The American religiosity is always quite astonishing for European people. We are not use to see thousands of believers in a football stadium, a president that swear on the Bible or notes that say in “God we trust”. There are also many clichés: intolerance purities, no separation between church and state and no secular state. In fact, the American’s history is rather different from the French’s one. The republic was not build on the rejection of Catholicism. The American society is either a deeply religious society or deeply secularized.
KQ: How can we consider national identity in the light of the nation’s religious pluralism? How religious identity was itself constructed in the years that Americans were first defining the nature of their republic?
AMERICAN SPECIFICITY: FROM GOD’S LAND TO THE LAND OF GODS
Deep rooted feeling
65% ( Religion is in their daily life.
Religious feeling is increasing whereas in other western countries, it is declining. Link between the members of a nation. Church=social club.
+ of 95% believes in God, 75% pray everyday.
Bible Belt: region in South East and South central of the US where socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of culture. ( Prattville: 32 places of worship.
The places of worship: huge amphitheaters equipped with modern communication networks. Offer a large rank of services.
The Great Awakenings and their consequences
When puritarism was gone, secularization spread and Americans forgot their religious duties. But ( Many Awakenings: 1st Great Awakening (1730s’ ( 1740s’): Wawe of Protestant swept in American colonies. Deep sense of personal guilt and salvation by Christ. Whitefield: main preacher introduced theatrical sermons. Brought Christianity to the salves and challenged established authority. Division: old traditionnalists VS new revivalists. People began to study Bible at home. It changed their rituals, their piety and their self-awareness. 2nd Great Awakening...
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