The book Roots of American Culture by Russell Kirk presents faith and cultural the perspectives which can be studied to trace the outstanding beliefs in America. Kirk refers to the level of understanding of the people of ancient America and the implications this had on the culture to which the Americans stick even with respect to contemporary society. America is considered to have a given aspect of culture which is unique and the author of this book, therefore, demonstrated her interest to trace the beginning of these practices hence the title, Roots of American Culture. The information provided by the writer in this book tries to provide details concerning the beliefs and practices which holds America together. The author believes there are specific cultural practices and institutions which have played a significant role in nurturing the soul and commonwealth of America.
Kirk draws from the Bible and reflects on the role of the prophets who were able to instill faith in America. Kirk begins with the Hebrew prophets to examine the sources of the American order in a dramatic fashion. The book details an analytical narrative mostly emphasizing the experiences of the roots with respect to five towns: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and Philadelphia. The tale might, therefore, be referred to as a tale of five cities. The book contains a masterpiece on the American civilization history which the author presents as an unsurpassable. This is meant to enable a proper understanding of the impact of the new century dawn in America. It, therefore, follows that the cultural perspectives of America, according to Kirk, resulted from events which occurred long ago however the people are still able to account on the same.
Culture can be defined as the ways of life of a given group of people who practices it. It implies that there must a specific way of operations for people construct for themselves. On the same note, human beings practicing a given form of cultural perspectives have a number of strengths and weaknesses. Every culture has specific realities which define its existence and the associated practices. One of the realities include what it entails to the people it governs; that is, what it is all about. The other aspect is how people understand themselves as human beings. The third reality is people relate to the world and how they understand the community and the world in which they live.
Vision and Mission
Every culture must be having a definite vision and mission which determine the focus for the practice of their cultural dimensions. The vision they have implies what they are meant to become in the journey. This means what change or improvement the practice of the principles in the culture will bring to the people involved. Mission which is also closely related to vision, in cultural perspectives, means the long-term target of the community involved. Mission has many aspects which render it effective for every culture. For example, the mission embeds a number of values which are manifested in the human behaviors and are recorded in the various institutions for the development of the individuals and the entire community. Besides, the relationships of the individuals in the community as defined by the institutions. Finally, every culture has symbols which act as standards which should be reflected in the individual behaviors.
Faith can mean the response that human beings demonstrate concerning the call from God who created them. God reveals himself to human beings in a number of was however its costs some level of belief to understand and accept the manifestations. This is what is referred to as faith in the biblical perspective. Faith, therefore, means how people respond to the various forms of revelation by God to them. It refers to the capacity of human beings to respond lovingly to the loved received from God. It is a significant concept as provided in the book and presented as a way of responding to the love offered to human beings by God in the Christian point of view.
The Encounter between Faith and Culture
There is a piece of clear information that faith and culture are related in some many was since each of them cost one to believe without any opposition. Faith has a considerable effect on the existence of various cultural perspectives. Faith challenges culture since human beings strives to take the love given by the lord in the form of the response and relating it to all the aspects included in one's cultural perspectives. This call for the study of the ways in which the encounter between the aspects affects each other. One's faith has the potential to challenge one's values as well as the provisions of the cultural dimensions included in the institutions. The love of God and Jesus Christ tend to challenge all the cultural concepts that we are made to abide by in the various cultures
The Christian faith was the major factor was one of the events and situations which influenced the American culture. The American identity traces its roots belief in Christianity by the colonies in the country; it occurred as a rule that all the colonies were to have a common belief which would show respect and love God. The Christian character was, therefore, a major character in America as it was directly associated with enlightenment. In spite of the need to have rules in the country, the establishment and the application of laws was not part of Christianity. Nevertheless, the founders later had a different interpretation of civilization and deduced that Christianity should accommodate both the social and legal aspects of life. Moreover, there were many believers who fled from their original countries and settled in America as a safe haven. They were running away from persecution because of their Christian faith. The faith they had were instilled in the ancient Americans and America soon became land in which Christianity was the most outstanding religion.
