Religion, Race, and the Politics of Human Rights in the Twentieth Century U.S.

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Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 201912:00PM - 2:00PM208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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Wars are often moments of religious mobilizations, when priests and ministers reassure the public that God is on its side. During World War II, however, the opposite happened. Rather than espouse Christian nationalism, America’s most important Protestant leaders fervently embraced the United Nations and human rights. This talk looks at the emergence of Protestant globalism during the mid-twentieth century and how thinking about the whole world transformed American attitudes toward domestic problems, especially segregation. Although the Cold War would soon eclipse the wartime enthusiasm for internationalism abroad, domestic politics were permanently transformed as Protestant leaders reevaluated their views on race in light of universal human rights. Using a global frame of reference, this talk casts new light on the history of antiracism, human rights, and political polarization in the United States.


Don Newton


Gene Zubovich
Visiting Fellow, Emmanuel College Centre for the Study of the United States Centre for Religion and Its Contexts University of Toronto

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