Beginning in the 1920s, American religious liberals borrowed language from the social sciences to describe the social experience of religion. Wishing to foster tolerance at a time when ethnic hatreds increasingly controlled world politics, they tried to drop the word “race” as the equivalent for a religious community and instead depict religions as cultural units by substituting terms like “group.” This was part of a broad intellectual transition in the free West. Long-standing biological models of society, assuming racial differences, gave way to explanations of human behavior emphasizing acquired traits. In this way, democratic cultures, confronting fascism, reaffirmed the malleability and equality of peoples and rejected determinism and hierarchy. American religious liberals of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds, committed to ecumenism and attentive to secular ideas, readily appropriated the new idiom. By the 1940s, talk of Nordic, Celtic, and Jewish races, among others, was rare, and the three mainstream religions, pictured as bearers of values, were praised as democracy's building blocks. Yet, because religion serves private needs and transcendent aspirations as well as society, this romance with social-science functionalism was short-lived. It was a small step from lauding religions as comparable and compromising to missing their distinctiveness, and a mood of traditionalism, expressed in humanistic, often biblically informed words, gained ground after World War II. This was not a simple speech revolution, however. Rhetoric that cast religions as social equivalents had enhanced the climate of freedom, to the point that religious minorities re-explored their heritages with unprecedented confidence. Social-science words set stage for their own subversion. This account of linguistic borrowing suggests the utility of considering religion as one language system among others in a complex culture. In this view, religious rhetoric is a public embodiment of values situated to interact with secular speech, making word use a sensitive meter of religious transformation.
I wish to offer sincere thanks to Philip Baldi, Robert Faber, Amy Golahny, Susan K. Harris, Philip Jenkins, Jon Rose, Mark Silk, and the editors of Religion and American Culture for their assistance with this essay.
1. See Stocking, George W. Jr., Race, Culture and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology (New York: Free Press, 1968); Degler, Carl N., In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); Barkan, Elazar, The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States between the World Wars (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992); Gilkeson, John S. Jr., “The Domestication of ‘Culture’ in Interwar America, 1919–1941,” in The Estate of Social Knowledge, ed. Brown, Jo Anne and van Keuren, David K. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), 153–74; and Pascoe, Peggy, “Miscegenation Law, Court Cases, and Ideologies of ‘Race’ in Twentieth-Century America,” Journal of American History 83 (1996): 44–69 .
2. On religion's foundational role in American culture, see esp. Bellah, Robert N. et al., Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, rev. ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1996), chap. 9. Moore, R. Laurence pictures tension between religion and social science, in “Secularization: Religion and the Social Sciences,” in Between the Times: The Travail of the Protestant Establishment in America, 1900–1960, ed. Hutchison, William R. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 233–52. Philip Gleason, in contrast, analyzes the application of social-scientific words to a range of ethnic issues in his collected essays, Speaking of Diversity: Language and Ethnicity in Twentieth-Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).
3. On ecumenical activity in the 1920s, see Kraut, Benny, “A Wary Collaboration: Jews, Catholics, and the Protestant Goodwill Movement,” in Between the Times, ed. Hutchison, , 193–230 , and Samuel Cavert, McCrea, The American Churches in the Ecumencial Movement, 1900–1968 (New York: Association Press, 1968), chaps. 6–7. Ecumenism was sufficiently visible to provoke hate literature equating liberals and Communists; see E. N. Sanctuary [pseudonym of Eugene Nelson], Tainted Contacts: Being a Compilation of Facts of the Personnel and Activities of the Federal Council of Churches in America, prepared for the American Christian Defenders (E. N. Sanctuary, 1931). The Federal Council of Churches was a founding sponsor of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
4. On the rising prestige of the social sciences, see Ross, Dorothy, The Origins of American Social Science (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Herman, Ellen, The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); and Hollinger, David A., “The Defense of Democracy and Robert K. Merton's Formulation of the Scientific Ethos,” in Hollinger, David A., Science, Jews, and Secular Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 80–96 . On the search for religious consensus, see Silk, Mark, “Notes on the Judeo-Christian Tradition in America,” American Quarterly 36 (1984): 65–85 ; Silk, Mark, Spiritual Politics: Religion and America since World War II (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988); and, the classic book of the midcentury era, Herberg, Will, Protestant—Catholic— Jew: An Essay in American Religious Sociology, rev. ed. (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1960).
