19. R. Laurence Moore, History

Touchdown Jesus: Mixing of Sacred and Secular in American History (Westminster John Knox Press, 2003). In Western history, efforts to differentiate church and state have always been approximate. Kings meddled in church affairs, and churchmen filled the state bureaucracies. Moore presents an analysis of the mixing of scared and secular in American history, a story complicated by the Constitution’s famous separation of church and state. The wish of many Americans to involve God in football games begins a series of historical reflections about how American religions of whatever type have tried to use faith to accomplish public work. The controversies are endless. Still, the God of most Americans has been a God who can be roused to social and sometimes political action.

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