Supreme Court decision
By: Owen J. Roberts
Date: May 20, 1940 Source: Cantwell v. Connecticut. 310 U.S. 296 (1940). Available online at http://laws.findlaw.com/us/310/296.html; website home page: http://www.findlaw.com (accessed April 21, 2003).
About the Author: Justice Owen J. Roberts (1875–1955), became well known to the American public when President Calvin Coolidge (served 1923–1929) appointed him to prosecute the Teapot Dome oil scandal, a case involving the misuse of public lands, in 1924. President Herbert Hoover (served 1929–1933) named Roberts to the United States Supreme Court in 1930. Roberts retired from the court in 1945 and became dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School three years later.
In Cantwell v. Connecticut Newton Cantwell sued the state of Connecticut for violating his First Amendment right of freedom of religion by requiring him to get prior official approval before soliciting door-to-door. Cantwell and his sons, Jesse and Russell, all Jehovah's Witnesses, were arrested while individually soliciting residents in a heavily Catholic neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut.
The Cantwells asked...
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"Christian Faith and the World Crisis"
By: Reinhold Niebuhr
Date: February 10, 1941
Source: Niebuhr, Reinhold. "Christian Faith and the World Crisis." Journal of Christianity and Crisis, February 10, 1941. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.religion-online.org (accessed February 12, 2002).
About the Author: Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), born in Wright City, Missouri, became a major figure in Christian theology. He served as an evangelical pastor in Detroit from 1915 to 1928 and worked as a professor of Christian ethics at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City from 1928 to 1960. A political activist and influential theological author, he was renowned for his theology of Christian Realism.
Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr's article "Christian Faith and the World Crisis" was published in the Journal of Christianity and Crisis on February 10, 1941, almost ten months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The United States was still at peace but the possibility of entering World War II (1939–1945) was on the minds of many Americans. Some Christians argued that the United States had no moral right to enter the war and that if all Christians and...
(The entire section is 2107 words.)
By: Jacques Maritain
Date: October 6, 1941
Source: Maritain, Jacques. "On Anti-Semitism." Journal of Christianity and Crisis, October 6, 1941. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.religion-online.org (accessed February 9, 2002).
About the Author: Jacques Maritain (1882–1973), one of the most important Catholic theologians and authors of the twentieth century, was born in Paris, France. From 1914 to 1940 he was a professor at the Institut Catholique in Paris. During World War II (1939–1945) he lived in the United States, which he considered his second home, and taught at Princeton and Columbia universities and the University of Chicago. Maritain is noted especially for his work on the moral philosophy of the medieval theologian St. Thomas Aquinas.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s Maritain became extremely concerned about the growth of anti-Semitism, especially in his native France. In June 1940, just months after the start of World War II, the German army defeated France and occupied two-thirds of the country. In the remaining one-third, France set up an authoritarian government, led by Marshal Pétain and Pierre Laval. This government, known as...
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Constitution of the American Council of Christian Churches
By: American Council of Christian Churches
Source: Constitution of the American Council of Christian Churches. Available online at (accessed February 13, 2002).
About the Organization: The American Council of Christian Churches, headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is composed of representatives from a number of fundamentalist churches belonging to various denominations and fellowships. Established in 1941, the council has always considered itself multidenominational in that each member church maintains its own identity and has complete autonomy over its own affairs.
The American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC) consists of pastors, churches, and church members who adhere to biblical fundamentalism, the belief that everything in the Bible is literally true. The ACCC supports the goals of seeking the truth as presented in the Bible and preserving traditional Christian heritage.
In its efforts to affirm and promote biblical fundamentalism, the ACCC has tried to distance itself from liberal theological thought and practice. Council members, in defense of the Bible, view liberal theology as leading to ecumenical apostasy, or the abandonment of the Christian faith. They see...
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"Why Do the Members of Christ Tear One Another?"
By: Dorothy Day
Date: February 1942
Source: Day, Dorothy. "Why Do the Members of Christ Tear One Another?" The Catholic Worker, February 1942. Available online at http://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/daytext.cfm?TextID... ; website home page: http://www.catholicworker.org (accessed April 22, 2003).
About the Author: Dorothy Day (1897–1980), born in Brooklyn, New York, was a committed Marxist until her conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1927. As a result, she developed into a famous social reformer and activist. In 1933 she co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement and guided its work in peace advocacy, civil rights, and labor union justice. Even during World War II (1939–1945), when most Americans supported the war effort, she remained a staunch anti-war activist.
