Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday morning godless heathen post

On Sunday mornings more American go to church than in any other advanced democracy worldwide, but the standard narrative of Religious Right is that the country is becoming godless, and that Christianity is under attack. But did you know that in the 1770s only 17% Americans were church-goers? I didn't until I happened to listen to this interesting interview with Prof. Gary Wills of Northwestern University in the U.S. He points out that America was really at its least religious at its founding and that religious observance has increased in waves ever since, although interestingly there has always been a secular push-back after each of these evangelical waves. It's worth a listen if you are interested in the role of religion in state formation and politics (the 17% quote about 5 minutes into the interview).

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