5. Black-white issues seemed more painful for white religious communities at this time than ecumenism. Consider, for example, the evasive discussions of black Methodists by white Methodists who hoped to heal their church's sectional division, in Moore, John M., The Long Road to Methodist Union (Nashville: Methodist Publishing House, 1943), esp. 136–37, 150, 225–28. McGreevy, John T. describes a similar reticence among white Catholics, in Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth-Century Urban North (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). Secular scholars, and particularly social scientists, took up black-white relations more boldly than religious leaders. In this context, it is not surprising that George E. Haynes, executive director of the Commission on Race Relations of the Federal Council of Churches from 1922 to 1946, was a sociologist; see Cavert, American Churches in the Ecumenical Movement, 114. I have not seen names of prominent blacks appear as participants in ecumenical meetings before Benjamin E. Mays, author of The Negro's Church (1933) and later president of Morehouse College, attended the National Conference on the Spiritual Foundations of Our Democracy (1954), as documented in Herberg, Will, “Communism, Democracy, and the Churches: Problems of ‘Mobilizing the Religious Front,’” Commentary 19 (1955): 388 . On the subject of liberal-conservative dynamics in religious communities, which affected experimentation with language, see Hutchison, William R., The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976); Marsden, George M., “Unity and Diversity in the Evangelical Resurgence,” in Altered Landscapes: Christianity in America, 1935–1985, ed. Lotz, David W. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 61–76 ; Silverstein, Alan, Alternatives to Assimilation: The Response of Reform Judaism to American Culture, 1840–1930 (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1994); and Fisher, James T., The Catholic Counterculture in America, 1933–1962 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989).
6. On speech communities, see Leonard Bloomfield's foundational discussion, in Language (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1933), chap. 3, as well as recent texts by Hudson, R. A., Sociolinguistics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 25–30 , and Wardhaugh, Ronald, An Introduction to Sociolinguists, 2d ed. (Oxford, Eng.: Blackwell, 1986), chap. 5. It is important to note that linguists debate the nature of speech communities and even the utility of the concept; for example, they ask if shared language is sufficient grounds for a community or whether social interaction and self-consciousness are also required. I allude to this linguistic idea to help clarify my approach, but I do not intend to use my own terms, such as “language,” “speech,” and “idiom,” in a technical linguistic sense.
7. Matthew Frye Jacobson explains the application of racial categories to Europeans, in Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998); on American racial thinking more generally, see Stanton, William, The Leopard's Spots: Scientific Attitudes toward Race in America, 1815–59 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), and Horsman, Reginald, Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981). While most scholars consider denominationalism a system serving religious freedom (for example, Hudson, Winthrop, American Protestantism [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961]), Cuddihy, John Murray rightly notes that participation in this arrangement required compromises of each group, in No Offense: Civil Religion and Protestant Taste (New York: Seabury Press, 1978), chap. 1. William Hutchison helpfully explores nineteenth-century Protestant liberals’ openness to secular thinking, laying groundwork for their absorption of scientific concepts, in Modernist Impulse, esp. “Introduction.”
8. Grant, Madison, The Passing of the Great Race; or, The Racial Basis of European History (New York: Scribners, 1916), 16 . Grant described these three races in pt. 2, chaps. 4–6.
9. Ibid. , xv.
10. Gilligan, Francis J., The Morality of the Color Line (1928; repr., New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969), 208 .
11. Guilday, Peter, ed., The National Pastorals of the American Hierarchy (1792–1919) (Washington: National Catholic Welfare Council, 1923), 274 . On racial language in American Catholicism, see McGreevy, Parish Boundaries, esp. chap. 2. The Catholic church later condemned racial theories officially, in Mit brennender Sorge: Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the Church and the German Reich, March 14, 1937, in The Papal Encyclical, 5 vols., ed. Claudia Carlen (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Pierian Press, 1990), 3: 526–35.
