- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsessionby Richard Wightma Fox
"Fox writes as both a historian and a Catholic. The result is an extraordinary blend of historical sophistication, theological discrimination, and spiritual understanding. Fox is interested in living faith rather than in cultural construct, in remarkable occurrences rather than in cultural norms. His Jesus, while very much a creature of history, still evades history's snares. For Fox, faith can be a marvel; stupid, dreadful, blindered at times, easily taken hostage to cupidity, narcissism, and savage righteousness, but also splendid, luminous." Christine Stansell, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic reveiw)
Synopses & Reviews
Where else but America do people ask: What Would Jesus Do?
"This book is for believers and non-believers alike. It is not a book about whether one should believe in Jesus, but about how Americans have believed in and portrayed him." — from the Introduction
Jesus in America is a comprehensive exploration of the vital role that the figure of Jesus has played throughout American history. Written by one of our most distinguished historians, Richard Wightman Fox, this book provides a brilliant cultural history of Jesus in America from its origins to today, demonstrating how Jesus is the most influential symbolic figure in our history.
Benjamin Franklin understood Jesus as a wise man worthy of imitation. Thomas Jefferson regarded him as a moral teacher. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln, which occurred on Good Friday, was popularly interpreted as paralleling the crucifixion of Jesus ... as one preacher put it, "Jesus Christ died for the world, Abraham Lincoln died for his country." Elizabeth Cady Stanton appropriated Jesus' message to champion women's rights. George W. Bush named Jesus as his favorite political philosopher — and several other GOP candidates followed suit — during the last presidential race. As we have seen in recent presidential elections, the name of Jesus is often thrust into the center of political debates, and many Americans regularly enlist Jesus, their ultimate arbiter of value, as the standard-bearer for their views and causes.
Fox shows how Jesus influenced such major turning points in American history as:
Fox gives an expert, lively account of all the ways that Jesus is portrayed and understood in American culture. Extensively illustrated with images representing the multitude of American views of Jesus, Jesus in America reveals how fully and deeply Jesus is ingrained in the American experience.
"Fox...does a very serviceable job of explaining why pollsters say Americans rank Jesus as the 'thirteenth greatest American of all time.'" Publishers Weekly
"An elegant and powerful history by one of the great scholars of American culture, deeply researched and deeply felt." Robert Orsi, Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America, Harvard University
"Fox delivers a grand history of the multiple incarnations of Jesus in American culture." Leigh E. Schmidt, Professor of Religion, Princeton University
A comprehensive, illustrated cultural history of how Jesus has been understood and worshipped in the United States from its origins to the present.
About the Author
Richard Wightman Fox, Ph.D., has taught American intellectual and cultural history, with an emphasis on religion, at Yale, Reed, and Boston University. He recently returned home to Los Angeles to a prestigious teaching position in the history department of the University of Southern California. He is the author of Trials of Intimacy and Reinhold Niebuhr: A Biography.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like