God-Optional Religion in Twentieth-Century America: Quakers, Unitarians, Reconstructionist Jews, and the Crisis Over Theism, 1920-1965

Isaac May
This dissertation reframes the relationship between the American religious left and secularization. It explores how three liberal religious groups, Quakers, Unitarians, and Reconstructionist Jews, embraced new ideas of God, either seeing God as impersonal or allowing members to espouse atheist and agnostic views. It documents the continuance of these religious communities even after the theological rationales that originally brought them together disappeared. In these groups, communal identity became focused on humanitarian service and political commitments,...
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