Faith and War

How Christians Debated the Cold and Vietnam Wars

David E. Settje

NYU Press (publisher)

Throughout American history, Christianity has shaped public opinion, guided leaders in their decision making, and stood at the center of countless issues. To gain complete knowledge of an era, historians must investigate the religious context of what transpired, why it happened, and how. Yet too little is known about American Christianity’s foreign policy opinions during the Cold and Vietnam Wars. To gain a deeper understanding of this period (1964-75), David E. Settje explores the diversity of American Christian responses to the Cold and Vietnam Wars to determine how Americans engaged in debates about foreign policy based on their theological convictions.
Settje uncovers how specific Christian theologies and histories influenced American religious responses to international affairs, which varied considerably. Scrutinizing such sources as the evangelical Christianity Today, the mainline Protestant ,Christian Century, a sampling of Catholic periodicals, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Church of Christ, Faith and War explores these entities' commingling of religion, politics, and foreign policy, illuminating the roles that Christianity attempted to play in both reflecting and shaping American foreign policy opinions during a decade in which global matters affected Americans daily and profoundly.

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