Christina's Reviews > American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon

American Jesus by Stephen R. Prothero
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's review
Mar 24, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 28 to March 20, 2012

An interesting historical look at perceptions of Jesus in America. Prothero is a good writer and he is clearly very knowledgeable in religious history from a sociological standpoint. Despite the fact that he is a good academic writer, he does occasionally allow his biases to interfere with the picture of who 'Jesus in America' really is. On a few occasions he downplayed groups he didn't agree with or made it seem like small groups of Christians who he is very fond were more influential than they actually were.
Overall thought he managed to provide an accurate and historically well supported picture of the evolution of the 'American Jesus.' He organized portrayals of Jesus by category, so he jumps around chronologically, which makes it easier to learn and remember different groups because you are revisiting them consistently throughout the book. I really enjoyed reading about Jefferson's Jesus, the Existentialists's Jesus, and pretty much every form of 'hippie Jesus' in the section 'Enlightened Sage.'
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