Christian

Christian

[kris-chuhn]
Dior, Christian, 1905-57, French fashion designer. He established his main house of couture in Paris (1946) and by 1958 had salons in 15 countries employing more than 2,000 people. Known particularly for the "New Look" of 1947 (a voluptuous style with narrow shoulders, constricted waist, emphasized bust, and long, wide skirt), his designs were nonfunctional but enormously popular as women abandoned wartime austerity in the post-World War II era. He created the short, waistless sack dress (early 1950s) and introduced the A-line dress (1956). His designs represented consistent classic elegance, stressing the feminine look. The Dior tradition of beautiful fabrics led to the creation of international merchandising labels for gloves, furs, and jewelry. An astute merchandiser, he also established ready-to-wear lines that were featured in his own boutiques, and he cultivated the fashion press. After the death of Dior, the firm continued under Yves St. Laurent, Marc Bohan, and Gianfranco Ferre.

See his autobiography (1957); biography by M.-F. Pochna (1994, tr. 1996, repr. 2008).

Sinding, Christian, 1856-1941, Norwegian nationalist composer, best remembered for his lyrical, romantic piano works, including the popular Rustle of Spring. He also wrote the opera Der Heilige Berg (The Holy Mountain, 1914), orchestral works, chamber music, and songs. In 1920-21 he taught at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.
Reuter, Christian, 1665-c.1712, German writer of satiric fiction and drama. Reuter's Schelmuffsky (1696, tr. 1962) was among the first picaresque novels in German. His plays for the traveling theater, including Graf Ehrenfried (1700), Die frohlockende Spree [the rejoicing Spree] (1703), and Letzter Zuruf [last call] (1705), describe petty bourgeois weaknesses.
de Duve, Christian (Christian René Maria Joseph de Duve), 1917-, Belgian cell biologist, b. England, M.D., Catholic Univ. of Louvain, 1941. He joined the faculty at Louvain in 1947 and at the Rockefeller Institute (now Rockefeller Univ.) in New York in 1962, splitting his time between the two institutions until he retired (1985 and 1988, respectively). In 1974 de Duve received the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Albert Claude and George Palade for their pioneering work in understanding cellular structure and function. Using differential centrifugation, a technique refined and applied by Claude, de Duve identified a new organelle, the lysosome, which contains enzymes that aid in particle digestion and promote disintegration of cells after they die. Lysosomes are critical to the body's ability to defend against bacteria, and de Duve's discovery has had important implications in medicine, as several hereditary diseases are caused by deficiencies in lysosomal enzymes.
Metz, Christian: see Amana Church Society.
Thomasius, Christian, 1655-1728, German jurist and philosopher. A lawyer, he lectured on natural law at Leipzig; he broke with the traditional custom of lecturing in Latin and from 1687 taught in German. This and other liberal stands forced him to move to Halle in 1690, where he helped establish (1694) the Univ. of Halle, in which he became a professor. In the practical philosophy of Thomasius every question was considered without prejudice and submitted to the judgment of common sense. He was a reformer who sought to liberate politics from religious domination, and within religion he strove for freedom and toleration. He was influential in pointing the way to the philosophy of the Enlightenment. His chief work is Institutionum jurisprudentiae divinae (1688).
Christian, Charlie (Charles Henry Christian), 1916-42, African-American jazz guitarist, b. Bonham, Tex. The son of a singer-guitarist father and pianist mother, he grew up in Oklahoma City, where he began playing professionally at 15. By 1937, Christian had begun to play an electrically amplified guitar, and he soon transformed it into a staple of the jazz ensemble, elevating it from a largely rhythm-section role into a full-fledged solo instrument. In 1939 he jammed with Benny Goodman, who hired him on the spot; as a member of the Goodman Sextet he soon became one of America's best-known jazz guitarists. An inventive improviser, Christian had a uniquely clean, fluid sound, produced in hornlike solos often played on a single string. Essentially a swing player, he also was one of the pioneers of bop, experimenting with the form in legendary sessions at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem. In 1941 Christian contracted tuberculosis and the following year he died, leaving some 100 recordings and ending a brief but brilliant career at age 25.

