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American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present

Philip Gorski



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Princeton University Press
15 July 2019
History; History of the Americas; History of religion
The long battle between exclusionary and inclusive versions of the American story Was America founded as a Christian nation or a secular democracy? Neither, argues Philip Gorski in American Covenant. What the founders envisioned was a prophetic republic that would weave together the ethical vision of the Hebrew prophets and the Western political heritage of civic republicanism. In this eye-opening book, Gorski shows why this civil religious tradition is now in peril-and with it the American experiment. American Covenant traces the history of prophetic republicanism from the Puritan era to today, providing insightful portraits of figures ranging from John Winthrop and W.E.B. Du Bois to Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama. Featuring a new preface by the author, this incisive book demonstrates how half a century of culture war has drowned out the quieter voices of the vital center, and demonstrates that if we are to rebuild that center, we must recover the civil religious tradition on which the republic was founded.
By:   Philip Gorski
Imprint:   Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780691191676
ISBN 10:   0691191670
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   15 July 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Philip Gorski is professor of sociology and religious studies at Yale University. His books include The Protestant Ethic Revisited and The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Rise of the State in Early Modern Europe.

Reviews for American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present

Writing as both a citizen and a scholar, Gorski wraps his passionate appeal for the common good in a thoroughly documented and convincing argument. A remarkable achievement. --Choice A rich, detailed account of the history of efforts to define American religion. --Sarah Posner, American Prospect [Gorski] charts one way to political reconciliation in these divisive times. . . . This is an important work, one that returns us to our national origins. --Kirkus Reviews Sweeping and exhilarating. --Publishers Weekly Essential reading for this moment. --David Brooks, New York Times Indispensable reading for lay readers and specialists alike. --Michael R. Whitenton, Reading Religion

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