Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The End is Near...

Since tropical storm Edouard interrupted one class, we'll have to revise and improvise here at the end.

So, on Thursday we'll cover post-1960s American religious history including several key religious figures of the 1970s, the rise of the Religious Right, the resurgence (or rather the more visible) of the Religious Left, and then American religion in the 21st century.

I'll abbreviate my discussion of Lonnie Frisbee, perhaps the most famous Christian hippie preacher you've never heard of. David Di Sabatino put together a wonderful documentary, so you'll want to check out the website. Frisbee's life, ministry and significance in some ways still present the Religious Right (or what's left of it) with some challenges. In certain ways, as you will see, the spiritual manifestations present with Frisbee's preaching bring us full circle in terms of discussing popular religion and lived religion.

On Thursday we'll also spend some time talking about Jim Jones. His story began with such promise as he preached racial equality and (in essence) socialism in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s but ended dismally and tragically in 1978. I was only a year old when "it" happened, but ask your parents and they maybe can offer some memories of it. A new PBS documentary captures the triumphs, tensions, and tragedies of Jonestown. And here's an interesting site put together by some Rice students.

Finally, you should be well under way composing your final paper and putting together your PowerPoint presentation. We'll touch base and you can give a status report on Thursday, since it is due a week later on 8/14.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to discover and read about figures like Lonnie Frisbee who demonstrated behavior that was similar to that of the stereotypical hippies of the 60s and 70s, but also very different.It is rare that religion is ever associated with the hippie movement, especially Christianity. But, in some ways, people might use their religious views and assertions as a way to combat the movement, which meant radical social and political changes and support from all types of citizens. It seems that in some cases the saying "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" could definitely be applied.But, as in Frisbee's case, this does not hold true, as he was very unique in that he was a self-proclaimed prophet and minister who was in private, a homosexual, which eventually became known to the public and to the church, which led to his firing.