Under God

Under God

by Garry Wills, Wills Garry


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In Under God, Garry Wills, one of our liveliest and most eminent political observers, moves through the tapestry of American history, illuminating the instances where American politics and American religion have collided.

Beginning with the 1988 presidential contest, an election that included two ministers and a senator accused of sin, Wills surveys our history to show the continuity of present controversies with past religious struggles and argues that the secular standards of the Founding Fathers have been misunderstood. He shows that despite reactionary fire-breathers and fanatics, religion has often been a progressive force in American politics and explains why the policy of a separate church and state has, ironically, made the position of the church stronger.

Marked by the extraordinary quality of observation that has defined the work of Garry Wills, Under God is a rich, original look at why religion and politics will never be separate in the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671747466
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/15/1991
Edition description: REPRINT
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Garry Wills is an Emeritus Professor of History at Northwestern University. Born in Atlanta in 1934, he has taught widely throughout the United States. A prolific writer and scholar, Wills is the author of more than twenty books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Papal Sin, and What Jesus Meant. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1934

Place of Birth:

Atlanta, GA


St. Louis University, B.A., 1957; Xavier University, M.A., 1958; Yale University, Ph.D., 1961

Table of Contents

Introduction     15
Sin and Secularity     27
New Moral Language     29
Holiness and Gary Hart     41
Fatal Composure     51
Jeremiad: The Extreme Center     62
A Theology of Willie Horton     70
Playing to Win     76
Secular Innocence     86
Bible Beginnings     95
The Superman Trial     97
Scopes: Who Won?     108
Refighting Scopes     115
Bible Endings: "Premil"     125
Fundamentals     127
America's Miliast Founders     138
Reagan and "the Prophecies"     144
Fundamentalism and the Quayles     152
"Postmil": Pat Robertson     165
Coffee-Cup Apocalypse     167
Campaigning     176
"Claiming"     184
Politics and Black Religion     193
African-American Miliasm     195
Lincoln's Black Theology     207
Marginal Man     222
Preacher Jesse     235
Preacher Andy     245
What Did Jesse Want?     256
Politics and Pornography     269
"With Ladies Present"     271
In Praise of Censure     280
A Theology of Erotica     291
Politics and Abortion     303
Catholics: Mario Cuomo     305
Evangelicals: Francis Schaeffer     318
Feminists and Fundamentalism     329
Church and State     339
Religious Separatism     341
Jefferson: The Uses of Religion     354
Jefferson: The Protection of Religion     363
Madison and the Honor of God     373
Conclusion     381
Notes     387
Index     425

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