Monday, July 29, 2013

Where Religion Went Wrong in America

In his latest book, Ross Douthat, a public intellectual and a Catholic, argues that “bad religion” poses a greater danger to our nation than does secularism. His book is divided into two parts: in the first he chronicles the decline of traditional Christianity since 1965; in the second he examines four heresies that have flourished since then.

Douthat begins by looking back at the Indian summer after World War II, when the Christian faith seemed to be a “moral bulwark against totalitarianism,” and our public intellectuals, such as W.H. Auden, C.S. Lewis, and Christopher Dawson, were notably Christian. He examines in detail four key figures of that era: Reinhold Niebuhr, who restored Christian thinking at Union Theological Seminary; Billy Graham, who won the cooperation of mainline Protestants and Catholic leaders with his revivals and made the evangelical faith “not only relevant but modern”; Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who addressed an audience of thirty million on television and showed that Christian thought was our “natural common ground”; and Martin Luther King Jr., who led the civil rights movement as a virtual Christian revival. Yet Douthat wonders if these men succeeded “only insofar as they met the American Way of Life halfway.”  (more...)

No comments:

Post a Comment