Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America

Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America

by Ellis Sandoz
     
 

ISBN-10: 0826217265

ISBN-13: 9780826217264

Pub. Date: 09/01/2006

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

 As debates rage over the place of faith in our national life, Tocqueville’s nineteenth-century crediting of religion for shaping America is largely overlooked today.  Now, in Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America, Ellis Sandoz reveals the major role that Protestant Christianity played in the formation and early period of the

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Overview

 As debates rage over the place of faith in our national life, Tocqueville’s nineteenth-century crediting of religion for shaping America is largely overlooked today.  Now, in Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America, Ellis Sandoz reveals the major role that Protestant Christianity played in the formation and early period of the American republic. Sandoz traces the rise of republican government from key sources in Protestant civilization, paying particular attention to the influence of the Bible on the Founders and the blossoming of the American mind in the eighteenth century. 

Sandoz analyzes the religious debt of the emergent American community and its elevation of the individual person as unique in the eyes of the Creator. He shows that the true distinction of American republicanism lies in its grounding of human dignity in spiritual individualism and an understanding of man’s capacity for self-government under providential guidance. Along the way, he addresses such topics as the neglected question of the education of the Founders for their unique endeavor, common law constitutionalism, the place of Latin and Greek classics in the Founders’ thought, and the texture of religious experience from the Great Awakening to the Declaration of Independence

To establish a unifying theoretical perspective for his study, Sandoz considers the philosophical underpinnings of religion and the contribution that Eric Voegelin made to our understanding of religious experience. He contributes fresh studies of the character of Voegelin’s thought: its relationship to Christianity; his debate with Leo Strauss over reason, revelation, and the meaning of philosophy; and the theory of Gnosticism as basic to radical modernity. He also provides a powerful account of the spirit of Voegelin’s later writings, contrasting the political scientist with the meditative spiritualist and offering new insight into volume 5 of Order and History.

Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America concludes with timely reflections on the epoch now unfolding in the shadow of Islamic jihadism. Bringing a wide range of materials into a single volume, it confronts current academic concerns with religion while offering new insight into the construction of the American polity—and the heart of Americanism as we know it today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826217264
Publisher:
University of Missouri Press
Publication date:
09/01/2006
Series:
ERIC VOEGELIN INST SERIES Series, #1
Edition description:
1
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents


Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Abbreviations     xv
Republicanism and Religion: Some Contextual Considerations     1
Foundations of American Liberty and Rule of Law     53
Education and the American Founding     75
Americanism: The Question of Community in Politics     105
Carrying Coals to Newcastle: Voegelin and Christianity     114
Medieval Rationalism or Mystic Philosophy?: The Strauss-Voegelin Debate     121
Gnosticism and Modernity     145
The Spirit of Voegelin's Late Work     155
Truth and the Experience of Epoch in History     182
Bibliographical Appendix     209
Index     213

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