Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
8Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Harold Bloom - The American Religion ; All (G)nostics Here - Martin E. Marty

Harold Bloom - The American Religion ; All (G)nostics Here - Martin E. Marty

Ratings: (0)|Views: 461 |Likes:
Published by MuslimThunder
From Publishers Weekly:

Without knowing it, American worshipers have moved away from Christianity and now embrace pre-Christian Gnosticism, asserts Bloom ( The Book of J ). In his most controversial book to date, the Yale professor defines "the American Religion" as a Gnostic creed stressing knowledge of an inner self that leads to freedom from nature, time, history and other selves. Every American, he writes, assumes that God loves her or him in a personal, intimate way, and this trait is the bedrock of our national religion, a debased Gnosticism often tinged with selfishness. The core of this odd, ponderous book focuses on Pentecostals, Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and especially Mormons and Southern Baptists--the two denominations Bloom believes will dominate future American religious life. He argues that mainline Protestants, Jews, Roman Catholics and secularists are also much more Gnostic than they realize.

From Library Journal;

Claiming to have read everything of importance on American religion, Bloom engages in "religious criticism" in order to elucidate what is distinctive about our national faith. He concludes that the great revival at Cane Ridge, Kentucky in 1801 and the momentous writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James are key moments in the creation of America's central religious doctrine. Bloom claims that American religion is more gnostic than Christian. He sees this American Gnosis expressed most powerfully in early Mormonism and in the moderate Southern Baptist tradition, though it thrives in virtually every denomination and cult.

http://www.amazon.com/American-Religion-Emergence-Post-Christian-Nation/dp/0671867377
From Publishers Weekly:

Without knowing it, American worshipers have moved away from Christianity and now embrace pre-Christian Gnosticism, asserts Bloom ( The Book of J ). In his most controversial book to date, the Yale professor defines "the American Religion" as a Gnostic creed stressing knowledge of an inner self that leads to freedom from nature, time, history and other selves. Every American, he writes, assumes that God loves her or him in a personal, intimate way, and this trait is the bedrock of our national religion, a debased Gnosticism often tinged with selfishness. The core of this odd, ponderous book focuses on Pentecostals, Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and especially Mormons and Southern Baptists--the two denominations Bloom believes will dominate future American religious life. He argues that mainline Protestants, Jews, Roman Catholics and secularists are also much more Gnostic than they realize.

From Library Journal;

Claiming to have read everything of importance on American religion, Bloom engages in "religious criticism" in order to elucidate what is distinctive about our national faith. He concludes that the great revival at Cane Ridge, Kentucky in 1801 and the momentous writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James are key moments in the creation of America's central religious doctrine. Bloom claims that American religion is more gnostic than Christian. He sees this American Gnosis expressed most powerfully in early Mormonism and in the moderate Southern Baptist tradition, though it thrives in virtually every denomination and cult.

http://www.amazon.com/American-Religion-Emergence-Post-Christian-Nation/dp/0671867377

More info:

Published by: MuslimThunder on Aug 31, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/27/2013

pdf

text

original

 
The American Religion:The Emergence of the Post-Christian NationHarold Bloom
In this fascinating work of religious criticism, Harold Bloom examines a number of American-born faiths: Pentecostalism, Mormonism, Seventh-day Adventism, Christian Science, Jehovah'sWitnesses, Southern Baptism and Fundamentalism, and African American spirituality. He tracesthe distinctive features of American religion while asking provocative questions about the rolereligion plays in American culture and in each American's concept of his or her relationship toGod. Bloom finds that our spiritual beliefs provide an exact portrait of our national character.
 