See biography by P. Broadbent (1996); G. D. Rhodes, dir., Solo Flight (video documentary, 1997).

liturgy, Christian [Gr. leitourgia = public duty or worship] form of public worship, particularly the form of rite or services prescribed by the various Christian churches. In the Western Church the principal service centered upon the Eucharistic sacrifice, but with the Protestant Reformation, the reformers generally rejected the idea of sacrifice and shifted toward the sermon as the focus of formal worship. They also adopted vernacular speech. The liturgy of the Roman Catholic, the Orthodox Eastern, and some other groups centers upon the Eucharist. In the Roman Catholic Church there are nine rites with distinctive liturgies (in various languages). The Orthodox Eastern Church has several liturgies. The ancient liturgies of the East are classified as Antiochene or Syrian (with modern liturgies in Greek, Old Slavonic, Romanian, Armenian, Arabic, and Syriac) and Alexandrine or Egyptian (with liturgies in Coptic and Ethiopic). The liturgies that arose in the West are classified as either Gallican (including the Celtic, Mozarabic, and Ambrosian) or Roman, both using Latin. In the 8th cent. the Gallican was largely superseded by the Roman, which is the principal liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church today. The language was Latin until the vernacular liturgy was introduced following the Second Vatican Council. In a broader sense, liturgy includes the divine office (given in the breviary) and also services other than the Mass. In the 20th cent. there has been a movement, called the liturgical movement, for purification and renewal of liturgy. Most of its demands were met in the Roman Catholic Church by the liturgical reformation directed by the Second Vatican Council, including the use of vernacular languages in the Mass, participation of the laity in public prayer, and an emphasis on music and song. In the Protestant churches a similar liturgical movement has gained much ground, urging the formulation and reform of service and wider awareness of the value of form itself.

See E. B. Koenker, The Liturgical Renaissance in the Roman Catholic Church (1954, repr. 1966); J. A. Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite (1959); D. Attwater, The Christian Churches of the East (2 vol., rev. ed. 1961); T. Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy (tr. 1969).

Weise, Christian, 1642-1708, German didactic poet and dramatist. He wrote more than 60 plays, many of them written for production in schools. Perhaps the best-known are the comedy Bäurischer Macchiavellus [the village Machiavelli] (1679) and the tragedy Masaniello (1688). His plays are marked by realism and the use of natural dialects. He also wrote novels, mostly political satires, e.g., Die drei argsten Erznarren [the three archest fools] (1672).
Krohg, Christian, 1852-1925, Norwegian genre and portrait painter and author. After studying on the continent, Krohg returned to Norway in 1878 and became a well-known advocate of impressionism. He later taught in Paris and in 1909 became director of the Oslo Academy. In The Struggle for Existence (4 vol., 1920-21) he advocated the social mission of the arts.

(born Aug. 14, 1777, Rudkøbing, Den.—died March 9, 1851, Copenhagen) Danish physicist and chemist. In 1820 he discovered that electric current in a wire can deflect a magnetized compass needle, a phenomenon that inspired the development of electromagnetic theory. His 1820 discovery of piperine, one of the pungent components of pepper, was an important contribution to chemistry, as was his preparation of metallic aluminum in 1825. In 1824 he founded a society devoted to the spread of scientific knowledge among the general public. In 1932 the oersted was adopted as the physical unit of magnetic field strength.

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in full Young Men's Christian Association

Nonsectarian, nonpolitical Christian lay movement that aims to develop high standards of Christian character among its members. It originated in London in 1844 when 12 young men formed a club to improve the spiritual condition of young tradesmen. The first U.S. club was formed in Boston in the 1850s. YMCA programs include sports and physical education, camping, formal and informal education, and citizenship activities. It also runs hotels, residence halls, and cafeterias. National councils are members of the World Alliance of YMCAs (established 1855), headquartered in Geneva. The YMCA was charged with sponsoring educational and recreational facilities in prisoner-of-war camps by the Geneva Convention of 1929. It now operates in dozens of countries. The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) was founded in Britain (1877) to address the needs of women from rural areas who came to the cities to find work; in the U.S. (founded 1906), it has championed racial equality. The Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association (YM-YWHA) developed in the mid-19th century from Jewish men's literary societies in the U.S. and now exists in some 20 other countries worldwide.

