Making a Judeo-Christian Nation: How the Christian Right Embraced Jews, Supported Israel, and Redefined a Tradition


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines how America became known as a Judeo-Christian nation, and how this concept evolved politically as anti-Semitism in the Old Christian Right gave way to a positive view of Jews and Israel in the New Christian Right. Many Christian conservatives between the 1920s and '60s viewed Jews negatively and criticized religious liberals who coined “the Judeo-Christian tradition” to call for civil rights and other inclusive politics. Yet in response to moral upheaval, political radicalism, and Middle East terrorism, they began in the late '60s to identify with Jews and Israel and adopt Judeo-Christian language. The New Christian Right recast America’s Judeo-Christian identity as an exclusive, conservative one, helped the right return to power, and pushed US support for Israel.