Religious Intolerance, America, and the World: A History of Forgetting and Remembering

John Corrigan (Author)
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As the news shows us every day, contemporary American culture and politics are rife with people who demonize their enemies by projecting their own failings and flaws onto them. But this is no recent development. Rather, as John Corrigan argues here, it's an expression of a trauma endemic to America's history, particularly involving our long domestic record of religious conflict and violence.

Religious Intolerance, America, and the World spans from Christian colonists' intolerance of Native Americans and the role of religion in the new republic's foreign-policy crises to Cold War witch hunts and the persecution complexes that entangle Christians and Muslims today. Corrigan reveals how US churches and institutions have continuously campaigned against intolerance overseas even as they've abetted or performed it at home. This selective condemnation of intolerance, he shows, created a legacy of foreign policy interventions promoting religious freedom and human rights that was not reflected within America's own borders. This timely, captivating book forces America to confront its claims of exceptionalism based on religious liberty--and perhaps begin to break the grotesque cycle of projection and oppression.

Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
April 07, 2020
6.0 X 1.1 X 9.1 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

John Corrigan is the Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion and professor of history at Florida State University. He is the author of Emptiness: Feeling Christian in America, also published by the University of Chicago Press.


"Religious Intolerance, America, and the World is a magisterial work. It is a beautifully written and persuasively--even relentlessly--argued book, with a sweeping historical arc that begins in the colonial period and ends with the current presidency of Donald Trump. Through incisive analysis of an absolutely stunning array of primary sources, Corrigan marshals a mountain of persuasive evidence. His bookis a major and much-needed contribution to our current historical moment."-- "Heather Curtis, Tufts University"
"With this erudite, intelligent, provocative, and important book, Corrigan has made a major contribution to religious history, the political analysis of religious freedom, and the history of international affairs."-- "Melani McAlister, George Washington University"