All Agnostics Here
 
Theologians, sociologists, historians and other standard commentators on religion arenot likely to grow insecure reading this account of "the American religion." by HaroldBloom, who according to the dust jacket and a wide consensus is the country's "mostdistinguished literary critic." The book is a provocation, not a candidate for "standard"status. It is likely to find its place alongside books like Erik Erikson’s Young Man Luther and Norman 0. Brown's Life Against Death—books that one must reckon with but areseen finally as idiosyncratic. Yet they luxuriously advance the industry of the interpreterswho, without nudges from such creative probers, could easily grow complacent.The thesis propounded by this self-described sometimes gnostic and sometimesagnostic Jew is that the American religion is not Protestant or Christian but Gnostic. Itdevelops somewhat after the manner of the Gnosticism which spun off, challenged andsometimes fused with early Christianity. The subject and object of this Gnosticism is notGod as God but God as or of or in the self.That Gnosticism is pervasive in many American subcultures is a common observation.Many contend that it forms the basis of what the sociologists call the individualized,privatized, "invisible" religion of noninstitutionally religious Americans. Gnosticism islargely at the core of the "spiritual search" and the "spirituality" that are such greatmarket items in the 1990s. And it takes no daring to generalize that Gnosticism is afeature of New Age and other alternative religions which lure many in an age that wassupposed to have been secular. (Bloom's frequent comments about the religion-makingcharacter of the American imagination, our "religion-madness" is a service to theacademy which so readily overlooks or dismisses evidences of religion.)Bloom believes that the mentors of the American religion were people like Ralph WaldoEmerson and William James. He speaks much about "Awareness, centered on the self,[as] faith for an American." But Bloom is not interested in criticizing this faith, certainlynot in the manner in which Robert N. Bellah and team criticized "Sheilaism." That, for Bloom, is mere sociology of religion. It cannot go as deep as Bloom's self-styled"religious criticism." Bloom dismisses the "orange squash called the New Age" asunidiosyncratic, while "every religion [including the mainline ones] discussed in this bookis idiosyncratic almost beyond belief."Only once does Bloom slow down to exegete what he calls the California orange groveOrphism of the New Age of folks like Shirley MacLaine, "the handsomest of the
 
movement's public figures." These "monistic ecologists of the spirit" are bad observers;they claim that "now is the acceptable time for a great leap forward in paradigms,despite one's gloomy sense that the era belongs to Reagan, Bush, and similar anchorsof the Old Age." At best, says Bloom, the New Age is "a charming parody" of theAmerican religion. As for a typical Christian New Age figure like Matthew Fox,"ostensibly a Catholic priest," Bloom terms him "one of my defeats." He admits that hefailed to make it all the way through Fox's work, since "no prose I have ever encountered can match Fox's in a blissful vacuity, where all things flow to all, as riversto the sea."Where does the American religion find its clearest expression? The religious critic, asdefined by Bloom, is allowed to play the prophet. He thinks two expressions willdominate the future. The "religion of the American West" will be Mormonism, and it willbe matched by the "religion of the American South," the fundamentalist faction in theSouthern Baptist Convention. At the heart of Bloom's American religion, and thus of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist fundamentalists, is the following understandingof the self and God.
Freedom, in the context of the American Religion, means being alone with God or withJesus, the American God or the American Christ. In social reality, this translates assolitude, at least in the inmost sense. The soul stands apart, and something deeper thanthe soul, the Real Me or self or spark, thus is made free to be utterly alone with a Godwho is also quite separate and solitary, that is a free God or God of freedom.
What makes it possible for the self and God to commune so freely is that the self already is of God; unlike body and even soul, the American self is no part of theCreation, or of evolution through the ages.
[emphasis added].
In African-American religions, Pentecostalism, "and the other peculiarly Americanvarieties of spiritual experience," one will find this "frequently terrible, sometimesbeautiful" outlook condensed into a faith. But it is especially pertinent to the "Mormonsand Southern Baptists [who] call themselves Christians, but like most Americans ... arecloser to ancient Gnostics than to early Christians." Bloom's sweep is denominationallysomewhat broader than this: most American Methodists, Roman Catholics, and evenJews and Muslims are also more Gnostic than normative in their deepest and unwariestbeliefs."Even our secularists, indeed even our professed atheists, are more Gnostic thanhumanist in their ultimate presuppositions. We are a religiously mad culture, furiouslysearching for the spirit, but each of us is subject and object of the one quest, which

Activity (8)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
TrSaj liked this
Darv Krizton liked this
smiles4her liked this
Oxony20 liked this
Oxony20 liked this
vdoan liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->