Monday, March 07, 2005


This comment was recently added to my post on my book and the skeleton listing of chapters.

from bbrown,
I may be missing some important information, but the table of contents that you've presented doesn't seem to really fit the title of the book. The first six chapters have nothing to do with anything secular or America.Could you give a brief outline of one the first seven chapters so your readers might see how "Jesus Christ: Peasant God" might be relevant to the secular founding of America?

I have laid out the book in two parts, the first is negative and the second positive. Since so much about religious ideas is said in the media and by others without bringing up what those ideas are I have dedicated probably a slight majority of the book to looking at those ideas from numerous sources and negatively showing that those ideas could not be the basis of the American Republic. The second part is meant to be a positive demonstration of what the country was based on.

Does this answer the question and clarify any of the confusing points which may have arisen out of the structure of the book?


bbrown said...

I see what you are doing, so thanks for clarifying.

I'm not sure that I understand who you think your audience is or that I agree with your organization.

But, hey, if I don't like it, I should write my own book. :-)

Gideon said...

Well I, for one, am very impressed with the chapter titles and, if the books lives up to its suggested intent, look forward to its publication. Keep us posted on your progress.

I am curious about a couple of things:

What do you anticipate the ultimate length of the book will be? Will it be relatively short (100-200 pages) or longer (upwards of 400 pages)?

I am curious as to what you are relying on to prove your case. Can you give a sketch of the sources that you're using?


Alexander said...

The ultimate length will probably be over 200 pages, though I do not think it will reach 400. Though there seems to be a lot of attention payed to Christianity, I don't intend those chapters to be particularly long. For instance I'm essentially done with the first two chapters except for continued editing and adding a thing here or there because the primary source material is either very limited or very repetitive or both. Also my intention in the first section is only to show that the various ideas in question could not be used to found America. The next four chapters will be a little longer because each man wrote books and essays.

For Augustine I'm using Confessions and City of God, plus the biographical sketch offered in Durant's Story of Civilization, which I am also using for the other three, in conjunction with one or two other secondary sources. More, I'm using Utopia. Luther, THe Bondage of the Will, On Secular Authority, and some of his other writings. Calvin, the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

For the second part I'm using all the primary materials I can find, which are numerous since my previous studies already find me owning many. Also I will be using numerous secondary materials, lives, biographies, etc.

The main inspiration for the conclusion, as might be guessed at, is Plutarch.

My guess is that I will be done in a couple of months. I am nearing the point where I'm almost ready to sit down and write out the rest of part one.

Alexander said...

Maybe I should correct myself. I keep thinking in terms of regular size printer paper type pages. I had to change the paper size to fit the 6x9 page size for the publisher I intend to use, unless of course I can find someone to pay me for it. So perhaps the pages length will reach the 400 range, though were I to print it out standard it would not.

Gideon said...

Thanks for your response. You mentioned the paper "for the publisher [you] intend to use." Do you have a definite publisher lined up?


Alexander said...

I was intending to use the same publisher as I did on the last book, LuLu. The difference will be that I intend to get the full treatment and to design a cover, etc. If you know of a better source to go to, or an effective way to shop it around I would appreciate any advice any one might have for me.