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The Great Divide
- Between Liberal and Conservative
- Liberal-valued openness,
- pluralism, diversity, and mutual tolerance. Ethics emphasized love,
- relationships, peace, justice, inclusiveness, tolerance of minorities and
- acceptance of varieties of lifestyles and expressions of sexuality.
- to teach long-standing Christian and Jewish teachings concerning family,
- sexuality, discipline and the importance of moral law. Also more patriotic,
- firmly anticommunist, for strong military and law and order.
begins after assassination of kennedy
was the "hippie" time
- Joined the
- counterculture, followed liberal trends. Created “Jesus culture”.
See comic on page 255
The Catholic Revolution
- religious freedom, rather than the universal establishment of Catholicism by
- Recognized Protestants as “separated
- brethren” and encouraged dialogue with them.
- Instead of only viewing the Church
- as an institutional hierarchy that dispensed justice and grace, emphasized that
- the Church is the body of Christ at the service of humanity.
- Less services in Latin with priest
- facing the wall, but with active participation from congregation, mass and
- prayers in English, singing of hymns, more emphasis on sermons.
- over whether family was based on temporary contract among equal individuals or
- a structure reflecting a divinely sanctioned order.
Questions over role in Churches.
- Liberal and moderate
- Protestants and Reform and Conservative Jews began accepting new roles for
- Women began running
- missionary and educational societies by the Church.
- Mainline Churches began
- ordaining women in the 1920s, though very few. By the end of the 1970s, all
- mainline protestant denominations were routinely ordaining women.
- First ordained woman:
- Barbara Harris-first bishop of Episcopal Church
- Built around themes of
- liberation for the oppressed & attacks on formulated theologies by male
- 1970s, inclusive
- language in Bible and hymns begins
- Question of God the
Gay and Lesbian Movement
Paralleled feminist movement
most liberal christians supported them
created bitter and protracted debates within mainline denominations
New Age, New (and old) religions
- Religions blossomed in the 1960s.
- Subcommunities included: Buddhism,
- Shinto, Hinduism and Islam.
Blossomed Crazy Religions:
- Unification church:
- Korean with Chrisitan heritage. Founder Sun Myung Moon claimedd to be latest
- prophet of God, promised coming millennial kingdom.
- People's Temple
- Community-Rev. Jim Jones. Proclaimed himself a prophet of a new religion. Moved
- his community toSouth American. Led 900 people in a mass suicide.
- Branch Davidians-led by
- self proclaimed Prophet David Koresh. Millenial group, violent standoffs with
- the government.
Other Blossomed Religions:
American Zen Buddhism
- Community of Bhagwan
- Shree Rajneesh: took over town in Oregon
Habits of the Heart
- Book written
- by team in University of California. In depth look at the beliefs and values
- typical of dominant American middle class.
- Increase in compartmentalization
- of life. Private life separated sharply from work.
- Americans driven by
- utilitarian individualism. Split between managers and therapists.
- Individuals arrive at
- their religious beliefs independent of any church or synagogue.
Major growth among conservative churches and growth in pentacostal/charismatic
Born Again Politics
- Election of
- Jimmy Carter who claimed to be a “born-again” evagelical. Unhappy with him
- because he was also a liberal democratic.
- Nixon Watergate scandal convinced
- many Americans that morality and politcs should not be separate.
- Important in convincing:
- -Roe v. Wade & Legalizing
- Rights Amendment, forbidding discrimination
- against women. (was not passed)
- of all sorts of religious groups generated new political group. Focus on
- family, sexuality (sexual permissiveness: music, movies, porn and ads),
- militant patriotism and anticommunism.
- Founded by Jerry Falwell. Big in
- Claimed credit in getting Reagan
- Impact of
- religious right amplified by television ministries.
- Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson and 700
- Club. Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker and PTL (Praise the Lord). Robert Schuller and
- Crystal Cathedral.
- Scandals: Oral Roberts claimed that
- God told him He would kill Roberts if his supporters did not raise enough money
- by a certain date. Jim Bakker carried on illicit sexual relationships, sent to
- jail for financial fraud. Swaggart (who was critical of Bakker) was forced to
- step down because of sexual improperties.
Two poles of common culture
- Both: Remarkably
- Individualistic.Tended toward materialism. Comfortable with benefits and pleasures
- of technological society. In their own ways moralistic.
21st century: living with differences
- Mostly to do
- with the differences with sexual relations and the different beliefs whether
- that be between liberal and conservative Christians and homosexuality or sexual
- behavior with public figures.
- Promise Keepers and Million Man
- March is protests by men to take responsibility for their families and sexual
World Religions in America
- prominant in America by end of 20th century. Islam became rival to Judaism as
- nation's second largest religious grouping.
- Buddhism and Hinduism in America,
- but Christianity is still dominant.
American Religion around the world
- spread after fall of Soviet Union.
- Remarkable world cultural
- development: spread of American-style Christianity
New Styles of American Spirituality
- Large Perspective: American
- religious life moving towards “a new spirituality of seeking”
- Nonconfrontational spirituality
- increased. Move away from strong political and social engagement.