Though the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, it does not specify what qualifies as a religion. From its founding in the 1830s, Mormonism, a homegrown American faith, has drawn thousands of converts but far more critics. In A Peculiar People, J. Spencer Fluhman offers a comprehensive history of anti-Mormon thought and the associated passionate debates about religious authenticity in 19th-century America. He argues that understanding anti-Mormonism provides critical insight into the American psyche because Mormonism became a potent symbol around which ideas about religion and the state took shape. Fluhman documents how Mormonism was defamed, with attacks often aimed at polygamy, and shows how the new faith supplied a social enemy for a public agitated by the popular press and wracked with social and economic instability. Taking the story to the turn of the century, Fluhman demonstrates how Mormonism’s own transformations, the result of both choice and outside force, sapped the strength of the worst anti-Mormon vitriol, triggering the acceptance of Utah into the Union in 1896 and also paving the way for the dramatic, yet still grudging, acceptance of Mormonism as an American religion. J. Spencer Fluhman is assistant professor of history at Brigham Young University. 1. Language: English. Narrator: John Pruden. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/005216/bk_blak_005216_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
For much of Western history, belief in God was taken for granted. As society has grown more secular, however, people have increasingly expressed disbelief in God. Today, a quarter of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, many of whom identify as atheists and agnostics. As the number of atheists has grown, so too have debates around the legitimacy of religion. Too often, these debates become embroiled in vitriol and personal attacks. And even those that take a more civil approach often focus on proving or disproving God´s existence rather than fostering dialogue. This audio course presents balanced ways for believers and non-believers to engage in thoughtful conversations with each other. Presented by Joseph Godfrey, a leading professor on the philosophy of religion, these lectures are both analytical and sensitive. You will explore the different forms of atheism and scientific theories used to support the nonexistence of God. You´ll also delve into classic texts by atheists (Nietzsche, Sartre, Marx) as well as insights about atheism from Christians like Aquinas, Karl Rahner, and John Hick. As you grapple with the complex questions that arise from these thinkers and texts, you will gain a deeper understanding of evidential arguments against God while also considering how such evidence does not necessarily block paths to belief. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Fr. Joseph J. Godfrey SJ PhD. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/nykm/000325/bk_nykm_000325_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.