12. Fishberg, Maurice, The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment (New York: Scribners, 1911), vi, vii. Born in Russia, Fishberg was a physician by training; see Kraut, Alan M., Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the “Immigrant Menace” (New York: Basic Books, 1994), 138 . On the visual orientation of racial thinking, see also Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color, esp. chap. 5, and Gilman, Sander, The Jew's Body (New York: Routledge, 1991).
13. Dr . Noel Dunbar [Prentiss Ingraham], Jule, the Jewess; or, The Miser Millionaire, in New York Dime Library 79 (August 1898): 4, 15. The Dime Library was a monthly published by Beadle and Adams, each issue consisting of a short novel. Prentiss Ingraham, son of the priest and novelist Joseph Holt Ingraham, was said to have written more than six hundred dime novels; see Mayo, Louise A., The Ambivalent Image: Nineteenth-Century America's Perception of the Jew (Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1988), 75 . Ingraham also wrote other novels with Jewish characters; for example, The Jew Detective, in the New York Dime Library 51 (1891).
14. Dunbar , Jule, the Jewess, 3, 17.
15. Ibid. , 26, 13.
16. Fishber g, The Jews, v. On Jewish use of race concepts for selfdescription, see Goldstein, Eric L., “‘Different Blood Flows in Our Veins’: Race and Jewish Self-Definition in Late Nineteenth-Century America,” American Jewish History 85 (1997): 29–55 , and Anne C. Rose, “The Jewish ‘Race’ in America: Racial Language in American Jewish Prose, 1890–1933,” conference paper, “Multilingualism in Western Ashkenazic Jewry: Ideology, Intertextuality, and Transmission,” Middelburg, Holland, October, 1999.
17. Wise edited the Israelite, and this was his comment on an anti-Semitic letter by Goldwin Smith to the editor of the Nation, February 25, 1881, reprinted as “Prof. Goldwin Smith and the Jewish Question,” Israelite 27 (March 18, 1881): 300. For another of many instances where Wise insisted that Jews were “white” and Judaism was a “religion,” see “Jew and Gentile: Why They Should Not Intermarry,” Israelite 32 (March 14, 1879): 4.
18. “Units of Man,” in Franz Boas, Race and Democratic Society (New York: J. J. Augustin, 1945), 101. The essay first appeared as “An Anthropologist's View of War,” in the American Association for International Conciliation Bulletin (March 1912). Boas's advocacy of cultural determination was so unpopular that he was censured publicly at the 1919 meeting of the American Anthropological Association; see Stocking, Race, Culture and Evolution, chap. 11.
19. An incisive critique of scientific objectivity may be found in Otto Rank, Psychology and the Soul: A Study of the Origin, Conceptual Evolution, and Nature of the Soul (1930), trans. Richter, Gregory C. and Lieberman, E. James (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), esp. 112–13. On similar discussions in America provoked by Einstein's theory, see Diggins, John P., Up from Communism: Conservative Odysseys in American Intellectual History (New York: Harper and Row, 1975), 121–31. On intelligence testing, see Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism, 5, and, on the eugenics movement, in addition to Fairchild, Henry Pratt, The Melting-Pot Mistake (Boston: Little, Brown, 1926), see Kevles, Daniel J., In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (1985; repr., Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995). Scholars agree that the 1920s was a moment of transition from natural to social science models; see sources cited in n. 1. I agree with this view, although I also argue that for crucial reasons the word “race” and race concepts did not suddenly disappear.
20. Montague, C. E., Disenchantment (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page, 1926), esp. chap. 5.
21. “Aims to Harmonize National Groups,” New York Times, December 11, 1927, sec. 2, p. 1. All subsequent quotations are found on p. 1 or 2 of this short article. Secondary sources cite the date of the organization's founding as 1928, which presumably was its official beginning; see The Directory of Religious Organizations in the United States, 2d ed. (Falls Church, Va.: McGrath, 1982), 342. Cadman (1864–1936) was a leading Congregational minister; see Dorn, J. H., “Samuel Parkes Cadman,” in Dictionary of Christianity in America, ed. Reid, Daniel G. (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 206–7.
