« Brian Leiter T-shirts | Main | Theater as a Woman's World »

January 30, 2006


John M. Kang

Hmmm.... with regard to the statement, "incompatibility of fervent religious faith with 'the American tradition ... [of] skepticism [and] rebellion,'" I guess I was always under the impression that the ethos of rebellion and the spirit of skepticism in our country was less in opposition to religion than significantly derivative of it.

Young America was a deeply religious country during the revolution and it correspondingly harbored a skepticism that drew powerfully from faith, rather than denouncing it. I wonder if the familiar fear that religion stands in opposition (or tension) with rebellion or skepticism derives more from the French experience of enlightenment liberalism.... Voltaire's comment about: "Let's strangle the last king with the last priest's guts".....

Also, not to beat a dead horse, but there is that Weber thesis about the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism and its concomitant dedication to skepticism and individual rights.... I know the book has been beaten down over and over but I tend to think there's more historical support for it than its critics think.

And as for contemporary examples, what about the fervent faith and skepticism and rebellious spirit of the anti-slavery movement, the temperance movement, the civil rights movemts of the 1960s, the....

Spelling Nazi

Ahem. They are homophones, but the word you're searching for is populace (meaning people of a place), not populous (meaning having a lot of people).


I obviously need to take lessons from Jennifer's son. See post on "Unexpected Conversational Turns."

The comments to this entry are closed.