One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History

10 Nov

One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History

One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History

Peter Manseau

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 031610003X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A groundbreaking new look at the story of America

At the heart of the nation's spiritual history are audacious and often violent scenes. But the Puritans and the shining city on the hill give us just one way to understand the United States. Rather than recite American history from a Christian vantage point, Peter Manseau proves that what really happened is worth a close, fresh look.

Thomas Jefferson himself collected books on all religions and required that the brand new Library of Congress take his books, since Americans needed to consider the "twenty gods or no god" he famously noted were revered by his neighbors. Looking at the Americans who believed in these gods, Manseau fills in America's story of itself, from the persecuted "witches" at Salem and who they really were, to the persecuted Buddhists in WWII California, from spirituality and cults in the '60s to the recent presidential election where both candidates were for the first time non-traditional Christians.

One Nation, Under Gods shows how much more there is to the history we tell ourselves, right back to the country's earliest days. Dazzling in its scope and sweep, it is an American history unlike any you've read.




















stages of adolescence. Following the visitor’s lecture on Hindu mythology, she excitedly wrote a letter, in her tidy hand, to the favorite of her four nephews: My Dear Waldo, I have been fortunate this week to find a Visitor here from India, well versed in its literature and theology. He showed us some fine representations of the incarnation of Vishnoo. They are much akin to Greecian fable—and from his representation I believe the incarnations to be much like the doctrine of transmigration. At

other religious faiths are represented, in order to make it easier to maintain the cemetery and to limit the cost to some extent.” After shrugging off a few more questions concerning budgetary matters, and about the memorial practices at various American military cemeteries around the world, Rogers deployed an argument that she may have suspected would be her most persuasive in the political climate of the day. She had received a great many letters, she explained, from constituents who “state

all of them (as far as I could ever learn) of human shape.” Needless to say, neither Weld nor any man was ever present at Hutchinson’s laboring bedside. For her supposed crimes, Anne Hutchinson was brought to trial at the General Court at Newton, the highest in authority in Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1637. Performing the interrogation of this one woman were Governor Winthrop as Chair of the Court, the Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley, five assistants, and five other deputies. Also in attendance

and religious tradition wherever it proved effective. It was not merely the custom of one set of heathens—it was the custom of nearly all of them. In a time and place when even earthquakes were treated as unalterable divine judgment, the suggestion that one could counteract the obvious will of God was blasphemy at best, demonic at worst. Manipulation of the physical world went far beyond the sin of telling the future. The latter simply hoped to know what Providence had in store for humanity; the

scheme for such a Union and be able to execute it in such a manner, as that it has subsisted Ages, and appears indissoluble, and yet a like Union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies.” The printer’s name, of course, was Benjamin Franklin, earliest architect of the union between the states. When he published the account of the Lancaster Treaty in 1744, the question he later posed would be put before the American reading public for the first time. If the nations of Indians

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