Chapter

Vietnam and the Ethics of Disenchantment

Amanda Porterfield

in The Transformation of American Religion

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780195131376
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834570 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195131371.003.0004
Vietnam and the Ethics of Disenchantment

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Disillusion with American culture became widespread during the Vietnam War as protesters condemned the immorality of the war and the military industrial establishment that supported it, and supporters of the war condemned the protesters. A sense of moral and spiritual disenchantment accompanied these culture wars, along with widespread criticism of American claims to being a nation chosen by God. In addition to describing the end of “victory culture,” and the dismantling of stereotypical distinctions between good cowboys and bad Indians, this chapter points to the important contributions made to American society by the civil rights movement. This discussion of civil rights focuses on the influence of the school of religious thought known as personalism on Martin Luther King Jr. and its linkages to long‐standing American trends of religious individualism.

Keywords: civil rights movement; cowboys; culture wars; disenchantment; Martin Luther King Jr; military industrial establishment; personalism; victory culture; Vietnam War

Chapter.  14016 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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