For God and Globe recovers the history of an important yet largely forgotten intellectual movement in interwar America. Michael G. Thompson explores the way radical-left and ecumenical Protestant internationalists articulated new understandings of the ethics of international relations between the 1920s and the 1940s. Missionary leaders such as Sherwood Eddy and journalists such as Kirby Page, as well as realist theologians including Reinhold Niebuhr, developed new kinds of religious enterprises devoted to producing knowledge on international relations for public consumption. For God and Globe centers on the excavation of two such effortsthe leading left-wing Protestant interwar periodical, The World Tomorrow, and the landmark Oxford 1937 ecumenical world conference. Thompson charts the simultaneous peak and decline of the movement in John Foster Dulles's ambitious efforts to link Christian internationalism to the cause of international organization after World War II.Concerned with far more than foreign policy, Christian internationalists developed critiques of racism, imperialism, and nationalism in world affairs. They rejected exceptionalist frameworks and eschewed the dominant "Christian nation" imaginary as a lens through which to view U.S. foreign relations. In the intellectual history of religion and American foreign relations, Protestantism most commonly appears as an ideological ancillary to expansionism and nationalism. For God and Globe challenges this account by recovering a movement that held Christian universalism to be a check against nationalism rather than a boon to it.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Missionaries, Mainliners, and the Making of a MovementPart I. Radical Christian Internationalism at The World Tomorrow1. Anti-imperialism for Jesus2. The World Tomorrow as a Foreign Policy Counterpublic3. A Funeral and Two LegaciesPart II. Ecumenical Christian Internationalism at Oxford4. All God's Household5. Race, Nation, and Globe at Oxford 19376. Oxford’s Atlantic Crossing7. The Dulles Commission, the UN, and the Americanization of Christian InternationalismConclusion: Neglected GenealogiesNotes