Religious liberalism in America has often been equated with an ecumenical Protestant establishment. By contrast, American Religious Liberalism draws attention to the broad diversity of liberal cultures that shapes America's religious movements. The essays gathered here push beyond familiar tropes and boundaries to interrogate religious liberalism's dense cultural leanings by looking at spirituality in the arts, the politics and piety of religious cosmopolitanism, and the interaction between liberal religion and liberal secularism. Readers will find a kaleidoscopic view of many of the progressive strands of America's religious past and present in this richly provocative volume.
Leigh E. Schmidt is Edward Mallinckrodt University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and is affiliated with the Center on Religion and Politics. He is author of Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality. Sally M. Promey is Professor of American Studies, Religion, and Visual Culture at Yale University, where she is also Deputy Director of the Institute of Sacred Music. She is author of Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent's "Triumph of Religion" at the Boston Public Library.
Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction: The Parameters and Problematics of American Religious Liberalism Leigh E. Schmidt I. The Spiritual in Art 1. Reading Poetry Religiously: The Walt Whitman Fellowship and Seeker Spirituality Michael Robertson 2. The Christology of Niceness: Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Jesus Novel, and Sacred Trivialities Carrie Tirado Bramen 3. Visible Liberalism: Liberal Protestant Taste Evangelism, 1850 and 1950 Sally M. Promey 4. Discovering Imageless Truths: The Baha'i Pilgrimage of Juliet Thompson, Artist Christopher G. White 5. Where "Deep Streams Flow, Endlessly Renewing": Metaphysical Religion and "Cultural Evolution" in the Art of Agnes Pelton Nathan Rees II. The Piety and Politics of Liberal Ecumenism 6. "Citizens of All the World's Temples": Cosmopolitan Religion at Bell Street Chapel Emily R. Mace 7. Spiritual Border-Crossings in the U.S. Woman's Rights Movement Kathi Kern 8. "We Build our Temples for Tomorrow": Racial Ecumenism and Religions Liberalism in the Harlem Renaissance Josef Sorett 9. Reading across the Divide of Faith: Liberal Protestant Book Culture and Interfaith Encounters in Print, 1921-1948 Matthew S. Hedstrom 10. The Dominant, the Damned, and the Discs: On the Metaphysical Liberalism of Charles Fort and Its Afterlives Jeffrey Kripal 11. Liberal Sympathies: Morris Jastrow and the Science of Religion Kathryn Lofton 12. Jewish Liberalism through Comparative Lenses: Reform Judaism and Its Liberal Christian Counterparts Yaakov Ariel III. Pragmatism, Secularism, and Internationalism 13. Each Attitude a Syllable: The Linguistic Turn in William James's Varieties of Religious Experience Lindsay V. Reckson 14. Protestant Pragmatism in China, 1919-1927 Gretchen Boger 15. Demarcating Democracy: Liberal Catholics, Protestants, and the Discourse of Secularism K. Healan Gaston 16. Religious Liberalism and the Liberal Geopolitics of Religion Tracy Fessenden Afterword and Commentary: Religious Liberalism and Ecumenical Self-Interrogation David A. Hollinger Contributors Index
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