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The Fifties Spiritual Marketplace: American Religion in a Decade of Conflict / Edition 1

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New Brunswick, NJ 1997 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 288 p.

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Overview

If you still hold the notion that the fifties were the "good old days," blessed with incomparable social affluence and widespread family unity, all buttressed by a strong, unconflicted spiritually, then look again. In this compelling narrative of religion in a decade still embraced by an indefatigable nostalgia, Robert Ellwood interrogates the notion of the fifties as an era of normalcy, and proves it to be full of spiritual strife. A companion to Ellwood's Sixties Spiritual Awakening, this book explores the major Catholic-Protestant tensions of the decade, the conflict between theology and popular faith, and the underground forms of fifties religiosity like "Beat" Zen, UFO contactees, Thomas Merton monasticism, and the Joseph Campbell/Carl Jung revival of mythology. Ellwood frames his detailed and lively account with the provocative idea of the fifties as a "supply-side" free enterprise spiritual marketplace, with heady competition between religious groups and leaders, and with church attendance at a record high. In addition to challenging an idealistic fifties cultural milieu, the book analyzes American religious responses to key historical events like the Korean War, McCarthyism, and the civil-rights movement, turning a religious lens on the cultural history of the United States.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813523460
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Foundations of the Fifties 1
Pt. I The Years of Dark and Dreaming, 1950-1952
Ch. 1 Events: Korea, Catholics, Protestants, and Anticommunism 27
Ch. 2 Ideas: UFOs, Existentialists, and Double Lives 63
Pt. II Shadows at High Noon, 1953-1956
Ch. 3 Events: Bikini, the World Council, and the McCarthy Endgame 107
Ch. 4 Ideas: Beats and Books 139
Pt. III Signs Appearing in Heaven, 1957-1959
Ch. 5 Events: Little Rock, Sputnik, John XXIII, and the Passing of the Fifties Mood 180
Ch. 6 Ideas: Israel, Mescaline, and Zen 206
Conclusion: Quiet, Confident, and Troubled: The Fifties as the Last Modern Decade in Religion 227
Notes 237
Index 257
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