22. “Aims to Harmonize National Groups,” 1; Kohler, Max J., “Introductory Remarks,” Franz Boas, Maurice Fishberg, and Ellsworth Huntington, Aryan and Semite: With Particular Reference to Nazi Racial Dogmas (Cincinnati: B’nai B’rith, 1934), 4 ; Perry, Ralph Barton, Puritanism and Democracy (New York: Vanguard Press, 1944).
23. Ashworth, Robert, “Introduction,” in Louis Finkelstein, J. Elliot Ross, and William Adams Brown, The Religions of Democracy: Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism in Creed and Life (New York: Devin-Adair, 1941), iii .
24. The phrase “way of life” appeared in Finkelstein, “The Beliefs and Practices of Judaism,” and Brown, “Protestantism in Creed and Life,” as section 3, titled “Protestantism as a Way of Life,” in Religions of Democracy, 3, 224–43.
25. “A Humanist Manifesto,” in American Christianity: An Historical Interpretation with Representative Documents, 2 vols., ed. H. Shelton Smith, Robert T. Handy, and Lefferts A. Loetscher, (New York: Scribners, 1963), 2:251–52. The declaration first appeared in The New Humanist. In the same vein, see Dewey, John, A Common Faith (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934).
26. Mit brennender Sorge, in Papal Encyclicals, ed. Carlen, 3:530.
27. John Elliot Ross, at one time a chaplain at the University of Iowa, attended early ecumenical meetings in the 1920s and belonged to a traveling team of speakers, including a Protestant, Everett Clinchy, and Rabbi Morris Lazaron, in 1933; see Clinchy, Everett R., “Better Understanding between Christians and Jews,” in The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. Landman, Isaac (New York: Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, 1940), 2: 261 , and Benny Kraut, “A Wary Collaboration,” in Between the Times, ed. Hutchison, 214–17. In the same liberal mood, Ross wrote favorably about evolution, in “The Embattled Theory,” Commonweal 16 (Sept. 14, 1932): 472–73. American Catholics seemed pulled in opposite directions on ecumenism by official policies against modernism and simultaneous pressures to appear loyal Americans, as documented by Appleby, R. Scott, “Church and Age Unite!”: The Modernist Impulse in American Catholicism (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992), and Burns, Robert E., Being Catholic, Being American: The Notre Dame Story, 1934–1952, vol. 2 (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000). The uncertainties of this discussion seemed to open a space for Catholic ecumenism.
28. Albright, William Foxwell, “Some Functions of Organized Minorities,” in Approaches to National Unity: Fifth Symposium, ed. Bryson, Lyman, Finkelstein, Louis, and Maciver, Robert M. (New York: Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Relation to the Democratic Way of Life and Harper and Brothers, 1945), 260–75. On Albright, see H. F. Vos, “William Foxwell Albright,” in Dictionary of Christianity, ed. Reid, 33.
29. Hobson, Laura Z., Gentleman's Agreement (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1947), 63, 64. Hobson was Jewish by background; see her autobiography, Laura Z.: A Life (New York: Arbor House, 1983).
30. Hobson, Gentleman's Agreement, 64.
31. Ibid. , 100, 154.
32. Ibid. , 196.
33. Ibid. , 196.
34. Ibid., 97. The epithet about Phil's son appears on 189; the story touches on how Phil's sister suffers from her brother's disguise on 98, 101, 158; the doctor's comment is found on 96.
35. “Aims to Harmonize National oGurps,” 2, 1.
