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Religion and Politics ch1


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  • I liked your article. However, people tend to forget that in the past some Christian religions were trying to focus on the purest form of Christianity found in the Bible. They were trying to reestablish what was recorded there. Others tried to exploit political connections for personal profit.
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Religion and Politics ch1

  1. 1. RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERIMENT Chapter 1 The American Experiment in Historical Context
  2. 2. American Founders  The American founders created their experiment in religious liberty on more than a century and a half of colonial experience.  The Bible  Martyred prophets of religious liberty in the West  European theologians and philosophers  Historical counterexamples
  3. 3. The First Millennium  In the first three centuries of its existence, the Christian church was largely isolate from official Roman society.  After the conversion of Emperor Constantine in 312, the Roman authorities began to tolerate Christian beliefs and practices.  In 380, Trinitarian Christianity was legally established as the official state religion.
  4. 4. The First Millennium  The new form of church-state relations in Christian Rome gave rise to a variety of new Christian political theories.  This system of tempered imperial or royal rule within the church largely continued in the West after the Roman Empire fell in the fifth century.
  5. 5. The Papal Revolution  Church-state relations were turned upside down after 1050.  Pope Gregory VII and his successors declared the Catholic Church to be an independent and superior legal and political authority of Western Christendom.  The church’s canon law made regular use of the concept of individual and corporate rights.
  6. 6. The Protestant Revolution  The Reformation, inaugurated by Martin Luther’s famous posting of the Ninety-Five Theses in 1517, began as a call for religious freedom.  The Protestant Reformation broke the unity of Western Christendom and eventually laid the foundation for the modern Western system of religious pluralism.
  7. 7. The Protestant Reformation  The Lutheran Reformation territorialized the faith.  The Anglican Reformation nationalized the faith.  The Anabaptist Reformation communalized the faith.  The Calvinist Reformation congregationalized the faith.
  8. 8. Religious Establishment versus Religious Freedom  The Reformation catalyzed both religious warfare and persecution and corresponding movements toward religious freedom.  Each competing religious polity had its own preferred forms and norms of religious governance.  France and England were not able to balance religious establishment with religious toleration.
  9. 9. Colonization and Experimentation  The rival religious and political groups in early modern Europe were projected in part onto the New World.  Rulers from various European nations extended their regimes across the world.  The most prominent colonizers were the British.
  10. 10. Colonial America  Colonial America was not only a frontier for European establishments but also a haven for European dissenters.  Maryland in 1633 was an experiment in Catholic and Protestant coexistence, founded by the Catholic leader Lord Baltimore.  The “holy experiment” in religious liberty instituted by Quaker leader William Penn in Pennsylvania was inspirational and controversial.
  11. 11. Colonial America  Fifty years after the founding of Pennsylvania, England set up its thirteenth colony in America – Georgia.  Georgia was a home for European religious misfits.  The eighteenth-century American experiment in religious freedom was both very old and very new.