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U.S. temperance-movement organization. Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1874, it used educational, social, and political means to promote legislation. Its president (1879–98) was Frances Willard (1839–1898), an effective speaker and lobbyist who also led the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union from its founding in 1883. The WCTU was instrumental in promoting nationwide temperance and in the eventual adoption of Prohibition.

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U.S. nonsectarian agency founded by Martin Luther King, Jr., and others in 1957 to assist local organizations working for equal rights for African Americans. Operating primarily in the South, it conducted leadership-training programs, citizen-education projects, and voter-registration drives. It played a major role in the historic March on Washington in 1963 and in the campaigns to urge passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. After King's assassination in 1968, Ralph Abernathy became president. In the early 1970s the SCLC was weakened by several schisms, including the departure of Jesse Jackson, who founded Operation PUSH in Chicago.

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Jan Smuts.

(born May 24, 1870, Bovenplaats, near Riebeeck West, Cape Colony—died Sept. 11, 1950, Irene, near Pretoria, S.Af.) South African statesman, soldier, and prime minister (1919–24, 1939–48). An Afrikaner, Smuts studied law at Cambridge University. Returning to South Africa, he was appointed state attorney in Pretoria by Pres. Paul Kruger in 1897. He fought the British in the South African War and joined with Louis Botha to oppose Alfred Milner's implementation of the peace terms. By 1905 Smuts was reconciled to British control and sought to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth. In World War I he joined again with Botha to suppress rebellion, conquer South West Africa, and launch a campaign in East Africa. He attended the Versailles peace conference and helped promote the League of Nations. When Botha died, Smuts became prime minister. He was defeated in 1924 by a National Party coalition. In 1933 he helped J.B.M. Hertzog force out the extreme nationalists, and in 1939 he replaced Hertzog as prime minister. Under his leadership South Africa helped prevent Germany and Italy from conquering North Africa. In 1948 he was defeated by Daniel F. Malan's Nationalists. He ended his life as chancellor of Cambridge University.

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Georges Simenon.

(born Feb. 13, 1903, Liège, Belg.—died Sept. 4, 1989, Lausanne, Switz.) Belgian-born French novelist. During 1923–33 he wrote more than 200 pseudonymous books of pulp fiction. His first novel under his own name was The Case of Peter the Lett (1931), in which he introduced one of the best-known characters in detective fiction, the Parisian police official Inspector Maigret. He wrote some 80 more Maigret novels, as well as about 130 psychological novels, numerous short stories, and autobiographical works, and was one of the most prolific and widely published authors of the 20th century. Simenon's central theme is the essential humanity of even the isolated, abnormal individual and the sorrow at the root of the human condition. Employing a style of rigorous simplicity, he evokes a prevailing atmosphere of neurotic tensions with sharp economy.

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(born Nov. 30, 1817, Garding, Schleswig—died Nov. 1, 1903, Charlottenburg, near Berlin, German Empire) German historian and writer. After studying law, he did research in Italy and became a master of epigraphy, the study and interpretation of inscriptions. In 1848 he became a professor of law at Leipzig, but he was soon dismissed for his participation in liberal political activities; he later held teaching posts elsewhere. He remained politically minded all his life. He is most famous for his History of Rome, 4 vol. (1854–56, 1885), considered his masterpiece. He edited the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (from 1863), a comprehensive collection of Latin inscriptions that greatly advanced understanding of life in the ancient world. His Roman Constitutional Law, 3 vol. (1871–88), represented the first codification of Roman law. His lifetime scholarly output was immense, his publications numbering almost 1,000. He received the 1902 Nobel Prize for Literature.

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(born Sept. 5, 1735, Leipzig—died Jan. 1, 1782, London, Eng.) German-born British composer. Youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, he studied with his brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in Berlin before moving to Italy. In 1762 he became composer to the King's Theatre in London, where he would remain the rest of his life, becoming music teacher to the queen, and later the impresario (with Karl Friedrich Abel) of an important series of concerts (1765–81). He wrote some 50 symphonies, some 35 keyboard concertos, and much chamber music. His music, melodious and well formed but far from profound and with no trace of his father's influence, became an important prototype of the Classical style and influenced Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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Jan Smuts.

