In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, many prominent Christians and political leaders saw a degenerative influence in industrializing America. For them, urban culture had eroded gender roles, personal strength, and moral fiber. So-called “Muscular Christians” prescribed physical exertion and wilderness experience to cure these ills. I argue that these values were embodied in idealized characters such as Theodore Roosevelt, Jesus, and the Boy Scout to give a form to cultural remedies. In the process, they became the terms upon which proper Americanism, and proper Christianity, were constructed.
Christen, Gordon J., "Roosevelt, Boy Scouts, and the Formation of Muscular Christian Character" (2014). Religious Studies Honors Projects. Paper 14.
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