Jews in Christian America: The Pursuit of Religious Equality / Edition 1

Jews in Christian America: The Pursuit of Religious Equality / Edition 1

by Naomi Wiener Cohen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195065379

ISBN-13: 9780195065374

Pub. Date: 09/28/1992

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

A driving force in the history of American Jews has been the pursuit of religious equality under law. Jews reasoned that state and federal legislation or public practices which sanctioned religious, specifically Christian, usages blocked their path to full integration within society. Always a small minority and ever fearful of the outspoken proponents of the Christian

Overview

A driving force in the history of American Jews has been the pursuit of religious equality under law. Jews reasoned that state and federal legislation or public practices which sanctioned religious, specifically Christian, usages blocked their path to full integration within society. Always a small minority and ever fearful of the outspoken proponents of the Christian state, nineteenth-century Jews became ardent defenders of church-state separation. In the twentieth century, Jewish defense organizations took a prominent role in landmark court cases on religion in the schools, Sunday laws, and public displays of Christian symbols. Over the last two centuries, Jews shifted from support of a neutral-to-all-religions government to a divorced-from-religion government, and from defense of their own interests to the defense of other religious minorities. Jews in Christian America traces in historical context the response of American Jews to the issues presented by a Christian-flavored public religion. Discussing the contributions of each major wave of Jewish immigrants to the reinforcement of a separationist stand, Cohen shows how Jewish communal priorities, pressures from the larger society, and Jewish-Christian relationships fashioned that response. She also makes clear that the Jewish community was never totally united on the goals and tactics of a separationist posture; despite the continued predominance of the strict separationists, others argued the adverse effects of that position on communal well-being and on the very survival of Judaism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195065374
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/28/1992
Series:
Studies in Jewish History Series
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction3
Part I
1.From Toleration to Freedom11
2.Separationism Takes Root37
3.The Christian Agenda65
4.Separationism Is Moderated93
Part IIOverview: 1945-1965123
5.Tests of Released Time131
6.The Case of the Innocuous Prayer159
7.Scripture in the Schools187
8.Sabbaths and Symbols214
Afterword240
Notes247
Index293

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