The Religious Background of American Culture

The Religious Background of American Culture

The Religious Background of American Culture

The Religious Background of American Culture

Excerpt

American history begins before America was discovered. The United States are what they are because men from England carried with them to the new land a strong tradition born of long struggle with what they thought or instinctively felt were strange and un-English ways.

The story of that tradition, especially upon its religious side, has been so misread or neglected that whole chapters of North American history are even now crying for rewriting.

A creative tradition cannot be reduced to any one simple formula. The interests of human life are too complicated to be enclosed in a phrase, and although the economic interpretation of history has thrown a flood of light upon many dark places in the study of the forms that religion, law and politics take, the word economic must be very broadly interpreted and made to include nearly all human wants and urges, in order to greatly help us. And amongst the most constant historic urges is one that is perhaps not capable of complete definition, but which under many several forms we call religion.

It is strange that in all that has been written about the United States in recent years little has been said about our religious history. We have many books more or less satisfactory about our economic history; our civilization has been well and fully treated in many books; our politics, our social structure and our literature have been amply dealt with; but an attempt to trace the course of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.