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Preaching EugenicsReligious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement$
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Christine Rosen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156799

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019515679X.001.0001

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Protestant Promoters and Jewish Eugenics

Protestant Promoters and Jewish Eugenics

(p.85) 3 Protestant Promoters and Jewish Eugenics
Preaching Eugenics

Christine Rosen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the discussion of religious enthusiasts of eugenics by tracing the support the movement garnered from prominent Protestants such as Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, who helped eugenics supporters such as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg organize the First and Second National Race Betterment Conferences in 1915 and 1916. At the same time, Reform rabbis such as Max Reichler began to assess the eugenics movement in light of the teachings of the Jewish faith at a time when fears about Jewish and Catholic immigration to the United States were rising; at the same time, a heated debate was occurring among Jews about the benefits and dangers of intermarriage. Finally, this chapter discusses how opponents of immigration, such as eugenicist Madison Grant, were employing eugenic rhetoric to argue that the American “melting pot” could no longer absorb new arrivals.

Keywords:   Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Race Betterment Foundation, Reform Judaism, Rabbi Max Reichler, immigration, melting pot, Madison Grant, intermarriage

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