Jews in Christian America
Separation of church and state has become a veritable creed in the American Jewish community. Focusing on the way in which Jewish actions have contributed to the development of separation, this book examines how American Jews have contended with living in a fundamentally Christian state. In the first part, Cohen covers this history hronologically from colonial times to the Second World War. Throughout this period, Jewish community leaders focused on legislation and judicial opinions that in any way bespoke established Christianity. They were principally concerned with test oaths, Sunday laws, religion in public schools, and Christianity in federal treaties--issues that in one form or another have lasted well into the twentieth century. Dealing with the period after World War II, the second part of the book consists of an in-depth analysis of Jewish participation in, and responses to, litigation on such issues as released time, prayer and bible readings in public schools, Sunday laws, and religious decorations in public places. Cohen also considers how separationism evoked differences of opinion among Jews and how it affected Jewish-Christian relations.
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