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    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

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Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics


Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andlt;Bandgt;As the youngest-ever andlt;/Bandgt;op-ed columnist for the andlt;Iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/Iandgt;, Ross Douthat has emerged as one of the most provocative and influential voices of his generation. In andlt;Iandgt;Bad Religion andlt;/Iandgt;he offers a masterful and hard-hitting account of how American Christianity has gone off the railsand#8212;and why it threatens to take American society with it. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Writing for an era dominated by recession, gridlock, and fears of American decline, Douthat exposes the spiritual roots of the nationand#8217;s political and economic crises. He argues that Americaand#8217;s problem isnand#8217;t too much religion, as a growing chorus of atheists have argued; nor is it an intolerant secularism, as many on the Christian right believe. Rather, itand#8217;s andlt;Iandgt;bad religion: andlt;/Iandgt;the slow-motion collapse of traditional faith and the rise of a variety of pseudo-Christianities that stroke our egos, indulge our follies, and encourage our worst impulses. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;These faiths speak from many pulpitsand#8212;conservative and liberal, political and pop cultural, traditionally religious and fashionably and#8220;spiritualand#8221;and#8212;and many of their preachers claim a Christian warrant. But they are increasingly offering distortions of traditional Christianityand#8212;not the real thing. Christianityand#8217;s place in American life has increasingly been taken over, not by atheism, Douthat argues, but by heresy: debased versions of Christian faith that breed hubris, greed, and self-absorption. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;In a story that moves from the 1950s to the age of Obama, he brilliantly charts institutional Christianityand#8217;s decline from a vigorous, mainstream, and bipartisan faithand#8212;which acted as a and#8220;vital centerand#8221; and the moral force behind the civil rights movementand#8212;through the culture wars of the 1960s and 1970s to the polarizing debates of the present day. Ranging from Glenn Beck to Barack Obama, andlt;Iandgt;Eat Pray Love andlt;/Iandgt;to Joel Osteen, and Oprah Winfrey to andlt;Iandgt;The Da Vinci Codeandlt;/Iandgt;, Douthat explores how the prosperity gospeland#8217;s mantra of and#8220;pray and grow rich,and#8221; a cult of self-esteem that reduces God to a life coach, and the warring political religions of left and right have crippled the countryand#8217;s ability to confront our most pressing challenges and accelerated American decline. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;His urgent call for a revival of traditional Christianity is sure to generate controversy, and it will be vital reading for all those concerned about the imperiled American future.

About the Author

Ross Douthat is a columnist for The New York Times op-ed page. He is the author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class and Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. Before joining the Times he was a senior editor for The Atlantic. He is the film critic for National Review, and he has appeared regularly on television, including Charlie Rose, PBS Newshour, Real Time, and The Colbert Report.

Product Details

Douthat, Ross
Free Press
Politics - General
Christianity-Church History General
BAD RELIGION douthat, ross douthat, ross douthat bad religion, ross douthat privilege, ross douthat blog
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
index; notes
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Spirituality and Wellness
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Religion » Christianity » Christian Living
Religion » Christianity » Church History » American
Religion » Christianity » Church History » General
Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Western Religions » American Religion
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

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