An overview of the literature on religion as the dominant force in cultural constructions

Our two essential questions for the course are How is sport a mirror of society? How can sport be a mechanism to improve society? Sports have been an important component of American culture over the last one hundred years.

An overview of the literature on religion as the dominant force in cultural constructions

An Overview of American Transcendentalism Martin Bickman, University of Colorado Although Transcendentalism as a historical movement was limited in time from the mid s to the late s and in space to eastern Massachusetts, its ripples continue to spread through American culture.

It is easier to note its pervasive influence, though, than it is to clarify its doctrines. The fluidity and elusiveness of Transcendentalism was registered even by some of its most intelligent contemporaries.

An overview of the literature on religion as the dominant force in cultural constructions

Nathaniel Hawthorne, for example, writes: He shouted after us, but in so strange a phraseology that we knew not what he meant, nor whether to be encouraged or affrighted.

A Baltimore clergyman noted that "a new philosophy has risen, maintaining that nothing is everything in general, and everything is nothing in particular.


But while Kant emphasized the power of the mind he also stressed its limits, its inability to know reality absolutely. The Transcendentalist vision went beyond Kant in insisting that the mind can apprehend absolute spiritual truths directly without having to go through the detour of the senses, without the dictates of past authorities and institutions, and without the plodding labor of ratiocination.

In this sense particularly, it was the logical--or supralogical--extension of both the Protestant reformation and American democratic individualism. To grasp the significance of this paradigm shift, we have to understand how dominant, even hegemonic, Lockean thought was in America, and particularly at Harvard College through the s, where most of the male Transcendentalists were educated.

Here matter melded with method, since the chief instructional medium at Harvard and throughout American education was the "recitation," where knowledge was demonstrated by replicating the words of the lesson without necessarily showing any operational mastery.

So while Unitarianism was more optimistic and rationalistic than the orthodoxy it reformed, it weakened the foundation of Protestant faith by giving more authority to what happens outside the individual conscience than within it and elevating matter over spirit in shaping the mind.

The Transcendentalists, in turn, took advantage of the multiple meanings of "idealism" as both an epistemology and as a moral and social critique of the "materialism" underlying the Unitarian alliance of commercial and religious interests, an alliance called by Emerson in another generalizing pun the "Establishment," stressing its static nature, contrasted with the Transcendentalist "Movement," a word suggesting youth, flux, and novelty.

Other Subject Areas

The genius of the mind will descend, and unite with the genius of the rivers, the lakes, and the woods. Marsh, who tried to enact this vision educationally as president of the University of Vermont, added his own "Preliminary Essay," underscoring the distinction between "the understanding," that distinctly Lockean faculty of rationalizing from the senses and "the Reason," those higher intuitions valued not only by German idealists but by mystics through the ages.

He later described himself as "ecclesiastically conservative, though intellectually radical. In an Christian Examiner article, Brownson made a crucial link between the new epistemology and the limiting temporality and instrumentality of all cultural forms, including those of religion: It contracts, by the very effect of its duration, a stationary character, that refuses to follow the intellect in its discoveries, and the soul in its emotions.

Emerson stated this position most eloquently in his " Divinity School Address" of It is not one with the blowing clover and the falling rain. While these two ministers had youthful energy and wide learning on their side, they soon found themselves embattled and isolated within the institution as pulpit exchanges were refused and social pressures mounted.

Sports and Popular Culture

The controversy within the church was paralleled by another conflict between the Establishment and the Movement in the field of education. Bronson Alcottone of the few non-ministerial Transcendentalists and a self-taught teacher who had run other innovative schools in his native rural Connecticut, opened in near the Boston Common his Temple School.

Alcott translated Transcendentalism into pedagogy by having the students shape and share their own thoughts in discussions and journals, instead of rote memory and textbook recitation.

An overview of the literature on religion as the dominant force in cultural constructions

Language was seen as not simply a skill but the bridge between the individual soul and the physical and social worlds, so that lessons on vocabulary and grammar were integrated with spiritual matters.

Again, a reversion to a more primitive and protestant Christianity was seen as subversively to established Christianity. The Transcendentalists, then, lost their immediate skirmishes within the Unitarian church and the field of education, however much their ideas were later to shape both these institutions.

Hollywood and Politics - Cinema and Media Studies - Oxford Bibliographies

An alternative strategy was to extrapolate Transcendentalist ideas in a world outside these spheres, and no one did this more expansively than Margaret Fuller. She applied the notions of self-reliance and equality to gender roles in the first significant feminist essay in America, published in in The Dialthe Transcendentalist journal she edited and helped found in Later, the piece was expanded to the book Woman in the Nineteenth Century She then left New England scene completely to become first literary reviewer and then reporter on social issues for the New York Tribune, finally widening her circle even beyond America to become involved in the failed Italian revolution of and dying soon thereafter in a tragic shipwreck.

The largest organized secession, though, from Boston Unitarianism and its values was the communitarian experiment in rural living known as Brook Farminitiated by George Ripley in The goal was to unite the mind with the hand, and eliminate the corresponding invidious distinctions between classes in society.

Everyone participated in farm work and its excellent school on the premises underlined the pedagogical nature of the entire enterprise.

Despite its demise and that of the even smaller, shorter-lived Fruitlands community of Bronson Alcott, the notion of a pastoral retreat of simplicity and cooperation confronting by example the capitalist industrialism of the larger society became fixed in the American imagination.Overview The Two Wars as Historical Markers The two world wars (World War I, –, and World War II, –) bracket a period during which the United States became a fully modern nation.

of how American literature came into being. This Overview outlines four paths (there are many others) by which you can narrate the story of American litera-ture: one based on literary movements and historical change, one based on the American PassagesOverview Questions, one based on Contexts, and one based on multiculturalism.

promoted the dominant ideology, constructing viewers as passive consumers of dominant norms and consumer behavior. On Adorno and Horkheimer’s model of the cultural industries, the standardized formats of mass-produced media genres imposed predictable experiences on audiences and helped produce a homogenized mass consciousness and society.

Culture and Redemption is a book of moment, and readers will find Fessenden's treatment of secularism and American literature eye opening." --Jeffrey D. Groves, Journal of Church and State. The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture [Stephen Mansfield] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

This engaging, hard-hitting overview of Mormon beliefs and history illuminates one of the most critical issues in the race: WHAT DOES THE RISING Reviews: Chinese Religion: An Overview.

In Lindsay Jones, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion, Lu was a state in which the old Zhou cultural traditions were strong but that was buffeted both by repeated invasions and by local power struggles. These factors, combined with innovations in literature, art, philosophy, religion, science, and technology.

Religion and the US South | Southern Spaces