The persistence, complexity, and fragility of religious thought is revealed through essays concerned primarily with relations between Protestant Christianity and the main currents in secular American intellectual life over the past century.
The conference at which these essays were first presented brought together social scientists and professors of religion and theology to assess the role of Protestantism in current American intellectual life. The essays themselves challenge secularist and naturalist outlooks, revealing instead subtle interactions between religion and other aspects of culture and highlighting the profound affect of Reinhold Niebuhr, Richard Niebuhr, and John Dewey and of the social gospel movement on American culture. As evidenced by these essays, both professionalization, which pushed theology out of the liberal arts and into the seminaries, and specialization in the humanities has diminished the impact of religion. Further, the interaction of science and religion has contributed to the tension of religion and culture. Highly recommended for academic and seminary collections.-- Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.
Eight original essays address the place of religious thought and values, primarily those of Protestant Christianity, among America's educated, cultural elites devoted to science, scholarship, and intellectual life generally. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
1. Religion and American intellectual history, 1945–85: reflections on an uneasy relationship Henry F. May; 2. Evangelicals and the scientific culture: an overview George M. Marsden; 3. An enthusiasm for humanity: the social emphasis in religion and its accommodation in Protestant theology William McGuire King; 4. John Dewey, American theology, and scientific politics Bruce Kuklick; 5. The Niebuhr brothers and the liberal Protestant heritage Richard Wightman Fox; 6. Justification by verification: the scientific challenge to the moral authority of Christianity in modern America David A. Hollinger; 7. On the scientific study of religion in the United States 1870–1980 Murray G. Murphey; 8. On the intellectual marginality of American theology Van A. Harvey; Afterword: theology, public discourse, and the American tradition David A. Tracy; About the authors; Index.