(born May 24, 1870, Bovenplaats, near Riebeeck West, Cape Colony—died Sept. 11, 1950, Irene, near Pretoria, S.Af.) South African statesman, soldier, and prime minister (1919–24, 1939–48). An Afrikaner, Smuts studied law at Cambridge University. Returning to South Africa, he was appointed state attorney in Pretoria by Pres. Paul Kruger in 1897. He fought the British in the South African War and joined with Louis Botha to oppose Alfred Milner's implementation of the peace terms. By 1905 Smuts was reconciled to British control and sought to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth. In World War I he joined again with Botha to suppress rebellion, conquer South West Africa, and launch a campaign in East Africa. He attended the Versailles peace conference and helped promote the League of Nations. When Botha died, Smuts became prime minister. He was defeated in 1924 by a National Party coalition. In 1933 he helped J.B.M. Hertzog force out the extreme nationalists, and in 1939 he replaced Hertzog as prime minister. Under his leadership South Africa helped prevent Germany and Italy from conquering North Africa. In 1948 he was defeated by Daniel F. Malan's Nationalists. He ended his life as chancellor of Cambridge University.

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orig. Harry Heine

(born Dec. 13, 1797, Düsseldorf, Prussia—died Feb. 17, 1856, Paris, France) German poet. Born of Jewish parents, he converted to Protestantism to enter careers that he never actually pursued. He established his international literary reputation with The Book of Songs (1827), a collection of bittersweet love poems. His prose Pictures of Travel, 4 vol. (1826–31), was widely imitated. After 1831 he lived in Paris. His articles and studies on social and political matters, many critical of German conservatism, were censored there, and German spies watched him in Paris. His second verse collection, New Poems (1844), reflected his social engagement. His third, Romanzero (1851), written while suffering failing health and financial reverses, is notably bleak but has been greatly admired. He is regarded as one of Germany's greatest lyric poets, and many of his poems were set as songs by such composers as Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms.

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Hans Christian Andersen.

(born April 2, 1805, Odense, near Copenhagen, Den.—died Aug. 4, 1875, Copenhagen) Danish writer of fairy tales. Though reared in poverty, he received a university education. In his many collections of tales, published 1835–72, he broke with literary tradition and employed the idioms and constructions of spoken language. His stories are imaginative combinations of universal elements from folk legend and include such favourites as “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Emperor's New Clothes.” While some reveal an optimistic belief in the ultimate triumph of goodness and beauty (e.g., “The Snow Queen”), others are deeply pessimistic. Part of what makes his tales compelling is the way they identify with the unfortunate and outcast. He also wrote plays, novels, poems, travel books, and several autobiographies.

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(born April 10, 1755, Meissen, Saxony—died July 2, 1843, Paris, Fr.) German physician, founder of homeopathy. Struck by the similarity of the symptoms quinine produced in the healthy body to those of the disorders it cured, he theorized that “likes are cured by likes” and proposed his doctrine that substances used this way are most effective in small doses. His chief work, Organon of Rational Medicine (1810), expounds his system. His Pure Pharmacology (6 vol., 1811) details the symptoms produced by testing a large number of drugs on healthy subjects.

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Georges Simenon.

(born Feb. 13, 1903, Liège, Belg.—died Sept. 4, 1989, Lausanne, Switz.) Belgian-born French novelist. During 1923–33 he wrote more than 200 pseudonymous books of pulp fiction. His first novel under his own name was The Case of Peter the Lett (1931), in which he introduced one of the best-known characters in detective fiction, the Parisian police official Inspector Maigret. He wrote some 80 more Maigret novels, as well as about 130 psychological novels, numerous short stories, and autobiographical works, and was one of the most prolific and widely published authors of the 20th century. Simenon's central theme is the essential humanity of even the isolated, abnormal individual and the sorrow at the root of the human condition. Employing a style of rigorous simplicity, he evokes a prevailing atmosphere of neurotic tensions with sharp economy.

