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Individualism

"The individualistic gospel has taught us to see the sinfulness of every human heart and has inspired us with faith in the willingness and power of God to save every soul that comes to him. But it has not given us an adequate understanding of the sinfulness of the social order and its share in the sins of all individuals within it. It has not evoked faith in the will and power of God to redeem the permanent institutions of human society from their inherited guilt of oppression and extortion."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 5


"The restless Puritan impulse to build paradise and their obsession with their own piety and redemption remain in white supremacist culture in the United States. Preoccupied with its own needs and anxieties, it tends to regard those it oppresses and exploits as important only insofar as they can play a role in a script in which whites are the main characters. Locked within a biblically based master narrative, white society embraces African, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Native Americans as instruments of judgment and as agents of absolution. However, those shaped by such a culture tend to be primarily concerned with the state of their own souls—their guilt and their longing to be restored to innocence and their need to believe in their own goodness."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 376


"Theosis was a collective activity of the whole church community—embodied in love, which is always a social reality and never an individual achievement. Like the interactions of teaching and learning, theosis was a group process. Individual commitment and effort were required, but the divinization of humanity was realized in the common good, not in private salvation."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 178


"Romanticism cultivated a reverence for the individual. It eschewed the Enlightenment focus on universals for a focus on particularities. The romantic movement highlighted the differences, as opposed to the similarities, between peoples."    - Kelly Douglas Brown ; Stand Your Ground; Black Bodies and the Justice of God (p. 16)


"More embedded in popular Christianity are the hermeneutics of privatism. Fundamentalists and modern existentialists may be philosophically antagonistic, but they share in an essential commitment to approaching the text [Bible] with concerns about the individual's search for, respectively, 'holiness' and 'authentic existence.' Conversion is a fundamentally individual affair. The 'personal Savior' of American evangelicalism is domesticated and no longer Lord of the world, but of our hearts, into which we invite him."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


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