An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America

An Anxious Age The Post Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America We live in a profoundly spiritual age but not in any good way Huge swaths of American culture are driven by manic spiritual anxiety and relentless supernatural worry Radicals and traditionalists lib
  • Title: An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America
  • Author: Joseph Bottum
  • ISBN: 9780385518819
  • Page: 498
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America
    We live in a profoundly spiritual age, but not in any good way Huge swaths of American culture are driven by manic spiritual anxiety and relentless supernatural worry Radicals and traditionalists, liberals and conservatives, together with politicians, artists, environmentalists, followers of food fads, and the chattering classes of television commentators America is f We live in a profoundly spiritual age, but not in any good way Huge swaths of American culture are driven by manic spiritual anxiety and relentless supernatural worry Radicals and traditionalists, liberals and conservatives, together with politicians, artists, environmentalists, followers of food fads, and the chattering classes of television commentators America is filled with people frantically seeking confirmation of their own essential goodness We are a nation desperate to stand of the side of morality to know that we are righteous and dwell in the light In An Anxious Age, Joseph Bottum offers an account of modern America, presented as a morality tale formed by a collision of spiritual disturbances And the cause, he claims, is the most significant and least noticed historical fact of the last fifty years the collapse of the mainline Protestant churches that were the source of social consensus and cultural unity Our dangerous spiritual anxieties, broken loose from the churches that once contained them, now madden everything in American life Updating The Protestant Ethic and the Sprit of Capitalism, Max Weber s sociological classic, An Anxious Age undertakes two case studies of contemporary social classes adrift in a nation without the religious understandings that gave them meaning Looking at the college educated elite he calls the Poster Children, Bottum sees the post Protestant heirs of the old mainline Protestant domination of culture dutiful descendants who claim the high social position of their Christian ancestors even while they reject their ancestors Christianity Turning to the Swallows of Capistrano, the Catholics formed by the pontificate of John Paul II, Bottum evaluates the early victories and later defeats of the attempt to substitute Catholicism for the dying mainline voice in public life Sweeping across American intellectual and cultural history, An Anxious Age traces the course of national religion and warns about the strange angels and even stranger demons with which we now wrestle Insightful and contrarian, wise and unexpected, An Anxious Age ranks among the great modern accounts of American culture.
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  • Joseph Bottum

    Joseph Bottum Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America book, this is one of the most wanted Joseph Bottum author readers around the world.

  • 975 Comments

  • I first became acquainted with Joseph Bottum as the editor of First Things, a conservative journal dealing with religion in the public square In his brief reign as editor, he brought flair, elegance, and extravagance to the journal qualities that brought about his editorial demise, as First Things has a rather serious audience that does not appreciate full color photographs an innovation of his interrupting pages of lengthy prose Flair and elegance are also on display in An Anxious Age, as Bottu [...]


  • I don t often find myself reading explicitly right wing books However, An Anxious Age had an interesting thesis, and I m fascinated both with the long term decline of religious authority in the United States and the ghostly echo of Christian ideas among otherwise secular people Bottum s basic argument that you can see the essence of modern day liberal thinking in the early 20th century Social Gospel, only in secular form, strikes me as basically true And An Anxious Age isn t a narrowly partisan [...]


  • An Anxious Age The Post Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America is tough to categorize The primary thesis is that the old mainline Protestant denominations Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists , who used to be a conservative, unifying force across all swathes of social class and geography, lost their influence Early in in the 20th century, those mainline denominations embraced the social gospel, turning Christ from being evangelism focused to being focused on making the world a [...]


  • Interesting thesis that the Protestant Social Gospelers became the non active liberal class in America today same Protestant sin avoidance but not individual sins, but social sins like bigotry and same lack of need for active Good Works for salvation you just need to be separated from the Evils of the world and you don t need to fight them to be savedThe authors self assured conservatism was a bit of a wall for someone who wasn t baked in that world, so some of the references and assumptions wer [...]


