Historian Questions America's Voluntary Tradition ~ Praxis Habitus - On Race Religion & Culture

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Historian Questions America's Voluntary Tradition

Thanks to Religion in American History blog, I caught an interesting interview with Historian Johann N. Neem on the relationship between religion and the emergence of democratic ideals of the American Republic.

Are joining and volunteering a "natural outgrowth" of the American Revolution?

According to Neem, "Freedom of association is in a sense the embodiment of a failure of a certain kind of revolutionary hope."

And church leaders were part of the process of discouraging orienting with the interests of the state.

Naeem says, "Increasingly church
leaders said less we need an alliance with the state, in fact that is a handicap. What we need is to convert people and then mobilize those people.

"Some of the most mobilized Americans in the 1820s and 1830s were Evangelicals coming out of these churches."

For more, add Neem's new book Creating a Nation of Joiners: Democracy and Civil Society in Early National Massachusetts to your summer reading list.

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