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FBI and ReligionFaith and National Security before and after 9/11$
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Sylvester A. Johnson and Steven Weitzman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520287273

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520287273.001.0001

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Apostles of Deceit

Apostles of Deceit

Ecumenism, Fundamentalism, Surveillance, and the Contested Loyalties of Protestant Clergy during the Cold War

Chapter:
(p.85) 5 Apostles of Deceit
Source:
FBI and Religion
Author(s):

Michael J. Mcvicar

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520287273.003.0006

This chapter examines the FBI’s domestic intelligence-gathering on religious groups during the Cold War. The author explains how Hoover’s calls for vigilance against foreign agents resonated with socially and theologically conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists who saw “modernizing” or “liberalizing” theological trends in ecumenical American Protestantism as extensions of philosophical materialism and atheistic humanism. The chapter demonstrates how Protestant bodies such as the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States became targets of a fascinating if troubling alliance between the FBI and conservative religious groups that emulated the FBI’s cold hawkishness toward a range of organizations that challenged mainstream trends of the nation.

Keywords:   Ecumenism, Fundamentalism, Surveillance, Cold War

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