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American Prayer

James P Moore (Jr)

American Prayer

James P Moore (Jr)

$42.99

Hardback
In this highly original approach to the history of the United States, James Moore focuses on the extraordinary role that prayer has played in every area of American life, from the time of the first settlers to the present day and beyond. ^A stirring chronicle of the spiritual life of a nation, "One Nation Under God "shows how the faith of Americans--from the founding fathers to corporate tycoons, from composers to social reformers, from generals to slaves--was an essential ingredient in the formation of American culture, character, commerce and creed. ^"One Nation Under God "brings together the country's hymns, patriotic anthems, arts, and literature as a framework for telling the story of the innermost thoughts of the people who have shaped the United States we know today. Beginning with Native Americans, "One Nation Under God "traces the prayer lives of Quakers and Shakers, Sikhs and Muslims, Catholics and Jews, from their earliest days in the United States through the advent

- Publisher CHAPTER 1 THE INHABITANTS, EXPLORERS, AND SETTLERS * * * God created this Indian country and it was like He spread out a big blanket. He put the Indians on it. They were created here in this country, and that was the time this river started to run. Then God created fish in this river and put deer in these mountains and made laws through which has come the increase of game and fish . . . Whenever the seasons open I raise my heart in thanks to the Creator for his bounty that this food has come. --Meninock, Yakima chief, 1915 The history of prayer in America began unfolding long before the golden age of exploration, a fact often missed by modern Americans. Nonetheless, when European settlers arrived in the New World, they did not at first recognize the unique spiritual heritage of Native Americans. Religious, cultural, and language barriers too often obfuscated the fact that these various tribes and nations had developed their own prayers and devotional rituals over generations. While Native Americans' conception of a higher power had been formed in isolation of revelations experienced by other civilizations, their desire to express themselves spiritually was every bit as intense and as devout. In time both groups would come to recognize their common spirituality. On the eve of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World, more than 250 languages, largely unintelligible to one another, were spoken throughout the territory that now makes up the United States.1 From the Inuits of the Arctic, whom the English voyager Martin Frobisher first encountered, to the Seminoles of Florida, who greeted the Spanish explorer Ponce de Len in his quest for the fountain of youth, entire Indian nations had developed independent cultures. For Native Americans, prayer stood as a channel to some guiding force that they did not clearly understand but that, they believed, contributed in some important way to their existence. Central to all of them was a profound sense of a higher power, who had a critical impact on their welfare. American Indians thrived in a daily rhythm in which the word "religion" did not exist, simply because no distinct creed of faith could be separated from existence itself. No churches were built; no weekdays were set aside for worship. Life and prayer were practically seamless. In effect, God cast no shadow because Native Americans integrated the divine into all things. An etched panel at the Jemez State Monument in New Mexico, written by an anonymous member of the Jemez tribe, captures the basic Indian approach to spirituality: "We have no word that translates what is meant by 'religion.' We have a spiritual life that is part of us twenty-four hours a day. It determines our relationship with the natural world of our fellow man. Our religious practices are the same as in the time of our ancestors."2 Through the power, wisdom, and genuine love of the Great Creator, all living things by extension were sacred. Indeed the word "sacred" was interwoven into the languages and pervaded the thoughts of all Native Americans. Its very notion sustained a reverence that reminded them always of their obligations as inheritors of the earth and vanguards of their people--past, present, and future. In many ways Native Americans were more attuned to prayer than most newly arrived Europeans and Africans. They often built doors to their tepees and huts to the East, allowing them to wake up in the morning, face the sun, and pray as their first act of the day. "Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone," was how Ohiyesa put it.3 One Indian chief, in what today is Oklahoma, put it another way more than a century ago: "When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and give thanks for the joy of liv

- Publisher

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About "American Prayer"

In this highly original approach to the history of the United States, James Moore focuses on the extraordinary role that prayer has played in every area of American life, from the time of the first settlers to the present day and beyond. ^A stirring chronicle of the spiritual life of a nation, "One Nation Under God "shows how the faith of Americans--from the founding fathers to corporate tycoons, from composers to social reformers, from generals to slaves--was an essential ingredient in the formation of American culture, character, commerce and creed. ^"One Nation Under God "brings together the country's hymns, patriotic anthems, arts, and literature as a framework for telling the story of the innermost thoughts of the people who have shaped the United States we know today. Beginning with Native Americans, "One Nation Under God "traces the prayer lives of Quakers and Shakers, Sikhs and Muslims, Catholics and Jews, from their earliest days in the United States through the advent
- Publisher

CHAPTER 1 THE INHABITANTS, EXPLORERS, AND SETTLERS * * * God created this Indian country and it was like He spread out a big blanket. He put the Indians on it. They were created here in this country, and that was the time this river started to run. Then God created fish in this river and put deer in these mountains and made laws through which has come the increase of game and fish . . . Whenever the seasons open I raise my heart in thanks to the Creator for his bounty that this food has come. --Meninock, Yakima chief, 1915 The history of prayer in America began unfolding long before the golden age of exploration, a fact often missed by modern Americans. Nonetheless, when European settlers arrived in the New World, they did not at first recognize the unique spiritual heritage of Native Americans. Religious, cultural, and language barriers too often obfuscated the fact that these various tribes and nations had developed their own prayers and devotional rituals over generations. While Native Americans' conception of a higher power had been formed in isolation of revelations experienced by other civilizations, their desire to express themselves spiritually was every bit as intense and as devout. In time both groups would come to recognize their common spirituality. On the eve of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World, more than 250 languages, largely unintelligible to one another, were spoken throughout the territory that now makes up the United States.1 From the Inuits of the Arctic, whom the English voyager Martin Frobisher first encountered, to the Seminoles of Florida, who greeted the Spanish explorer Ponce de Len in his quest for the fountain of youth, entire Indian nations had developed independent cultures. For Native Americans, prayer stood as a channel to some guiding force that they did not clearly understand but that, they believed, contributed in some important way to their existence. Central to all of them was a profound sense of a higher power, who had a critical impact on their welfare. American Indians thrived in a daily rhythm in which the word "religion" did not exist, simply because no distinct creed of faith could be separated from existence itself. No churches were built; no weekdays were set aside for worship. Life and prayer were practically seamless. In effect, God cast no shadow because Native Americans integrated the divine into all things. An etched panel at the Jemez State Monument in New Mexico, written by an anonymous member of the Jemez tribe, captures the basic Indian approach to spirituality: "We have no word that translates what is meant by 'religion.' We have a spiritual life that is part of us twenty-four hours a day. It determines our relationship with the natural world of our fellow man. Our religious practices are the same as in the time of our ancestors."2 Through the power, wisdom, and genuine love of the Great Creator, all living things by extension were sacred. Indeed the word "sacred" was interwoven into the languages and pervaded the thoughts of all Native Americans. Its very notion sustained a reverence that reminded them always of their obligations as inheritors of the earth and vanguards of their people--past, present, and future. In many ways Native Americans were more attuned to prayer than most newly arrived Europeans and Africans. They often built doors to their tepees and huts to the East, allowing them to wake up in the morning, face the sun, and pray as their first act of the day. "Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone," was how Ohiyesa put it.3 One Indian chief, in what today is Oklahoma, put it another way more than a century ago: "When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and give thanks for the joy of liv
- Publisher

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Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 228131
  • Product Code 0385504039
  • EAN 9780385504034
  • Pages 544
  • Department General Books
  • Category Prayer
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Doubleday
  • Publication Date Nov 2005
  • Dimensions 242 x 162 x 35 mm
  • Weight 0.867kg

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