A City Upon a Hill: How Sermons Changed the Course of American History

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9780061338120: A City Upon a Hill: How Sermons Changed the Course of American History

The Words That Stirred a Nation

From colonial times to the present, from Abraham Lincoln to Billy Graham, the sermon has been the dynamic medium through which America conducts its most important debates, motivating us to fight wars as well as fight for peace and ultimately defining the course of our history. A City Upon a Hill tells the American story through these powerful words, showing us at our best—and sometimes at our worst.

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From the Back Cover:

The Puritan founder John Winthrop preached about ?a city upon a hill, ? Abraham Lincoln's two greatest speeches have been called ?sermons on the mount, ? and Martin Luther King's ?I Have A Dream? oration is nothing if not a sermon. Not only can the history of the United States be told through its reflection in the landmark sermons preached from its pulpits and in front of its memorials, but in fact it was often the sermon that inspired and helped define American history. Between the colonization of America and the terrorist attacks of September 2001, the sermon has both shaped America's self-understanding and reflected both sides of its most important social, political, military, and philosophical debates. That is the story of A City Upon a Hill: How the Sermon Made America, a narrative history of events, people, and ideas, showing us at our best--and sometimes at our worst. The book will cover American history from 1606 to 2001, building links between the pulpit and politics, between preachers and presidents, between sermons and historical events.

About the Author:

Larry Witham is the author of The Measure of God, Where Darwin Meets the Bible, and By Design: Science and the Search for God. As a journalist, he has won the Religion Communicators Council's Wilbur Award three times and has received several prizes from the Religion Newswriters Association as well as a Templeton Foundation award for his articles on science and religion.

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