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Christopher Buck, “God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America”

GodApplePie Cover1The “idea of America” is at the heart of American studies. It defines who we are as Americans, at least in theory. In practice, the “idea of America” offers a golden opportunity to engage in the public discourses of society. When “God and country” further inspires the “idea of America,” then the “idea of America” becomes a “theology of America.” This is the central focus of God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America. It is not necessary to disparage other religions in favor of Christianity, Buddhism or the Baha’i Faith, for instance. On the contrary, it is good to find common ground. This, after all, is one important goal of inter-religious dialogue. A prerequisite to interfaith discourse is becoming knowledgeable, both about one’s own faith and the faith of others, as Abdu’l-Baha states clearly in The Secret of Divine Civilization. The secret of effective interfaith dialogue is not conversion, but convergence. Can we, as Americans, agree on what America can, or should, stand for? For this purpose, God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America offers a handbook. It treats each of the religions evenhandedly. That same evenhanded, interested yet self-disinterested approach allows for productively engaging in the discourses of society which, in this case, means the public discourses of American society. This is the approach that Baha’i philosopher, Alain Locke, favored. Read a summary of Dr. Buck’s talk here
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Christopher Buck, PhD

Author; Adjunct Faculty, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Christopher Buck (PhD, JD) attorney and independent scholar, is the author of several books, including: Bahá’í Faith: The Basics (2020, forthcoming), God & Apple Pie (2015), with an introduction by J. Gordon Melton (Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Baylor University), Religious Myths and Visions of America (2009, “an original contribution to American studies,” Journal of American History, June 2011), Alain Locke: Faith and Philosophy (2005), Paradise and Paradigm (1999), Symbol and Secret (1995/2004), Religious Celebrations (co-author, 2011), and also contributed chapters in such books as: The Bahá’í Faith and African American History (2019); ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey West: The Course of Human Solidarity (2013), American Writers (2017, 2015, 2010 & 2004), British Writers (2017, 2014), The Islamic World (2008), and The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Qur’an (2006/2017) (The 2017 printing is the Second Edition; the link is to the 2006 edition.) Listen to Dr. Buck’s interview on ‘A Bahá’í Perspective’ podcast View Dr. Buck’s most current CV (on academia.edu)See Faculty Bio

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