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(born March 15, 1794, Giessen, Hesse-Darmstadt—died May 29, 1876, Bonn, Ger.) German linguist, regarded as the founder of Romance philology. He began his career as a scholar of medieval Provençal poetry and taught literature at the University of Bonn from 1823 to the end of his life. Diez applied the methodology of comparative linguistics pioneered by Jacob Grimm and Franz Bopp to the Romance languages. In his Grammar of the Romance Languages (1836–44) and Etymological Dictionary of the Romance Languages (1853), he demonstrated the relationship of “Vulgar” or Spoken Latin to Classical Latin and the evolution of Romance languages from Spoken Latin into their modern forms.

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Christian Dior, 1957.

(born Jan. 21, 1905, Granville, France—died Oct. 24, 1957, Montecatini, Italy) French fashion designer. He trained for the French diplomatic service, but in the financial crisis of the 1930s he began illustrating fashions for a weekly periodical. In 1942 he joined the house of the Parisian designer Lucien Lelong. In 1947 he introduced his revolutionary “New Look,” which featured small shoulders, a natural waistline, and a voluminous skirt, a drastic change from the World War II look of padded shoulders and short skirts. In the 1950s the “sack,” or “H” line, became the characteristic silhouette of his designs. He was instrumental in commercializing Parisian fashion on a worldwide scale.

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(born March 15, 1794, Giessen, Hesse-Darmstadt—died May 29, 1876, Bonn, Ger.) German linguist, regarded as the founder of Romance philology. He began his career as a scholar of medieval Provençal poetry and taught literature at the University of Bonn from 1823 to the end of his life. Diez applied the methodology of comparative linguistics pioneered by Jacob Grimm and Franz Bopp to the Romance languages. In his Grammar of the Romance Languages (1836–44) and Etymological Dictionary of the Romance Languages (1853), he demonstrated the relationship of “Vulgar” or Spoken Latin to Classical Latin and the evolution of Romance languages from Spoken Latin into their modern forms.

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orig. Charles Christian

(born July 29, 1916, Bonham, Texas, U.S.—died March 2, 1942, New York, N.Y.) U.S. guitarist. Christian grew up in Oklahoma City, Okla., and joined Benny Goodman to perform in both big-band and small-group settings in 1939. He created a sensation through his technically adept and innovative use of amplification, thus changing the guitar's primary role from accompanist to soloist. He was the first great electric guitarist in jazz. As one of the most advanced and influential soloists of the swing era, Christian participated in the jam sessions at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem with Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie that pioneered the harmonic advances of bebop.

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(born Sept. 26, 1870, Charlottenlund, Den.—died April 20, 1947, Copenhagen) King of Denmark (1912–47) who symbolized his nation's resistance to the German occupation in World War II. He assumed the throne on the death of his father, Frederick VIII (1843–1912). In 1915 Christian signed a constitution granting equal suffrage to men and women. After the German occupation began in 1940, he rode frequently on horseback through the streets of Copenhagen, showing that he had not abandoned his claim to national sovereignty, and he opposed Nazi demands for anti-Jewish legislation. His speech against the occupation forces in 1943 led to his imprisonment until the end of the war.

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officially Church of Christ, Scientist

Religious denomination founded in the U.S. in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy. Like other Christian churches, Christian Science subscribes to an omnipotent God and the authority (but not inerrancy) of the Bible and takes the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus as essential to human redemption. It departs from traditional Christianity in considering Jesus divine but not a deity and in regarding creation as wholly spiritual. Sin denies God's sovereignty by claiming that life derives from matter. Spiritual cure of disease is a necessary element of redemption from the flesh and one of the church's most controversial practices. Most members refuse medical help for disease, and members engaged in the full-time healing ministry are called Christian Science practitioners. Elected readers lead Sunday services based on readings from the Bible and Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. At the end of the 20th century, the church had about 2,500 congregations in 70 countries; its headquarters is at the Mother Church in Boston. Seealso New Thought.

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(born April 8, 1818, Gottorp, Schleswig—died Jan. 29, 1906, Copenhagen, Den.) King of Denmark (1863–1906). He succeeded the childless Frederick VII, whose cousin he had married. When he became king, he was forced by popular feeling to sign the November Constitution, which incorporated Schleswig into the state (see Schleswig-Holstein Question). This led to the disastrous war of 1864 against Prussia and Austria. After the war, he unsuccessfully resisted the advance of full parliamentary government in Denmark.

