The Rise and Fall of the Judeo-Christian Consensus

An America’s Founding and Future Lecture

February 5, 2020
James Patterson Lecture File

James M. PattersonAssociate Professor of Politics, Ave Maria University

Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are not well known for getting along; throughout the twentieth century, however, Americans of all three faiths formed a religious consensus that rested on a shared set of values. Several clergy sought to lead this consensus, with the three most significant being Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rev. Jerry Falwell. Falwell proved to be the final leader as he transformed the beleaguered consensus into a partisan constituency, thus depriving "Judeo-Christianity" of a prophetic voice above and beyond politics.

A lecture on Professor Patterson's new book, Religion in the Public Square: Sheen, King, Falwell.

James M. Patterson is associate professor of politics at Ave Maria University. His areas of research include race, religion, and American political development. He has held research positions at Duke University and Princeton University, as well as teaching positions at Hampden-Sydney College and Gettysburg College. Professor Patterson is the author of the newly-released Religion in the Public Square: Sheen, King, and Falwell (University of Pennsylvania Press). He has published academic work on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, and biblical narratives in American political rhetoric, and he has published more popular essays and book reviews for Modern Age, Society, Library of Law and Liberty, and Public Discourse. Professor Patterson received his B.A. in Political Science and Media Studies at the University of Houston in 2002 and his Ph.D. in American Politics from the University of Virginia in 2012. He lives in Ave Maria, Florida, with his wife Julia and their three children, Esme, Keats, and Stella.

Video:

The Rise and Fall of the Judeo-Christian Consensus

Location:

Lewis Library 120