3-5 pm CDT
Virtual seminar, register for link
Margaret Mead vs Christian Nationalism, Elesha Coffman, Baylor University
The famous anthropologist Margaret Mead was alarmed by news of a “Spiritual Defense Parade” planned for October 1941, so she asked a fellow social scientist, her mother, to investigate. This quirky episode in American religious history merits attention for three reasons. One, the investigation offers a snapshot of American Protestantism before postwar restructuring. Two, Mead’s alarm opens a window on religious concerns within wartime anthropology, an understudied topic. Three, since January 6, 2021, many Americans have posited that Christian nationalism poses a grave threat to the social order, while civil religion offers resources for healing the breach. A look back at the early 1940s demonstrates how hard it is to disentangle those modes of public religiosity.
This event is free, but all participants must register in advance and space is limited. To register and request a copy of the pre-circulated paper, click here. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.