+612 9045 4394
 
CHECKOUT
The Character of God : Recovering the Lost Literary Power of American Protestantism - Thomas E. Jenkins

The Character of God

Recovering the Lost Literary Power of American Protestantism

Hardcover Published: 1st September 1997
ISBN: 9780195112023
Number Of Pages: 284

Share This Book:

Hardcover

RRP $235.95
$142.95
39%
OFF
or 4 easy payments of $35.74 with Learn more
This title is not in stock at the Booktopia Warehouse and needs to be ordered from our supplier.
Click here to read more about delivery expectations.

Educated people have become bereft of sophisticated ways to develop their religious inclinations. A major reason for this is that theology has become vague and dull. In The Character of God, author Thomas E. Jenkins maintains that Protestant theology became boring by the late nineteenth century because the depictions of God as a character in theology became boring. He shows how in the early nineteenth century, American Protestant theologians downplayed biblical depictions of God's emotional complexity and refashioned his character according to their own notions, stressing emotional singularity. These notions came from many sources, but the major influences were the neoclassical and sentimental literary styles of characterization dominant at the time. The serene benevolence of neoclassicism and the tender sympathy of sentimentalism may have made God appealing in the mid-1800s, but by the end of the century, these styles had lost much of their cultural power and increasingly came to seem flat and vague. Despite this, both liberal and conservative theologians clung to these characterizations of God throughout the twentieth century.
Jenkins argues that a way out of this impasse can be found in romanticism, the literary style of characterization that supplanted neoclassicism and sentimentalism and dominated American literary culture throughout the twentieth century. Romanticism emphasized emotional complexity and resonated with biblical depictions of God. A few maverick religious writers-- such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, W. G. T. Shedd, and Horace Bushnell--did devise emotionally complex characterizations of God and in some cases drew directly from romanticism. But their strange and sometimes shocking depictions of God were largely forgotten in the twentieth century. s use "theological" as a pejorative term, implying that an argument is needlessly Jenkins urges a reassessment of their work and a greaterin understanding of the relationship between theology and literature. Recovering the lost literary power of American Protestantism, he claims, will make the character of God more compelling and help modern readers appreciate the peculiar power of the biblical characterization of God.

"Jenkins is well equipped for his task. He is wonderfully and widely read, and his capacity for doing the tough work of intellectual history is as well manifested in the notes as in the text. Students of the history of interpretation, theology, and the religious culture of America over the past century and one half will find this book of enormous interest."--The New England Quarterly "...an ambitious project whose main strength is its innovative treatment of many familiar American theologians in the context of literary and theological ways of thinking and modes of writing. All those interested in the ties between American theology and literature will be rewarded in reading this book." The Journal of American History "Thomas E. Jenkins' The Character of God is an impressive...addition to this body of scholarship. Written in a vigorous, snappy style, The Character of God is an ambitious, opinionated book that deserves to be read by specialists and nonspecialists alike."--First Things "Jenkin's elegant, succinct study sheds light on a theme infrequently treated these days: depictions of God in American literature."--American Literature "Jenkins is well equipped for his task. He is wonderfully and widely read, and his capacity for doing the tough work of intellectual history is as well manifested in the notes as in the text. Students of the history of interpretation, theology, and the religious culture of America over the past century and one half will find this book of enormous interest."--The New England Quarterly "...an ambitious project whose main strength is its innovative treatment of many familiar American theologians in the context of literary and theological ways of thinking and modes of writing. All those interested in the ties between American theology and literature will be rewarded in reading this book." The Journal of American History "Thomas E. Jenkins' The Character of God is an impressive...addition to this body of scholarship. Written in a vigorous, snappy style, The Character of God is an ambitious, opinionated book that deserves to be read by specialists and nonspecialists alike."--First Things "Jenkin's elegant, succinct study sheds light on a theme infrequently treated these days: depictions of God in American literature."--American Literature

Introduction: Character Stylesp. 3
The Neoclassical and Sentimental God of the Nineteenth Century
The Problem of God's Angerp. 19
Serenity and Torment: William Ellery Channing, Edwards A. Park, Charles Hodge, and Archibald Alexander Hodgep. 39
Sympathy and Alienation: Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowep. 56
The Romantic God of the Nineteenth Century
Vitality and Anger: W. G. T. Sheddp. 79
Love in the Trinity: James Henley Thornwell, George Griffin, and Samuel J. Bairdp. 95
Desire and Disgust: Horace Bushnellp. 113
The Vague God of the Twentieth Century
Modernism and Literature: Theodore Munger and Amos N. Wilderp. 137
The Social Gospel and Its Critics: Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, and J. Gresham Machenp. 160
The Limitations of Political Theology: Carl Henry, Harvey Cox, and Martin Luther King, Jr.p. 180
Prospectsp. 200
Notesp. 205
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195112023
ISBN-10: 0195112024
Series: Religion in America
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 1st September 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.62 x 16.03  x 2.36
Weight (kg): 0.55