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Antifundamentalism in Modern America$
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David Harrington Watt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780801448270

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801448270.001.0001

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Antifundamentalism in Modern America

David Harrington Watt

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines three texts of the 1930s and 1940s that built upon and went beyond the polemics of the 1920s. The first, H. Richard Niebuhr's “Fundamentalism,” appeared in a highly respected reference work published in 1931, the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. The second, an informal memo by Talcott Parsons called “Memorandum: The Development of Groups and Organizations Amenable to Use against American Institutions and Foreign Policy,” was written in 1940. The third text is Carl F. H. Henry's 1947 book The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. During this time, antifundamentalism embedded itself in standard reference works in a way that suggested that it was a simple truth, not one side of a controversy.

Keywords:   antifundamentalism, H. Richard Niebuhr, Talcott Parsons, Carl F. H. Henry, Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1930s, 1940s

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