Page Smith, the distinguished American historian, in Rediscovering Christianity confronts the United States of the 1990s as a society fractured by the dissolution of the family, adrift in a sea of moral and intellectual disarray, and crippled by theMorePage Smith, the distinguished American historian, in Rediscovering Christianity confronts the United States of the 1990s as a society fractured by the dissolution of the family, adrift in a sea of moral and intellectual disarray, and crippled by the alienation of its young.
Tracing Christian thought through Western history, Smith looks to see if it might have any solutions to offer to our present malaise. Pulling the idea of two distinct and separate cities of God and man from Augustines The City of God, Smith molds the concept around history to discuss exactly where and when man began to stray from the basic Christian values of faith, unity, and spirituality. Tracing the two cities from the Roman Empire to the present day, we are able to see ourselves far off the path, lost in a quagmire of consumerism, decadence, and overindulgence.
The road Smith travels begins in Rome with the preachings of Jesus and moves onward through the collapse of the Roman Empire. After detailing the tenets of Christian philosophy, he moves past Rome, geographically north, on a stimulating historical adventure through Europe and the philosophies of Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, John Winthrop, and Descartes, among others.
As the centuries toll on, Christianity, plagued with corruption, exclusivity, usury, and blind worship, prompts the pure of spirit toward America, searching for an unsullied faith unavailable in Europe. In an examination of the political and religious origins of democracy in America, Smith contrasts the humble, and largely holy, motives of earlier generations of Americans, with the capitalistic ones that seem so prevalent today.
Page Smith separates Christianity from the tangled web of capitalism and calls for a return to values of decency, generosity, and piety, which have been with us since the beginning of time. By looking back through the past, he gives us a vision of a new future, for without it society [will] slip into a kind of hell of selfishness and self indul