Tri-Faith America and American Pluralism

[The following is a post from The Wild Hunt archives. The Wild Hunt is on hiatus through Labor Day weekend and will return with new posts on Tuesday, September 4th.]

Despite the fact that the history of the United States is incredibly well-documented, many of us labor under various misapprehensions regarding our nation’s past. This seems especially true of America’s religious history. Lately it seems as if there’s been an inundation of pundits, amateur historians, and demagogues trying to frame us into a reductive (Protestant) Christian mold, painting a picture of harmony and piety that endured until the post-60s culture wars started raging. This sort of narrative leaves little room for religious minorities and outsiders to understand their own experiences, or draw accurate lessons from history.

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Duke Divinity School professor Mark Chaves, author of  “American Religion: Contemporary Trends,” explores why a growing number of Americans are willing to say they don’t belong to a religious tradition. I recently mentioned Chaves in an earlier post about the decline of religon, and what that might mean for modern Pagan religions. British shaman/Vodou initiate Peter Aziz has been jailed for 15 months for distributing brews of ayahuasca at a retreat in 2007.

Interview: Kevin Michael Schultz on “Tri-Faith America”

Despite the fact that the history of the United States is incredibly well-documented, many of us labor under various misapprehensions regarding our nation’s past. This seems especially true of America’s religious history. Lately it seems as if there’s been an inundation of pundits, amateur historians, and demagogues trying to frame us into a reductive (Protestant) Christian mold, painting a picture of harmony and piety that endured until the post-60s culture wars started raging. This sort of narrative leaves little room for religious minorities and outsiders to understand their own experiences, or draw accurate lessons from history. While recent books by Leigh Schmidt, Chas Clifton, Courtney Bender, and others, have taken the time to explore religious perspectives outside of this paradigm, there’s still a great need to deconstruct and analyze just how our current ideas about American religiosity were formed.