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Prophesies of Godlessness – Predictions of America's Iminent Secularization from the Puritans to Postmodernity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Prophesies of Godlessness: Predictions of America's Iminent Secularization from the Puritans to Postmodernity

Charles T Mathewes and Christopher McKnight Nichols


This book explores the surprisingly similar expectations of religious and moral change voiced by major American thinkers from the time of the Puritans to modern times. These predictions of “godlessness” in American society — sometimes by those favoring the foreseen future, sometimes by those fearing it — have a history as old as America, and indeed seem crucially intertwined with it. This book shows that there have been and continue to be patterns to these prophesies. They determine how some people perceive and analyze America's prospective moral and religious future, how they express themsel ... More

Keywords: Puritans, moral change, prophesies, techno-utopias, secularization, the good society, religious change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195342536
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342536.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Charles T Mathewes, editor
Author Webpage

Christopher McKnight Nichols, editor
Author Webpage

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Introduction: Prophesies of Godlessness

Christopher McKnight Nichols and Charles Mathewes

1 Puritans and Revolution

Wilson N. Brissett

2 The Early Republic

Johann N. Neem

3 The Romantic Era

Matthew Mutter

4 The Civil War

Wayne Wei‐siang Hsieh

5 After the Civil War

Andrew Witmer

6 The Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Christopher McKnight Nichols

7 World War I and After

Kevin M. Schultz

9 The Sixties

Slavica Jakelić

10 The Seventies and Eighties

Joseph E. Davis and David Franz

Conclusion: Prophesies, in Retrospect and Prospect

Christopher McKnight Nichols and Charles Mathewes

End Matter