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Village Atheists

Author: Leigh Eric Schmidt
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691183112
Size: 39.58 MB
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A much-maligned minority throughout American history, atheists have been cast as a threat to the nation’s moral fabric, barred from holding public office, and branded as irreligious misfits in a nation chosen by God. Yet village atheists—as these godless freethinkers came to be known by the close of the nineteenth century—were also hailed for their gutsy dissent from stultifying pieties and for posing a necessary secularist challenge to the entanglements of church and state. In Village Atheists, Leigh Eric Schmidt explores the complex cultural terrain that unbelievers have long had to navigate in their fight to secure equal rights and liberties in American public life. He rebuilds the history of American secularism from the ground up, giving flesh and blood to these outspoken infidels. Village Atheists demonstrates that the secularist vision for the United States proved to be anything but triumphant in a country where faith and citizenship were—and still are—closely interwoven.

Godless Citizens In A Godly Republic Atheists In American Public Life

Author: Isaac Kramnick
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393254976
Size: 70.45 MB
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If the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects religious liberty, why doesn’t it protect atheists? God occupies our nation’s consciousness, even defining to many what it means to be American. Nonbelievers have often had second-class legal status and have had to fight for their rights as citizens. As R. Laurence Moore and Isaac Kramnick demonstrate in their sharp and convincing work, avowed atheists were derided since the founding of the nation. Even Thomas Paine fell into disfavor and his role as a patriot forgotten. Popular Republican Robert Ingersoll could not be elected in the nineteenth century due to his atheism, and the suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton was shunned when she questioned biblical precepts about women’s roles. Moore and Kramnick lay out this fascinating history and the legal cases that have questioned religious supremacy. It took until 1961 for the Supreme Court to ban religious tests for state officials, despite Article 6 of the Constitution. Still, every one of the fifty states continues to have God in its constitution. The authors discuss these cases and more current ones, such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., which address whether personal religious beliefs supersede secular ones. In Godless Citizens in a Godly Republic, the authors also explore the dramatic rise of an "atheist awakening" and the role of organizations intent on holding the country to the secular principles it was founded upon.

Atheist Exceptionalism

Author: Ethan G. Quillen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315278359
Size: 23.26 MB
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Due to its Constitution, and particularly to that Constitution’s First Amendment, the relationship between religion and politics in the United States is rather unusual. This is especially the case concerning the manner with which religious terminology is defined via the discourse adopted by the United States Supreme Court, and the larger American judicial system. Focusing on the religious term of Atheism, this book presents both the discourse itself, in the form of case decisions, as well as an analysis of that discourse. The work thus provides an essential introduction and discussion of both Atheism as a concept and the influence that judicial decisions have on the way we perceive the meaning of religious terminology in a national context. As a singular source on the Supreme, Circuit, and District Court cases concerning Atheism and its judicial definition, the book offers convenient access to this discourse for researchers and students. The discursive analysis further provides an original theoretical insight into how the term ‘Atheism’ has been judicially defined. As such, it will be a valuable resource for scholars of religion and law, as well as those interested in the definition and study of Atheism.

How America Met The Jews

Author: Hasia R. Diner
Publisher: SBL Press
ISBN: 1946527033
Size: 22.98 MB
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Explore how American conditions and Jewish circumstances collided in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries In this new book award-winning author Hasia R. Diner explores the issues behind why European Jews overwhelmingly chose to move to the United States between the 1820s and 1920s. Unlike books that tend to romanticize American freedom as the force behind this period of migration or that tend to focus on Jewish contributions to America or that concentrate on how Jewish traditions of literacy and self-help made it possible for them to succeed, Diner instead focuses on aspects of American life and history that made it the preferred destination for 90 percent of European Jews. Features: Examination of the realities of race, immigration, color, money, economic development, politics, and religion in America Exploration of an America agenda that sought out white immigrants to help stoke economic development and that valued religion as a force for morality

The Politics Of New Atheism

Author: Stuart McAnulla
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317198336
Size: 68.34 MB
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New atheism is best known as a literary and media phenomenon which has resulted in the widespread discussion of the anti-religious arguments of authors such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, yet it also has strongly political dimensions. This book analyses the political aspects of new atheism and offers an analysis that is informed by insights from political science and political theory. The authors locate new atheism within a diverse history of politically-oriented atheisms. It is argued the new atheist movement itself contains a considerable variety of political viewpoints, despite coalescing around forms of secularist campaigning and identity politics. New atheist views on monotheism, public life, morality and religious violence are examined to highlight both limitations and strengths in such perspectives. Conservative, feminist and Marxist responses to new atheism are also evaluated within this critical analysis. The book rejects claims that new atheism is itself a form of fundamentalism and argues that the issues it grapples with often reflect wider dilemmas in liberal-left thought which have ongoing relevance in the era of Trump and Brexit. It will be of great interest to researchers and scholars in the fields of new atheism, political atheism, secularism, non-religion, and secular-religious tensions.