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Tri-Faith America: How Catholics and Jews Held Postwar America to Its Protestant Promise


Tri-Faith America: How Catholics and Jews Held Postwar America to Its Protestant Promise Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt put it bluntly, if privately, in 1942-the United States was "a Protestant country," he said, "and the Catholics and Jews are here under sufferance."

In Tri-Faith America, Kevin Schultz explains how the United States left behind this idea that it was "a Protestant nation" and replaced it with a new national image, one premised on the notion that the country was composed of three separate, equally American faiths-Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. Tracing the origins of the tri-faith idea to the early twentieth century, when Catholic and Jewish immigration forced Protestant Social Gospelers to combine forces with Catholic and Jewish relief agencies, Tri-Faith America shows how the tri-faith idea gathered momentum after World War I, promoted by public relations campaigns, interfaith organizations, and the government, to the point where, by the end of World War II and into the early years of the Cold War, the idea was becoming widely accepted, particularly in the armed forces, fraternities, neighborhoods, social organizations, and schools.

Tri-Faith America also shows how postwar Catholics and Jews used the new image to force the country to confront the challenges of pluralism. Should Protestant bibles be allowed on public school grounds? Should Catholic and Jewish fraternities be allowed to exclude Protestants? Should the government be allowed to count Americans by religion? Challenging the image of the conformist 1950s, Schultz describes how Americans were vigorously debating the merits of recognizing pluralism, paving the way for the civil rights movement and leaving an enduring mark on American culture.

About the Author

Kevin M. Schultz is Assistant Professor of History and Catholic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Table of Contents

Creating tri-faith America — Tri-faith America as standard operating procedure — Tri-faith America in the early Cold War — Communalism in a time of consensus: postwar suburbia — A new rationale for separation: public schools in tri-faith America — Choosing our identities: college fraternities, choice, and group rights — Keeping religion private (and off the U.S. census) — From creed to color: softening the ground for civil rights.

Product Details

How Catholics and Jews Held Postwar America to Its Protestant Promise
Oxford University Press
Schultz, Kevin Michael
United States - 20th Century
History, American | Since 1945
Religion Comparative-General
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Christianity » Miscellaneous Denominations
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Judaism » General
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Western Religions » Theology

Tri-Faith America: How Catholics and Jews Held Postwar America to Its Protestant Promise
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Product details 256 pages OUP USA - English 9780199841059 Reviews:
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