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Christian IV, detail of an oil painting by Pieter Isaacsz, 1612; in Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark

(born April 12, 1577, Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, Den.—died Feb. 28, 1648, Copenhagen) King of Denmark and Norway (1588–1648). He succeeded to the throne on the death of his father, Frederick II, but a regency ruled until 1596. After his coronation he succeeded in limiting the powers of the Rigsråd (state council). He led two unsuccessful wars against Sweden and brought disaster to his country by leading it into the Thirty Years' War. He was eventually forced to accept the increased power of the nobility, which had long opposed his warlike policies. However, he energetically promoted trade and shipping, was a great builder and founder of cities, left a national heritage of fine buildings, and was considered one of the most popular of Danish kings.

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(born Aug. 12, 1503, Gottorp, Schleswig—died Jan. 1, 1559, Kolding, Den.) King of Denmark and Norway (1534–59). Son of King Frederick I, he assumed control of the kingdom after winning a civil war known as the Count's War. He arrested the Catholic bishops who had opposed him and organized the Diet of Copenhagen (1536), which confiscated episcopal property and established the state Lutheran church. By forming close ties between the church and the crown, he laid the foundation for the absolutist Danish monarchy of the 17th century.

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(born July 1, 1481, Nyborg, Den.—died Jan. 25, 1559, Kalundborg) King of Denmark and Norway (1513–23) and of Sweden (1520–23). He succeeded his father, John, as king of Denmark and Norway. In 1517 he invaded Sweden, defeating the forces of the Swedish regent, and was crowned Sweden's king in 1520. However, he ordered a massacre of Swedish nobles (the Stockholm Bloodbath) that helped incite a successful Swedish war for independence, marking the end of the Kalmar Union in 1523. That year a revolt in Denmark forced Christian to flee to the Netherlands. After attempting to regain his kingdom, he was arrested by Danish forces in 1532 and spent the rest of his life imprisoned in Danish castles.

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Christian Dior, 1957.

(born Jan. 21, 1905, Granville, France—died Oct. 24, 1957, Montecatini, Italy) French fashion designer. He trained for the French diplomatic service, but in the financial crisis of the 1930s he began illustrating fashions for a weekly periodical. In 1942 he joined the house of the Parisian designer Lucien Lelong. In 1947 he introduced his revolutionary “New Look,” which featured small shoulders, a natural waistline, and a voluminous skirt, a drastic change from the World War II look of padded shoulders and short skirts. In the 1950s the “sack,” or “H” line, became the characteristic silhouette of his designs. He was instrumental in commercializing Parisian fashion on a worldwide scale.

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orig. Charles Christian

(born July 29, 1916, Bonham, Texas, U.S.—died March 2, 1942, New York, N.Y.) U.S. guitarist. Christian grew up in Oklahoma City, Okla., and joined Benny Goodman to perform in both big-band and small-group settings in 1939. He created a sensation through his technically adept and innovative use of amplification, thus changing the guitar's primary role from accompanist to soloist. He was the first great electric guitarist in jazz. As one of the most advanced and influential soloists of the swing era, Christian participated in the jam sessions at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem with Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie that pioneered the harmonic advances of bebop.

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(born Sept. 5, 1735, Leipzig—died Jan. 1, 1782, London, Eng.) German-born British composer. Youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, he studied with his brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in Berlin before moving to Italy. In 1762 he became composer to the King's Theatre in London, where he would remain the rest of his life, becoming music teacher to the queen, and later the impresario (with Karl Friedrich Abel) of an important series of concerts (1765–81). He wrote some 50 symphonies, some 35 keyboard concertos, and much chamber music. His music, melodious and well formed but far from profound and with no trace of his father's influence, became an important prototype of the Classical style and influenced Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Learn more about Bach, Johann Christian with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Hans Christian Andersen.

