Ed wrote constantly with notes for sermons, speeches, prayers, and events. Since most of his work was delivered, not printed, his paper trail is more of a maze: what remains to be sorted is a big stack of papers, notes, typed and handwritten, odds and ends, finished and unfinished, dated and undated…
He did write for publication on occasion, however. Along with the Jots and Tittles, Ed co-edited, with Bynum Shaw, the Wake Forest Anthology: A Sampling of Spirit and Tradition. The first edition was published in 1981 and the second edition in 1984.
Below are six short works which have been retyped to be available here. These are undated, yet references to events and popular culture peg the general time as 1975-1985.
Creation and Alienation
Some Scriptures and Questions
Religion and the United States
Role of Religion in America
Bicentennial Thoughts (About 1975)
“Religion has to do with whatever people give final significance to, especially if they tell the story of this significance in the language of myths and symbols, gather for rituals and ceremonies to support it, give special explanations for what goes on behind visible reality, prop it up in social forms, and produce special behavior patterns.”
Historical analysis of how religious this period was: institutionalized religion present and related to it was the individualism which demanded tolerance of “enlightenment views” not unreligious, but there was a mix which included explicit myth making, ethical patterns, belief in divine power present.
Nineteenth century included revivalism which created and reinforced certain cultural patterns but also related to social reform issues including slavery and the transcendentalists, grew out of older religious forms and offered something of their own piety. And the twentieth century reaffirmed what was true but perhaps now more so: all options are possible regardless of whether called faddish, crazy, or old line conservative. Whatever might be said of other nations we offer the variety, under law and with considerable moral sanction by the people.
“We as Christians and Jews as fish is to water,” H. Richard Niebuhr. Since many of the modern expressions of religion are in trouble we should remember [that] these forms – Sunday school, missions, voluntary societies, denominationalism – came into existence about the time America did as a nation; hundreds of years of Jewery and Christianity survived and new forms can be discovered but this is a lesson taught by history, not be looking at a present day balance sheet and giving religion, institutionalized religion especially, an F on the course of where we are and where we are going as a nation. ….
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