Book

Kingdom to Commune

Patricia Appelbaum

Published by University of North Carolina Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780807832677
Published online September 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781469605975
Kingdom to Commune

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American religious pacifism is usually explained in terms of its practitioners' ethical and philosophical commitments. This book argues that Protestant pacifism, which constituted the religious center of the large-scale peace movement in the United States after World War I, is best understood as a culture that developed dynamically in the broader context of American religious, historical, and social currents. Exploring piety, practice, and material religion, it describes a surprisingly complex culture of Protestant pacifism expressed through social networks, iconography, vernacular theology, individual spiritual practice, storytelling, identity rituals, and cooperative living. Between World War I and the Vietnam War, the book contends, a paradigm shift took place in the Protestant pacifist movement. Pacifism moved from a mainstream position to a sectarian and marginal one, from an embrace of modernity to skepticism about it, and from a Christian center to a purely pacifist one, with an informal, flexible theology. The book begins and ends with biographical profiles of two very different pacifists, Harold Gray and Marjorie Swann. Their stories distill the changing religious culture of American pacifism revealed in the book.

Keywords: religious pacifism; Protestant pacifism; social networks; iconography; vernacular theology; spiritual practice; identity rituals; pacifist movement

Book.  344 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Kingdom to Commune

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“Character ‘Bad’” in Kingdom to Commune

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From YMCA to CPS in Kingdom to Commune

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The Protestant Heart in Kingdom to Commune

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The Pacifist Vernacular in Kingdom to Commune

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Performing Pacifism in Kingdom to Commune

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Swords and Plowshares in Kingdom to Commune

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“The Practice of the Presence” in Kingdom to Commune

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Training for Peace in Kingdom to Commune

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Milking Goats for Peace in Kingdom to Commune

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