New Looks Liberal Christianity


As an (un)reconstructed liberal, I’m so happy to see the turn of the pendulum, as historians begin to consider that old formation, Liberal Christianity, and to see it written about in the New York Times, where it might do some good. But I still don’t understand David Hollinger’s point that liberals “may have lost Protestantism, but they won the country, establishing ecumenicalism, cosmopolitanism and tolerance as the dominant American creed.” I understand, of course, the statement as it relates to liberal cultural dominance  in the middle of the American 20th century. But I’m curious what it has to say about liberal Protestantism, and what Mark Lilla called its “stillborn God,” although  that too was perhaps prematurely announced. I’m looking forward to if, when, and how the philosophers begin to weigh in, and whether or not the critical theorists will get over that militant tick.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to New Looks Liberal Christianity

  1. adam says:

    I have no idea about the “lost protestantism” comment, however towards your larger argument I give some links:

    Historian, Matthew Hedstrom in his (Nov. 2012) book The Rise of Liberal Religion argues that Liberal Religion is on the rise and that many people had been examining the issue from the wrong perspective.

    PPRI released an excellent study finding that 1/5 Christians today identify as Liberal/Progressive and they show the rise of liberal religion:

    Scot McKnight (a Christian Theologian) on his blog today linked to an Economic Values Report that provides a breakdown of what Christianity looks like sociologically:

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