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Nature Religion in America : From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age - Catherine L. Albanese

Nature Religion in America

From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age

By: Catherine L. Albanese, Martin E. Marty (Introduction by)

Paperback Published: 1st January 1990
ISBN: 9780226011462
Number Of Pages: 284

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This ground-breaking study reveals an unorganized and previously unacknowledged religion at the heart of American culture. Nature, Albanese argues, has provided a compelling religious center throughout American history.

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Albanese's provocative, chronological view of the diverse and changing American responses to nature proposes an uninstitutionalized religion at the center of the American experience. The author (Religion/U.C. at Santa Barbara) is as delighted with her discovery of a nature religion as a prospector who's hit pay dirt. Acknowledging at the outset that the spiritual orientations of Americans and the Anglo-American Puritans stand as a "classic study in religious difference," Albanese traces shifts in the settlers' view of wilderness as spiritual testing ground. By 1776, what Albanese calls "republican religion" was proclaiming nature as an ideal that mirrored American vigor and purity, with Jefferson adapting the Enlightenment to proclaim that the "laws of nature" entitled the republic to an equal station "among the powers of the earth." The author charts the passage of nature religion from the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the yahoo frontier hero to the gentler Transcendentalists and early conservationists, and shows how the "physical religion" of the homeopaths and chiropractors of the 19th century prefigures today's healing movements. Th Albanese, America's church is democratic, comfortable with Mary Baker Eddy and Annie Dillard in the same pew, and admitting as members anyone who has ever sought meaning, morality, inspiration, and even justification for political aims in nature. Well-written and researched, Albanese's work is vivid and original cultural and intellectual history - but perhaps less-than-solid theology, as she attempts to drive an unruly herd of Quakers, mind-healers, hydropaths, Native Americans, Greens, and "the king of the wild frontier" into the same corral. (Kirkus Reviews)

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Case for Nature Religion
Native Ground: Nature and Culture in Early America
Republican Nature: From the Revolution That Was Lawful to the Destiny That Was Manifest
Wildness and the Passing Show: Transcendental Religion and Its Legacies
Physical Religion: Natural Sin and Healing Grace in the Nineteenth Century
Recapitulating Pieties: Nature's Nation in the Late Twentieth Century
Epilogue
Notes
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226011462
ISBN-10: 0226011461
Series: Chicago History of American Religion Series
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 1st January 1990
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.39
Edition Type: New edition

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