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Unintentional Consequence of WWI: American Religious Pluralism and the Jewish Experience @ ScotLib

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- On Monday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m., Jessica Cooperman, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Jewish Studies at Muhlenberg College, will discuss an unintentional consequence of involvement in World War I -- American religious pluralism and the depiction of Judaism and Catholicism as equal partners to Protestantism in the “three faiths of American democracy.”​

The American government entered World War I confident in the knowledge that the United States was a predominately Protestant country, albeit one which extended religious tolerance to other faiths. By the end of the war, however, the U.S. military and War Department increasingly depicted Judaism and Catholicism as equal partners to Protestantism in the “three faiths of American democracy.”

World War I marked a period of critical, although not always intentional, transformations in the ways that American religion was defined and supported by the policies and practices of the government. This talk will explore how these changes came about: who advocated for them? And how was it that Americans gradually began to think of themselves as part of a “Judeo-Christian” country that included Protestants, Catholics, and Jews?

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World War I and America is a two-year initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Registration is not required. For more information, go to http://www.scotlib.org/2017/worldwarone, email library@scotlib.org, call (908) 322-5007 x 204 or stop by the Reference Desk. The Scotch Plains Library is located at 1927 Bartle Ave., one block from Park Ave. in the center of town.

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