9781572331112 / 1572331119

Adventism & American Republic: Public Involvement Of Major Apocalyptic Movement


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Publisher:Univ Tennessee Press, 2001



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About the book:

Adventists made major contributions in the American legal tradition by helping expand the liberties of all Americans. Morgans careful tracing of that plot will illustrate for non-Adventists the creative role of marginal and outsider groups.from the Foreword by Martin E. Marty

While many organized religions in America today have affinity for conservative political action groups such as the Christian Coalition, Seventh-day Adventists have often found themselves allied with liberals against such measures as Sunday laws and prayer in schools. Douglas Morgan now examines the role Adventism has played in American public life and explains its positions from the standpoint of the church's historical development, showing that its relationship with public policy, government, and politics is far more complex than most historians have believed.
Adventism and the American Republic tells how their convictions led Adventist adherents to become champions of religious liberty and the separation of church and stateall in the interest of delaying the fulfillment of a prophecy that foresees the abolition of most freedoms. Through publication of Liberty magazine, lobbying of legislatures, and pressing court cases, Adventists have been libertarian activists for more than a century, and in recent times this stance has translated into strong resistance to the politcal agendas of Christian conservatives.

Drawing on Adventist writings that have never been incorporated into a scholarly study, Morgan shows how the movement has struggled successfully to maintain its identifying beliefswith some modificationsand how their sectarian exclusiveness and support of liberty has led to some tensions and inconsistencies.

Because of their overriding concern for religious freedom, Adventists have had considerable impact upon the public order in the United States. Morgan's careful study makes that impact clear and promotes a better understanding not only of the church but also of the place of religion in American politics.

Douglas Morgan is assistant professor of history at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland.

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