american cultural syncretism


The first task is to disentangle the life and identify of the church from the life and identify of American society. The neo-Anabaptists are right about the problems that attend the close association of the two. As it applies to the Constantinian associations of the church with the nation-state and political economy, their criticisms are mostly correct and little more needs to be added. For conservatives and progressives alike, Christianity far too comfortably legitimates the dominant political ideologies and far too uncritically justifies the prevailing macroeconomic structures and practices of our time. What is wrong with their critique is that it doesn’t go far enough, for the moral life and everyday social practices of the church are also far too entwined with the prevailing normative assumptions of American culture. Courtship and marriage, the formation and education of children, the mutual relationships and obligations, between the individual and community, vocation, leadership, consumption, leisure, “retirement” and the use of time in the final chapters of life–on these and other matters, Christianity has uncritically assimilated to the dominant ways of life in a manner dubious at the least. Even more, these assimilations arguably compromise the fundamental integrity of its witness to the world.

To Change the World, pp.184-185 by James Davidson Hunter

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About hypkip

married, follower of Jesus, teacher of the Holy Book View all posts by hypkip

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