36. “Minority” appears in Charles H. Tuttle, “Destiny Confronts America,” and “people” in Randolph, A. Philip, “Challenge to the World,” both in Never Again! Ten Years of Hitler, ed. Wise, Stephen S. (New York: Jewish Opinion Publishing Co., 1943), 32, 54. In the same volume, Cordell Hull used “race” in “To Free Mankind,” 11; Henry Wallace, then vice president, implied Jews constituted a “racial group,” in “That Freedom May Be Reborn,” 10; other phrases include “religious group,” in Attorney General Francis Biddle, “War's Worst Horror,” and “co-religionists,” in Herbert H. Lehman, “Lift the Yoke of Oppression,” 13, 49. These varied terms for Jews stand in contrast to the nearly universal use of “race” in an earlier poll of American gentiles, conducted by the The American Hebrew and reprinted by its editor, Cowen, Philip, as Prejudice against the Jews: Its Nature, Its Causes and Remedies: A Symposium by Foremost Christians and Published in “The American Hebrew,” Apr. 4, 1890 (New York: Philip Cowen, 1928). At the other end of the time spectrum, “race” appears occasionally today, despite the almost universal disrepute of racialism. For example, the Jewish baseball player Gabe Kapler told an interviewer in 2000 that he was not religious, but identified with Judaism as “a race and a culture,” in “A Jewish Star of David,” State College (Pa.) Centre Daily Times, August 5, 2000, p. 1C. The word continues to underscore Jewish particularity.
37. Ellsworth Huntington, “The Causes of Jewish Greatness,” in Boas, Fishberg, and Huntington, Aryan and Semite, 26. The three talks were presented to The Judeans and The Jewish Academy of Arts and Sciences in New York City, March 4, 1934.
38. Huntington's remark appears in ibid., 21, and Boas's summary, mentioning only Fishberg, on 32–33. Although Huntington qualified his praise of Jewish blood purity with the comment that today's Jews constitute “a highly mixed race,” this note of moderation tends to get lost in the larger argument (27).
39. Marcus, Jacob Rader, The Rise and Destiny of the German Jew (Cincinnati: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1934), 65 . On Marcus's scholarship, see Sussman, Lance J., “‘Historian of the Jewish People’: A Historiographic Reevaluation of the Writings of Jacob R. Marcus,” American Jewish Archives Journal 50 (1998): 11–21 .
40. Mar cus, German Jew, 224. Marcus's strategy of fighting a rearguard action—contesting racial theories on their own terms instead of simply rejecting “race” and devising a new analytic category—has been common among critics of race thinking and stands out as one response in the broader rhetorical revolution. Others who developed influential antiracialist arguments include Boas and Fishberg, as well as Rose Nadler Franzblau, Race Differences in Mental and Physical Traits: Studied in Different Environments, “Archives in Psychology” series (New York: n.p., 1935), and Ralph, and Patai, Jennifer, The Myth of the Jewish Race (1975; repr., Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989).
41. Marcus, German Jew, chap. 13. Felix Mendelssohn in particular was two generations away from the Judaism of his grandfather, the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, because Felix's parents had converted to Christianity; see Reich, Nancy B., “The Power of Class: Fanny Hensel,” in Mendelssohn and His World, ed. Todd, R. Larry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), 86–99 .
42. This is not to say that all opponents of religious liberalism were southern or that all southerners were religious conservatives; but, for example, the prominence of southern objections to modernism in decades-long negotiations between Methodists, north and south, to reunite their sectional churches was one sign of southern conservatism. See Moore, Long Road to Methodist Union, esp. 179, 198. Reunion occurred in 1939. In terms of the regional distribution of African Americans, the 1930 census counted 2.8 million black families in the United States and 2.2 million (78 percent) of them in the southern states; cited in Johnson, Charles S., Growing Up in the Black Belt: Negro Youth in the Rural South (1941; repr., New York: Schocken Books, 1967), xxiii .
43. Lind, John E., “The Dream as a Simple Wish-Fulfillment in the Negro,” Psychoanalytic Review 1 (1913–1914): 295 ; Dollard, John repeated the commonplace white view of black men's sexuality in his classic 1937 psychosociological study, Caste and Class in a Southern Town, 2d ed. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1949), 323 .
