One (Multicultural) Nation Under God? Changing Uses and Meanings of the Term "Judeo-Christian" in the American Media

Although little more than a century old, the idea of a unified "Judeo-Christian" tradition has a noteworthy and tremendously varied history in American culture. In this article we use a content analysis of media coverage and commentary (sampled from the LexisNexis® database) to examine how...

Full description

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of media and religion
Authors: Hartmann, Douglas; Wischstadt, William; Zhang, Xuefeng
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Journals Online & Print:
Drawer...
Published: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group [2005]
In:Journal of media and religion
Year: 2005, Volume: 4, Issue: 4, Pages: 207-234
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Description
Summary:Although little more than a century old, the idea of a unified "Judeo-Christian" tradition has a noteworthy and tremendously varied history in American culture. In this article we use a content analysis of media coverage and commentary (sampled from the LexisNexis® database) to examine how and in what contexts the term has been deployed in public discourse in the last 2 decades. In the middle part of the past century, the Judeo-Christian concept was often controversial and advanced primarily for liberal social causes; in the contemporary era, meaning and usage shifted dramatically. By the 1980s, the United States was widely believed to have a core Judeo- Christian culture; the term appeared primarily as a reference point in the so-called culture wars and was most often appropriated for conservative purposes. This usage surged across the 1990s. The post-9/11 era brought another set of transformations, with overall references declining markedly and the term now associated mainly with discussions of Muslim and Islamic inclusion in America and renewed concerns about church-state separation. These results are discussed in the context of a society struggling with boundary issues in the face of increasing diversity and an evolving commitment to ethno-religious pluralism, as well as with the rise of religiously oriented politics in the new millennium.
ISSN:1534-8415
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of media and religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1207/s15328415jmr0404_1