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The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus$
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David Burns

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199929504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199929504.001.0001

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The Clash of Christs

The Clash of Christs

(p.126) Chapter 4 The Clash of Christs
The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus

David Burns

Oxford University Press

Bouck White (chap. 3) is the focus of this chapter dealing with the relationship between the radical historical Jesus, muscular Christianity, and the militaristic Christ of the preparedness movement. White never announced that he was a muscular Christian, but he utilized the doctrine to reach individuals in the mainline denominations. The creed cut both ways, however, and during the run-up to World War I, Jesus became a warrior of democracy to most Americans. White recognized that the internationalism championed by his Church of the Social Revolution was being drowned out by the patriotism preached by Theodore Roosevelt and Lyman Abbott, so he temporarily conceded the field to conventional muscular Christians, abandoning his opposition to the war and urging radicals to follow suit. But when White renewed his campaign against militarism and nationalism, he was a pastor without a flock, an author without an audience, and an easy target for vigilantes.

Keywords:   muscular Christianity, preparedness, World War I, democracy, internationalism, social revolution, patriotism, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyman Abbott, militarism

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