44. The 1940 National Catholic Almanac (Paterson, N.J.: St. Anthony's Guild, 1940), 347.
45. Black humanists of southern backgrounds were among the earliest to shift the focus of scholarship to black religion; among them were Woodson, Carter G., The History of the Negro Church (1921), 3d ed. (Washington: Associated Publishers, 1972), and Mays, Benjamin Elijah and Nicholson, Joseph William, The Negro's Church (New York: Institute of Social and Religious Research, 1933). Sociologists extended this line of inquiry. White sociologists included Puckett, Newbell Niles, Folk Beliefs of the Southern Negro (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1926), and Powdermaker, Hortense, After Freedom: A Cultural Study of the Deep South (New York: Viking, 1939), chaps. 11–14. One prominent black sociologist of this period to document religion was Charles S. Johnson, “Manuscript Description of Church Services, Nashville, Tennessee, by Fisk University, Department of Social Sciences,” 1929, box 228, folder 9, Charles S. Johnson Papers, Special Collections, Fisk University Library, Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, and Growing Up in the Black Belt, chap. 5. W. E. B. Du Bois, born in the North but for many years resident in the South, anticipated all these efforts, in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) (New York: Modern Library, 1996).
46. Fritz Marti, comment on Walter M. Horton, “Chasms and Bridges between Christianity and Judaism,” in Approaches to Group Understanding: Sixth Symposium, ed. Lyman Bryson, Louis Finkelstein, and R. M. MacIver, Sixth Meeting of the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, August 23–27, 1945 (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1964), 761.
47. Ralph Barton Perry, “American-Soviet Friendship: An Invitation to Agreement,” New Republic, April 5, 1943, 435, 433. Italics in this and subsequent quotations appear in the original texts.
48. Ibid., 435, 435, 436, 435. Perry continued to defend Catholicism, in Charactertistically American: Five Lectures Delivered on the William W. Cook Foundation at the University of Michigan, Nov.–Dec. 1948 (New York: Knopf, 1949), 105–25. He was welcomed by Catholics to the extent that he published “Catholicism and Modern Liberalism” in the Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. Religious differences in Perry's family gave depth to his liberalism. His wife, Rachel Berenson, was Jewish by birth; her brother, Bernard, the art critic, was a convert to Catholicism; see Rose, Anne C., Beloved Strangers: Interfaith Families in Nineteenth-Century America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 146–53.
49. “Catholics and Communists,” New Republic, May 24, 1943, 702, 703, 703.
50. “Catholics and Liberals,” New Republic, June 7, 1943, 751. The editors were Bruce Bliven, Malcolm Cowley, George Soule, Michael Straight, and Stark Young.
51. Ibid. , 751–52. Although extreme anti-Catholicism has been studied (for example, Jenkins, Philip, Hoods and Shirts: The Extreme Right in Pennsylvania, 1925–1950 [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997], chap. 3), its virulence among educated liberals is less widely known. Consider, for example, Sidney Hook, “The Failure of Nerve,” Partisan Review 10 (1943): 17–20. Perhaps the most widely read anti-Catholic polemic, selling 100,000 copies in its first year, was Blanshard, Paul, American Freedom and Catholic Power (Boston: Beacon Press, 1949).
52. “The Catholic Issue,” New Republic, June 7, 1943, 76. McMahon soon became the cause célèbre of the very liberals he criticized when he lost his teaching job at the University of Notre Dame, in part for being too outspoken in favor of the alliance of the United States and Russia. In this twisted drama, members of the hierarchy who opposed McMahon sought greater acceptance for Catholics by the American mainstream through a policy of quiet loyalty. McMahon's firing played into the hands of liberals ready to see Catholics as unfriendly to free speech, including Ralph Barton Perry, “Better to Grin and Bear It,” Commonweal, January 7, 1944, 304. See Burns, Being Catholic, Being American, chaps. 7, 8, 10. John Murray Cuddihy tells a similar story about Father Leonard Feeney, S.J., as an opponent of polite Catholic liberalism, in No Offense, 49–64.
53. Lewisohn, Ludwig, The American Jew: Character and Destiny (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1950), 18, 34. On Lewisohn, see Melnick, Ralph's excellent biography, The Life and Work of Ludwig Lewisohn, 2 vols. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998).
54. Lewisohn, American Jew, 19.
55. Ibid. , 86; the phrase “pseudo-racialism” appears on 22.
56. Ibid., 88, 25. Lewisohn's insistence that Jews recover their identity should be seen in the context of the gradual erosion of classical Reform Judaism, with its commitment to Americanization, beginning at the turn of the century and pushed forward by the arrival in America, first, of Eastern European Orthodox immigrants and, later, traditionalist rabbis of varying degrees of orthodoxy fleeing the Holocaust, including Abraham Joshua Heschel, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and Joseph Soloveitchik. See Silverstein, Alternatives to Assimilation, chap. 5; Freedman, Samuel G., Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000), esp. 38–39 ; and, on these rabbis, Werblowsky, Zwi and Wigoder, Geoffrey, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 319, 611–12, 651–52.
