Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Religious Revival of the 1950s Essay
After the Statesns endured two decades of continuous depression, fight and crisis through and through the 1930s and 40s, they sought a re tip over to normalcy and longed to contract on the more private details of existence. Instead of body political objectives, the patch concentrated on family, home, and career, while becoming increasingly absorbed in devotion.As the 1950s saw America in a farming of national exhaustion, religion-in-general experienced a surge in popularity. Many deprecative views were silenced or ignored as people became more evaluate of a wide variety of beliefs. While the revival was unexpected and unstructured, approximately(prenominal) events fue direct the movement.World War II left the country scare off and drained. During the four seemingly-endless years of conflict, al virtually all churches had rallied behind the war effort. Post-war America a burst in prosperity, and with this sustain, churches expanded. Church attendance soared while their purpose and goals shifted. As all denominations gained a more powerful voice, they apply it to accession their role in society. In 1950, several of the oldest Protestant denominations formed the internal Council of Churches in order to improve relations with the government, encourage interchurch connections, and set ahead projects such as Bible translation.1 This organization in addition helped to do out-of-door with the harsh attitudes and antagonism aimed at Catholicism after the war. Toleration and word meaning seemed to be the key to deepened communication between both church and submit as well and Protestants and Catholics.Following World War II, an era cognise as the Cold War shook American faith in the possibility of a peaceful nation. A war with the Soviet union looming overhead, the threat of a communist takeover, and the potential for nuclear disaster move Americans rushing to churches in part to find a sense of constancy and security. Survey data shows that C hurch attendance reached an all-time high 49% of the American population in the mid-1950s2 while nearly 96% claimed ties to some ghostlike affiliation or another.3 Religion helped them cope with the uncertainty of having to stop one of two opposing ways of life a poverty-stricken, war torn country, or a thriving, peaceful nationwith an scrimping to support their growing families.Beneath the surface of mainstream optimism due(p) to the booming economy, Americas crises with other countries instilled a sense of urgency worrying salvation. Moral values became slimly self-indulgent, and self-absorption became characteristic of the ghostlike movement, explaining in part the lack of conflict due to varying beliefs.While foreign affairs helped to shape religion in the 1950s, it was perhaps the more informal electronic networks that anchored public interest and in turn became more influential.A small organization called the National Association of Evangelicals, founded in 1942, unite d several theological groups in an effort to spread the cognitive content of the gospels. They promoted such campaigns as that of Billy Graham, perhaps the virtually popular revivalist in American history. Graham both warned the nation of the peril they go about due to communism and failing American foreign constitution, while in any case providing them an escape through salvation in Jesus Christ. His combination of religion and public concern set Protestants to action in the effort to be spatial relations America. His rallies attracted crowds upwards of a half million in the mid-1950s.4Another man offered a much more relaxed message concerning ones role in society in relationship to religion. Norman Vincent Peale, a subgenus Pastor from the Reformed Church of America who pastored a church in rude(a) York City, preached to large crowds using psychological, therapeutic, and scriptural elements.5 Peale encouraged people to employ their faith and visualize how they wanted to li ve their lives in order to get hold of their goals. This approach to religion caused many to call him the rich mans Billy Graham.6 He wrote the book The Power of Positive Thinking, in 1952. Positive thinking eased the minds of Americans who remained uncertain about war with the Soviet Union and the permanence of economic expansion in the states.Catherine Wood marshal also wrote a book offering realistic insight and righteous inspiration. Women were contributing more flat to public life inthe 1950s, and when her husband, curate Peter Marshall, died, she gathered his journals and sermons to publish A Man Called Peter.Not all were women writing religious books, but Post-war America saw women entering the ministry. Women had make up the majority of members in church congregations for centuries, but few denominations had accept them as malarkeyers before the 50s. Conservative churches limited lead to Bible studies and social programs, but many major denominations joined the Quake rs and Pentecostals in ordaining them as ministers.With an endless reserve of new students and a thriving economy to fall back on, theological schools flourished. Seminaries and other Bible-based schools saw record enrollment. red-hot faculty was added and new areas of study were introduced into the curriculum. Most of these schools became part of the evangelical enterprise, with change of location ministers or radio broadcasts, like those of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. These schools sought to guide the church leaders of the future while also creating a positive public image for evangelism and religious education.With these new advancements in the Protestant and Catholic churches, also came the growth of other religions. A network called the Beat Movement connected young writers who demonstrated a care-free, frequently reckless approach to both literature and religion. They joined small religious communities called ashrams, where Eastern religions, including Hinduism, D aoism, and Zen Buddhism were explored. Meditation and yoga were widely practiced. Like other groups of their time, they used their religious beliefs as a social stance. Their opposition to government policy and their desire to separate themselves from mainstream social activity was somewhat explicit in their religious preferences.These movements and individuals of the 1950s have all altered the America in which we live today. One of the most obvious changes that is so often miss was the adjustment of the Pledge of Allegiance. In 1954, following a crusade led by the Knights of Columbus,(a Catholic mens society), Congress added the words under God. Their desire was for the engagement to serve both as a patriotic oath and a public prayer.7 Politicians, however, argue to this day about the constitutionality of endorsing religion in the nations pledge. Many of these decisions were made before there was substantial concern surrounding the relationship between church and state, and how m uch each side should be involved in the other.At the selfsame(prenominal) time in Washington, after President Eisenhower was elected, the prayer way of life and the prayer breakfast were set up in the Capitol building. Then in 1955, with the support of the president, Congress added the words In God We Trust to all paper currency. One year later, the same phrase replaced E Pluribus Unum as the nations official motto. Legislators even began to submit constitutive(a) amendments that ordered Americans to obey the authority and law of Jesus Christ.The government directly render the revival in the 1950s, and the American public fell deeper and deeper into their get interests all the while believing what is good for ones bear private interest is good for all,8 as was mentioned to the country by General Motors Charles E. Wilson. National needs began to fall by the wayside as personal improvement took over top priority in the American household. Still, spiritual rebirth was the topic o f concern in the minds of the American people. southern revivalism got a boost with the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. Thousands of black and white Americans resembling took part in the movement for justice. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, attend by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sought to end racial segregation and was fueled by Christian ideals rather than political agenda. Dr. King, a Southern Baptist minister, lead the non-violent undertaking, which lead to a civil rights movement that extended well into the 60s and 70s. He urged Americans to stand up for justice, stand up for truth.9Americans felt a sense of moral responsibility in the 1950s. The revival of the decade, if nothing else, proved there was a civil religion in the nation. Most Americans at the time put faith in four basic points. First, the existence of God second, a life to set about third, they would be rewardedfor the good and punished for their sinful actions and lastly, that there was no room for religious intolerance if there was to be peace in the nation.10A change in the religious tone of the country was perhaps most evident in Washington. Even the government and its leaders recognized a higher law, and evidence of their dedication to the fusion of religious principles and democratic ideals is evident still today. They believed that a nation with strong values and beliefs would lead to a responsible social system, a strong sense of patriotism and green ideals around which to base strong communities. Such beliefs created an atmosphere that encouraged religious pluralism and as a result the 1950s saw some of the most rapid spiritual growth in American history to date.