Displacing the Divine: The Minister in the Mirror of by Douglas Alan Walrath

By Douglas Alan Walrath

As non secular leaders, ministers are usually assumed to include the religion of the establishment they symbolize. As cultural symbols, they replicate refined alterations in society and belief-specifically people's conception of God and the evolving position of the church. For greater than 40 years, Douglas Alan Walrath has tracked altering styles of trust and church participation in American society, and his learn has printed a very interesting development: portrayals of ministers in American fiction replicate altering perceptions of the Protestant church and a Protestant God.

From the novels of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who portrays ministers as trustworthy Calvinists, to the works of Herman Melville, who demanding situations Calvinism to its very middle, Walrath considers various fictional ministers, together with Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegon Lutherans and Gail Godwin's girls clergy. He identifies a variety of kinds: non secular misfits, harsh Puritans, incorrigible scoundrels, secular businessmen, perpetrators of oppression, sufferers of trust, prudent believers, phony preachers, reactionaries, and social activists. He concludes with the trendy legacy of 19th- and early-twentieth-century pictures of ministers, which highlights the continuing demanding situations that skepticism, secularization, and technology have delivered to present day non secular leaders and fictional opposite numbers. Displacing the Divine bargains a unique come across with social switch, giving the reader entry, during the intimacy and humanity of literature, to the evolving personality of an American tradition.

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