Protestantism and Republicanism in America

Topics: Protestantism, Christianity, Political philosophy Pages: 4 (1423 words) Published: January 13, 2009
Protestantism and republicanism in America

The impact of religion is obvious everywhere in our public life, in the same time being a dynamic connection between faith and citizenship, as we well know. For many Americans, religion was the core of being, even though many authors ignored this history of faith. Protestantism is the religion most often related to liberalism .

In this paper, I will try to analyze the protestant origins of republicanism in America and how these are entwined in the modern American Republic.
One of the first questions that comes into our minds is how did the Protestantism actually became “American”?. Baptists and Methodists came from nowhere, between the Revolution and Civil War, growing as evangelical denominations very fast. These groups actually adopted the “American” values and culture and built their way to triumph, through the energy and self reliance of the Americans, which made Protestantism succeed in America.

Mark A. Noll sustains that the success of Baptists and Methodists has much to do with the fact that in the Protestant clergy there was a sympathy for the political ideology of “republicanism”, and this led to the ‘americanization’, so to say, of Protestantism, to a free republic. Protestantism contributed a lot in the formation of the American nationalism, due to the fact that there has always been a harmony between the religious and civic versions freedom. In his opinion, there are two best understood periods of American religious history: -the Great Awakening of the 1740s

-the antebellum period (with the more developed societies ) Noll describes America's God as "a contextual history of Christian theology," and he highlights some distinctive combinations of theology, moral philosophy and political theory that developed toward the close of the 18th century. For example, despite a long history of antagonism toward republican theory by Christian theologians, who frequently connected republicanism with heresy,...

Bibliography: & Resources:
1. David D. Hall, Harvard University- Review of America 's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln by Mark A. Noll. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) -
2. Clark Gilpin, University of Chicago Divinity School, Protestantism, the American Style, Review of America 's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln by Mark A. Noll. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)
3. Rhys H. Williams, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale , Politics, Religion, and the Analysis of Culture, Reviewed work(s): The Myth of American Individualism by Barry Alan Shain The Greening of Protestant Thought by Robert Booth Fowler Religion and the Racist Right by Michael Barkun(
4. Andreas Hess, American Social and Political Thought. A Concise Introduction. 1st edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2000
5. Barry A. Shain, The Myth of American Individualism. The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought. 1st edition. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1994
6. Alexis de Tocqueville, The second volume of Democracy in America, Chapter V.
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