57. Wouk, Herman, Marjorie Morningstar (Boston: Little, Brown, 1955), 163, 163–64.
58. McCarthy, Mary, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1957), 50, 33, 263.
59. Frady, Marshall, Billy Graham: A Parable of American Righteousness (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979), 191–205 . On changes within fundamentalism, see Marsden, “Unity and Diversity in the Evangelical Resurgence,” in Altered Landscapes, ed. Lotz.
60. Henry, Carl, Remaking the Modern Mind (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1946), 7 .
61. Ibid. , 25, 7; Henry, Carl, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1947), n.p. and 69 . Henry was a professor at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago when he published these books. He soon took a position at the new Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where his colleague Edward Carnell also published a succession of popular books around 1950 framed in theological rhetoric. See Nelson, Rudolph's incisive biography, The Making and Unmaking of an Evangelical Mind: The Case of Edward Carnell (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
62. On the revival, see Ahlstrom, Sydney E., A Religious History of the American People (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), chap. 56. Ahlstrom largely echoes Will Herberg's critique of the revival as an expression of Cold War conformism, esp. 951–52. This remains the dominant view of the resurgent religious interest. On Herberg, see below.
63. Louis Finkelstein, “Preface,” in Thirteen Americans: Their Spiritual Autobiographies, ed. Louis Finkelstein (New York: Harper and Brothers, for the Instititute of Religious and Social Studies, 1953), xi. Few of the speakers are well known today. Among them were Basil O’Conner, the law partner of Franklin D. Roosevelt; Rabbi Julian Morganstern, retired president of Hebrew Union College; and Erwin D. Canham, editor of the Christian Science Monitor. On Finkelstein, see Fred W. Beuttler, “Making America Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish: ‘Spiritual Federalism’ and America's Third Democratic Faith,” conference paper, American Historical Association, Chicago, January, 2003.
64. On the conference, see Herberg, “Communism, Democracy, and the Church,” 393, 391. Examples of religious sociology focusing on problemsolving are Thomas, John L., , S.J., The American Catholic Family (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1956); Monahan, Thomas P. and Kephart, William M., “Divorce and Desertion by Religious and Mixed-Religious Groups,” American Journal of Sociology 59 (1954): 454–65; and Levinson, Maria H. and Levinson, Daniel J., “Jews Who Intermarry: Sociopsychological Bases of Ethnic Identity and Change,” Yivo Journal of Jewish Social Science 12 (1958–1959): 103–30. Among many manuals for pastoral counselors were Holman, Charles T., Getting Down to Cases (New York: Macmillan, 1942), and Hiltner, Seward, The Counselor in Counseling: Case Notes in Pastoral Counseling (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1950).
65. Ausmus, Harry J., Will Herberg: From Right to Right (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987), and Diggins, Up from Communism, chaps. 3, 7, 9.
66. The phrase “religions of democracy” appeared in Herberg, Protestant—Catholic—Jew a number of times, including 88, 242; Herberg used “group” typically on 39.
67. Ibid. , 263, 89.
68. Ibid. , 256, 268, 260.
69. Cox, Harvey, The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective (1965; repr., New York: Macmillan, 1990), 213 .
70. Ibid., title of chap. 11. Other theologians particularly concerned with religious language include Rubenstein, Richard L., After Auschwitz: Radical Theology and Contemporary Judaism (Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1966); van Buren, Paul M., The Secular Meaning of the Gospel (New York: Macmillan, 1963); and van Buren, Paul M., The Edges of Language: An Essay in the Logic of a Religion (New York: Macmillan, 1972). For a revealing discussion of evangelical Edward Carnell's struggle with language, see Nelson, Making and Unmaking of an Evangelical Mind, chaps. 7–8.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed