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Saving FaithMaking Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of the Secular Age$
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David Mislin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453946

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453946.001.0001

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A Larger Vision

A Larger Vision

The Quest for Christian Unity

(p.119) 5 A Larger Vision
Saving Faith

David Mislin

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines a failed campaign in the early twentieth century to reunite Protestantism and Catholicism into a single Christian church. Despite the small number of supporters for Christian unity, their efforts provide crucial insight into the liberal Protestants' engagement with religious diversity within Christianity. By imagining a universal church, advocates of unity suggested that there were no points of disagreement within Christianity that could not be overcome. Newman Smyth and other advocates of unity attempted to use the spirit of national solidarity during World War I to encourage support for their cause. Ultimately, the campaign for unity achieved little; yet, it reflected American Protestants' shift in their views regarding religious pluralism. Many liberal Protestants who rejected the calls for unity did so because they saw nothing wrong with different forms of belief and practice within a divided Christianity.

Keywords:   Protestantism, Catholicism, Christian unity, Christianity, Newman Smyth, national solidarity, American Protestants, religious pluralism

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