The great American disappointment : an introduction to the Great Disappointment Theory as a way to explain the unique evolutionary processes of socially-guided religion by means of American civil religion.
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Quillen, Ethan Gjerset.
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America is unique when compared to the rest of the world for many reasons, but especially so for its religion. To this, as human beings evolve socially, in the same way animal species evolve in order to seek out variable fitness toward survival, their religion follows suit. This has been particularly so in the United States where absolute religious freedom makes way for one of three processes of evolution within the American church of civil religion. These three processes, atheism, fundamentalism and new religious movements, become the direction in which Americans evolve their religious beliefs in the wake of socially-guided religious disappointment. This Great Disappointment Theory, based on the results of William Miller's Great Disappointment in the 19th century, helps explain the means by which Americans, who act as individuals within an immigrant nation, are able to come together as a congregation within the American church of civil religion.