The university and schoolmen also influenced the understanding of Christianity and were able to make the basis of the foundation of a culture in which the legal system was considered very important. The role of faith hence emerged when the founders believed that the country relies on social considerations in which Christianity would be more important than legal section only. The people, therefore, believed in serving the Lord God and believing in His existence and role in their lives; this meant to help them have a great social life. Socialism was necessary since America at the given moment was made up of people from various origins which were initially belonging to different territories. It, therefore, follows that making America nation was meant to support the creation and survival of the government. Faith in Christianity was therefore meant to influence people of America to believe in the rules that the government would impose on them, just as they trust in the recommended ways that God requires of them.
Culture Expressed as Order
Order can be expressed in two ways; that is, the order of the soul and the order of society. The soul is governed by some rules drawing from the Christian perspectives. The order of the society, on the other hand, refers to the way in which a community common defines how the members should be behaving. The order of the American culture also has specific laws for the citizens. The concept of order can be traced to the biblical perspectives with the native Hebrews. The Old Testament and specifically the message in the Hebrews played a significant role in the establishment of the American order. This implies that to have a proper understanding of the ancient roots of the American culture and order, there is the need to reflect the second millennium B.C. with reference to the law phenomena related to the Hebrews. This reveals that ancient Israel had a great influence on the American culture than most of the associated occurrences. This is also a considerable aspect in which the legal frameworks is obtained from the Hebrews which helps in tracing the roots of the American order.
The study of culture calls for the need to examine the concept of roots which presents how they emerged and came into existence. This helps in tracing the beginning of the journey of humanity with respect to the American cultures. The roots of the culture are closely connected with ancient times, around 500 BC. This was the time in which faith first manifested for the human beings with Moses leading the humankind. Moses spearheaded the Exodus and the miracles of God that were meant to influence human beings to have faith in God. The miracles were occurring and manifesting within the constraints of some order. God gave commandments to His people to establish a standard of order for their behaviors. The commandments all revolve around the need to do good to avoid evil. They are divided with respect to the relationship with God as in the first three, and how to relationships among human beings as entailed in the rest of the commandments
How Greece and England Practiced Order
In Greece, the government encouraged the people who belong to various classes to come together to have a relationship influenced by unity. The Greek had a weak religious system which was the reason for their collapse. This, therefore, means that the Greek lacked a significant level of order. The Greeks also had to stick to their customary laws to inform their order of operations. For England, the monarchical system was adopted for an orderly way of operations. Rights and responsibilities were established to govern the behaviors of all Englishmen. Leaders would be thrown out of the office in case their leadership would not instill the required level of order in Britain. The Englishmen had their laws as well as the cultural perspectives which they went further to introduce in America in which they had many colonies whose members were also expected to have ordered.
Introduction of Christianity in America from Rome through the British
The Christian that was later adopted by the Americans initially originated
The Christianity that was accepted by the Americans initially originated from the Roman religious practices. Christianity was only seen in Rome during the 313 AD for the first time and no other country had discovered this form of religion. It is also possible that a few countries were aware of it however could not allow their people to stick to the underlying principles. It was therefore only in the Roman Empire in which the worship of the Christ was tolerated. Christian worship was tolerated within the Roman Empire. The significant spread in Christianity was experienced in the 4th century when it penetrated up to Britain and was accepted as British Christianity. It became visible in the British Empire although a considerable percentage of the population had not accepted it making the Christian religion a minor culture among the pagans who greatly opposed its practiced. The interaction of the British and America during the rule of the colonies in America saw the introduction of Christianity in America. The Americans later grew in great Christian faith foundation by following the culture of their masters.
The Common Law and the American Constitution
The modern American system of law is based on the principles of the English perspectives which existed many years ago. These were established concerning the conduct of right and wrong. The English common law system was meant to be combined with the U.S. case statutes and decisions to help in establishing what is currently known as the modern American law. It is there important to study American law with respect to its origin to understand how the English had a role to play in its ultimate existence.
The American law traces its origin with Great Britain. According to Kirk (2003), Europe was the...
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