  • A rather discursive approach to sorting out the impact of religion in America and the way it informs politics and culture An interesting argument about the impact of the collapse of the mainline protestant churches and the attempt by Catholics to fill that void.


  • I can t give a complete review, since I only read the first half of the book, which was on how Protestantism changed into post Protestantism, and the concluding chapter The other half was on what s happened to Catholicism in our national life, but I was less interested in that.I liked this book, because it addressed something I ve been seeing for years, but couldn t fully explain Why people who are politically active though I should say liberals in particular are so adamant about supporting a po [...]


  • An insightful book, especially in the first section where Bottum describes the decline of the Mainline churches and its impact on American culture He also explains how Catholics and Evangelicals have sought to provide what the Mainline once offered, but have thus far failed America has benefited from churches that are distinctly and authentically religious, giving a place from which to both support and critique the culture Making social concerns the primary issue in the church, as the social gos [...]


  • The author in this book analyzes how the social, political and religious cultures of the United States interact and reinforce one another America has been a predominantly Protestant nation since its founding, and so for most of that time a Protestant consensus about social and political behavior provided the common language for our national discourse Since the 1970 s the old Mainline Protestant denominations Presbyterian, Methodists, Episcopalians, United Church of Christ, etc the denominations [...]


  • The book comes in two parts, which are not as closely related as one might expect The first part deals with the devolution of the Mainline Churches into post Christian individuals who are not moored to any acknowledged transcendental values, but who nonetheless espouse political views from a religiously held viewpoint The first half of the book would have been much stronger is supported by data some data was given.The second half of the book seemed a shorthand defense of Catholic intervention i [...]


  • I found this analysis of the current state of America to be very interesting The author follows two groups of prototype Americans the Poster Children cultural descendents of Mainline Protestants, and the Swallows of Capistrano, the new flavor of American Catholics For both the historical underpinnings of the current trends are deeply researched, and he makes some very interesting points about the fact that we are still living in a strongly spiritual age it s simply post Christian in many ways.I [...]


  • Superb The first half of this book is about how today s secular culture in America arose from liberal mainstream Protestantism, and the second half is about developments in Roman Catholicism and its relationship to American culture over the past half century I almost skipped the second half because I thought it would be less relevant since I m not Roman Catholic , but it turned out to be as important and insightful as the first half of the book.A good supplement to the book is Bottum s essay on [...]


  • This is essentially two books in one In the first part, the author explains the decline of American protestantism and the rise of secular spiritualism oxymoron, I know, but how else do you describe those who see political and environmental causes as religion The second half is about the rise and fall of the new evangelism among American catholics It is a worthy read even for just the first part The second part is really inside baseball and may be difficult for non catholics to understand.


  • An attempt to analyze the rise and fall of Mainline Protestantism and the impact it s had on Catholics Some insightful moments, but not by any means the final word on the complicated subject The idea of focusing on pivotal moments in American theology is a really excellent one and bears meaningful fruit However, the author s idea to trace the meandering trails of Protestants who left the church is not realized past the anecdotal level Getting a handle on this is the key for understanding the gro [...]


  • The most significant historical fact of the last fifty years is the collapse of Mainline Protestantism.A convincing argument by a Catholic intellectual who explains how so much of American politics today is driven by people driven by the same moral angst of Protestantism, but without Christ to center them Everything from environmentalism, obsessions with food, feminism, etc so many people have adopted Protestant ideas of the Social Gospel while wholly rejecting the central idea of Christ within [...]


  • Did not finish The first half concerns the roots of the social justice movement in the circa 1900 Social Gospel movement, and how it mutated into post Christian, post Protestant, church Progressivism All very illuminating The second half begins with the resurgence of traditional Catholicism, and peters out pretty quickly no pun intended.Can t say anything about the second half, but the first half alone is worth reading as a history lesson.


  • An amazing topic Quite a bit of good insight Average writing Knowing the basic gist of the book before getting it I was almost positive that it would be amazing It fell a little flat, while still being worth my time.





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