Searching for God in America

Through interviews, writings, hymns, and brief histories of individuals who have shaped Americans’ religious lives, this book showcases many “spiritualities” from such figures as Jonathan Edwards, Joseph Smith Jr., Samuel Clements, William James, Black Elk, Dalai Lama, George S. Patton, and Albert Einstein.

Hewitt first presents transcriptions of a series of interviews he conducted for PBS with Chuck Colson (who tells the story of his psychological rebirth and his committed love in service to prisoners), Harold Kushner (who suggests that we must substitute service for an absent God, that freedom includes random tragedy, and that functional truth is higher than factual truth), Roberta Hestenes (who proclaims a Presbyterian social gospel in the third world as well personal peace gained from the Word and Spirit), Seyyed Hossein Nasr (in whose philosophy the secular fades, the Truth remains, and, in the alternative “science” of Islam, Sufism, world forms allow the true “hidden” to appear), and Cecil Murray (an African Methodist Episcopal pastor in Watts, who believes that social salvation is the only real salvation and presents a “Marshall Plan” for American cities).

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 36:4
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