Despite the unpopularity of Dorothy Day's anti-war stance prior to and during World War II, she maintained her strongly held beliefs and denounced all wars. Her condemnation of war, based on her interpretations of Catholicism and Christianity, led her to accept pacifism as a strategy for social change and as a goal...
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Peace of Mind
By: Joshua Loth Liebman
Source: Liebman, Joshua Loth. Peace of Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1946. Excerpts available online at http://akoven.tripod.com/jewishhealingtherapies/id2.html; website home page: http://akoven.tripod.com (accessed February 9, 2002).
About the Author: Joshua Loth Liebman (1907–1948), born in Hamilton, Ohio, was a well-known Jewish Reform rabbi, author, and radio preacher. He entered college when he was only 13 years old and graduated from the University of Cincinnati at 19. In 1930, at the age of 23, he was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Nine years later, he became a rabbi at Temple Israel in Boston, where he served until his death.
In his best-selling book, Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature that Can Change Your Life, Rabbi Liebman argued that religion and psychology can find common ground in helping people achieve inner security and strength. His book provided Americans with much-needed reassurance following World War II (1939–1945). During the war 405,000 Americans died and 671,000 were wounded. Surviving...
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Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing
Supreme Court decision
By: Hugo LaFayette Black
Date: February 10, 1947
About the Author: Justice Hugo LaFayette Black (1886–1971), born in Harlan, Alabama, was a Democratic senator from 1927 to 1937. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (served 1933–1945) appointed him to the United States Supreme Court in 1937, a position he held until 1971. Controversial and contradictory as a justice, Black was noted especially for his strong defense of the rights of citizens as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Arch R. Everson, a resident and taxpayer in Ewing, New Jersey, challenged a state law allowing local boards of education to reimburse parents for the expense of sending their children to either public or private schools on public transportation buses. Specifically Everson argued that the state should not reimburse parents who sent their children to Catholic schools because this violated the principle of separation of...
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By: Pius XII
Date: December 18, 1947
Source: Pope Pius XII. Optatissima Pax. Rome, December 18, 1947. Available online at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/docu... ; website home page: http://www.vatican.va (accessed February 5, 2003).
About the Author: Pope Pius XII (1876–1958), born Eugenio Maria Guiseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was ordained a priest in 1899. After becoming a papal diplomat, he was elevated to cardinal in 1929. In 1930 he served as Vatican secretary of state until his election as pope in 1939, a post he held until his death.
By the end of World War II (1939–1945), Americans, along with the rest of the world, felt weary and dispirited. Years of bloodshed, destruction, and ruin had left people physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. Nevertheless, most believed that the post-war era would introduce a new age and that they must prepare themselves to rebuild and to maintain the shaky peace threatened by the pending "Cold War" between communist and democratic nations.
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McCollum v. Board of Education
Supreme Court decision
By: Hugo Black
Date: March 8, 1948
About the Author: Hugo LaFayette Black (1886–1971), born in Harlan, Alabama, was a Democratic senator from 1927 to 1937. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (served 1933–1945) appointed him to the United States Supreme Court in 1937, a position he held until 1971. Controversial and contradictory as a justice, he is noted especially for his strong defense of the rights of citizens, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In the early 1940s a group of Champaign, Illinois, citizens formed the Champaign Council on Religious Education. This organization, consisting of representatives from local Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant groups, devised a proposal to offer voluntary classes in religion to public school students right in their own schools.
The local board of education agreed to this proposal and cleared the way for weekly religious...
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Universal Declaration of Human Rights
By: United Nations
Date: December 10, 1948
Source: United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III). December
About the Organization: President Franklin D. Roosevelt (served 1933–1945) coined the name "United Nations" during World War II (1939–1945) when referring to 26 nations that had pledged to continue fighting together against Germany, Italy, and Japan. In 1945 representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. The United Nations...
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The First Assembly of the World Council of Churches Official Report
By: World Council of Churches
Source: World Council of Churches. The First Assembly of the World Council of Churches. Official Report. New York: Harper & Bros, 1949, 160–64. Available online at http://www.jcrelations.net/en/displayItem.php?id=1489; website home page: http://www.jcrelations.net (accessed February 5, 2003).
