant, had long used...
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The six thinkers in this study insisted England and the United States owedtheir civil liberties and freedoms to their Protestant Christian identities, whichcreated an inherent tension between their desire to respect religious libertyand maintain that Protestant dominance. Like other social gospel writers, mostnaively believed room could be made for those outside the Protestant fold to...
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All of the desires of the social gospellers?to Christianise society, to live up tothe covenant responsibility inherent in chosen nation mythology, to vindicateChristianityandpresentitssolutionsforthemodernage,topursuethekingdomof God on earth?came to a head in their calls for social reform. To differingdegrees, each perceived that industrialisation and urbanisation had created an...
Political Liberty and Democracy
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As illustrated in the last chapter, pursuit of the kingdom of God naturally ledtopoliticalagitation.Theydisagreed,however,overthemethodstobepursuedinChristianisingthenation;questionedtheroleoflegislationversusconversionin furthering the kingdom; and debated the rightful role of the minister, thechurch, and the individual Christian in politics. Christian involvement in...
Civil Religion, Then and Now
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One of the most di cult questions this dissertation aimed to answer waswhetherChristianitytrulyundergirdedthedemocraticvaluesofthesixthinkersor whether the theologians simply adapted their Christianity to the dominantsecular themes of the day. The answer, culled from reading thousands ofpages of their sermons, is a typical theological paradox: yes to both counts....
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Baptist Congress Proceedings, Vol. 1?7, 1882?1888. 286.173 B22 cop. 1.Rauschenbusch, Walter, and Leighton Williams. For the Right. NovemberDale, R.W. Christ and the Controversies of Christendom. London: Hodder and???. General Booth?s Scheme. Sermon delivered at Carr?s Lane Chapel,???. Liberalism. An Address Delivered October 22, 1878, to the Members of...
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Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Emerging Scholars
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