American Piety: The Nature of Religious Commitment (Patterns by Rodney Stark, Charles Y. Glock

American Piety: The Nature of Religious Commitment (Patterns by Rodney Stark, Charles Y. Glock

By Rodney Stark, Charles Y. Glock

How non secular are american citizens nowadays? what number nonetheless think in God, in Biblical miracles, in heaven and hell? Do humans pray? how much cash is being given to church buildings, by way of Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and different teams? American Piety, the 1st of a three-volume research of spiritual dedication, solutions those and a number of alternative questions on the modern non secular scene. fairly startling are the contrasts in ideals, practices, and reviews printed one of the 11 significant Christian denominations whose club is compared.

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Probably no parents paid their children more attention than the Quakers. Believing that their progeny lived somewhere between Adam’s sin and Christ’s seed, they rejected Puritan predestination and embraced an environmental perspective; it was up to them to make sure that their children saw the Light. Admonished to intervene vigorously but never impulsively, always tenderly so as not to provoke the tender souls to wrath, Quaker parents were constantly restrained by reason and moderation. qxd 4/25/02 3:12 PM Page 31 European American Childhood 31 to their children, thus forsaking inheritance as a tool of control.

To some historians it appears that they played games which stemmed from their dawning recognition of their enslaved condition: “whipping” and “auction” perhaps provided ways of acting out so as to neutralize the real events. This interpretation is challenged by the observation that whipping games, for example, are universal. Certainly slave children saw their parents (but not their white peers) beaten, and their parents in turn beat them—whether because this was traditional practice or to prepare them for their adults lives.

In his view, owners were too powerful and parents too subjugated for slave children to look anywhere but toward the owner for status and self-esteem. 17 Quite to the contrary, Wilma King asserts that slave parents were able to show their children “how to forge a balance between social courtesies to whites and their own self-esteem,” while Marie Jenkins Schwartz argues that slave parents were always strong enough to negotiate with owners and taught their children through the example of their refusal to follow orders from owners.

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