About the Organization: The World Council of Churches, established in 1948 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is a worldwide association consisting of approximately 350 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, and Old Catholic churches. The Roman Catholic Church, although not a member of the council, cooperates in joint efforts with the World Council of Churches. The council, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, was established primarily to encourage cooperation among all branches of Christianity worldwide.
After World War II (1939–1945) the process of reconstruction included not only rebuilding cities but also a rethinking of Christian attitudes and behavior toward Jewish people. The World Council of Churches (WCC) made a reexamination of the Christian approach to Jews and...
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A Guide to Confident Living
By: Norman Vincent Peale
Source: Peale, Norman Vincent. A Guide to Confident Living. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1948, 1–22.
About the Author: Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993), born in Bowersville, Ohio, became a minister notable for his application of psychology to religion. He spread his message through church sermons, radio and television programs, and popular books and other writings. Ordained to the Methodist ministry in 1922, Peale changed his denomination to Dutch Reformed in 1932 when he accepted a position at the 300-year-old Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. Peale remained there for the next 50 years.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale broke new ground in the American ministry by using the principles of psychology in counseling members of his congregation. He saw the value of applying scientific information on human behavior directly to his ministry. A Guide to Confident Living contains his basic theories about the interplay of psychology and religion, stories from men and women he has counseled, and practical advice on taking charge of one's life by living confidently with the grace of God.
Before Peale developed this approach most...
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By: Paul Tillich
Date: June 15, 1949
Source: Tillich, Paul. "Beyond Religious Socialism." Christian Century, June 15, 1949. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.religion-online.org (accessed April 23, 2003).
About the Author: Paul Tillich (1886–1965), born in Starzeddel, Prussia, taught theology and philosophy at several German universities before coming to the United States in 1933. He was appointed Professor of Philosophical Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he remained until 1955. He then completed his career as University Professor at Harvard University. Tillich has been called the most prominent Protestant theologian of the twentieth century.
In "Beyond Religious Socialism," Paul Tillich presents a brief history of his experiences in theology and philosophy after coming to America from Germany in 1933. He notes particularly the important role of social ethics in American theology. The practice of social ethics involves the study of right and wrong, good and bad, moral judgments, and the rules or standards governing the conduct or behavior of people toward one another.
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"Greater L.A.'s Greatest Revival Continues!"
Date: October 26, 1949
Source: Daily News (Los Angeles), October 26, 1949. Reproduced in the Billy Graham Center Archives. Wheaton College. Available online at http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/images/laad1.jpg; website home page: http://www.wheaton.edu (accessed April 23, 2003).
Billy Graham (1918–), born in Charlotte, North Carolina, preached his first sermon in 1937. He was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939. After a period as minister of the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, Illinois, he became a traveling "tent evangelist," holding his first mass religious rally at Chicagoland Youth for Christ in 1944. The following year he became the field representative of a growing evangelistic movement known as Youth for Christ and served as its first vice president from 1945 to 1948. In this role he toured the United States and much of Great Britain and Europe, teaching local church leaders how to organize youth rallies.
Graham organized his first major crusade in Los Angeles in 1949 in obedience to Christ's command to go into the world and preach the Gospel to all. Historians consider Graham's eight-week crusade for...
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Interviews With Holocaust Survivors
By: Rudy Herz, Ben Stern, and Pincus Kolender
Source: Herz, Rudy; Ben Stern; and Pincus Kolender. Interviews by South Carolina Educational Television Studios. September 19, 1991 [Herz]; August 8, 1991 [Stern]; September 26, 1991 [Kolender]. Directed by Linda J. DuRant. VHS. Available through SCETV at http://www.scetv.org/Holocaust-Forum/INDEX.html; website home page: http://www.scetv.org (accessed February 5, 2003). Transcribed excerpts reproduced in The Holocaust: A Tragic Legacy. Available online at http://library.thinkquest.org/12663/?tqskip1=1&tqtime=0206; website home page: http://library.thinkquest.org (accessed February 10, 2002).
About the Authors: Rudy Herz, Ben Stern, and Pincus Kolender are three of the millions of Jews imprisoned at Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Before being sent to the camps, they and thousands of others were confined to ghettos, or separate Jewish sections, in European cities. Rudy spent almost two years in the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia; Ben lived in Kilce, a Polish ghetto, for six...
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