(born April 2, 1805, Odense, near Copenhagen, Den.—died Aug. 4, 1875, Copenhagen) Danish writer of fairy tales. Though reared in poverty, he received a university education. In his many collections of tales, published 1835–72, he broke with literary tradition and employed the idioms and constructions of spoken language. His stories are imaginative combinations of universal elements from folk legend and include such favourites as “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Emperor's New Clothes.” While some reveal an optimistic belief in the ultimate triumph of goodness and beauty (e.g., “The Snow Queen”), others are deeply pessimistic. Part of what makes his tales compelling is the way they identify with the unfortunate and outcast. He also wrote plays, novels, poems, travel books, and several autobiographies.

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Judeo-Christian (or Judaeo-Christian, sometimes written as Judæo-Christian) is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, and considered, often along with classical Greco-Roman civilization, a fundamental basis for Western legal codes and moral values. In particular, the term refers to the common Old Testament/Tanakh as a basis of both moral traditions, including particularly the Ten Commandments; and implies a common set of values present in the modern Western World. The values most commonly assigned to the Judeo-Christian tradition are liberty and equality based on Genesis, where all humans are created equal, and Exodus, where the Israelites flee tyranny to freedom. Other authors discuss more broadly the Jewish beliefs in progress and moral responsibility, as hallmarks of American culture that come from the Judeo-Christian reading of the Bible. The term has been criticized by some theologians for suggesting more commonality than may actually exist. (Compare with Ebionites and Judaizers.)

The evolution of Judeo-Christian influence on America is most commonly the subject of historians looking at the development of democracy in America. The deep roots of Judeo-Christian values they explore go back to the Protestant Reformation, not the theological battles but the bloody struggle to win the right to translate the Bible into vernacular languages . (see Wycliff, Tyndale,King James Bible) This led to a religious mandate for public education so that ordinary people could read the Bible. According to some authors, this development was crucial to the birth of the Enlightenment and rebellion against divine right of kings

In the American context, historians use the term Judeo-Christian to refer to the influence of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament on Protestant thought and values, most especially the Puritan, Presbyterian and Evangelical heritage. These founding generations of Americans saw themselves as heirs to the Hebrew Bible, and its teachings on liberty, responsibility, hard work, ethics, justice, equality, a sense of choseness and an ethical mission to the world, which have become key components of the American character, what is called the “American Creed.” These ideas from the Hebrew Bible, brought into American history by Protestants, are seen as underpinning the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Other authors are interested in tracing the religious beliefs of America's founding fathers, emphasizing both Jewish and Christian influence in their personal beliefs and how this was translated into the creation of American institutions and character.

To these historians, the interest of the concept Judeo-Christian is not theology but on actual culture and history as it evolved in America. These authors discern a melding of Jewish thought into Protestant teachings – which added onto the heritage of English history and common law, as well as Enlightenment thinking - resulted in the birth of American democracy.

Multiple meanings

The earliest uses of the terms "Judeo-Christian" and "Judeo-Christianity" cited by the Oxford English Dictionary are 1899 and 1910 respectively, both discussing theories of the emergence of Christianity.

The term gained much greater currency particularly in the political sphere from the 1920s and 1930s, promoted by liberal groups which evolved into the National Conference of Christians and Jews, to fight antisemitism by expressing a more inclusive idea of the United States of America than the previously dominant rhetoric of the nation as a specifically Christian Protestant country.; By 1952 President-Elect Dwight Eisenhower was speaking of the "Judeo-Christian concept" being the "deeply religious faith" on which "our sense of government... is founded".

By the 1980s the description of the United States as built on a core Judeo-Christian culture had become ingrained, and no longer controversial.

The term became particularly associated with the conservative right in American politics, promoting a "Judeo-Christian values" agenda in the so-called culture wars, a usage which surged in the 1990s. Hot topic issues in the battles over the Judeo-Christian tradition include, in a typical example, the right to display the following documents in Kentucky schools, after they were banned by a federal judge in May 2000 as "conveying a very specific governmental endorsement of religion":

  • an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, which reads, "All men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
  • the preamble to the Constitution of Kentucky, which states, "We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution."
  • the national motto, "In God we trust"
  • a page from the congressional record of Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1983, Vol. 129, No. 8, which declares 1983 as the "Year of the Bible" and lists the Ten Commandments
  • a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan marking 1983 the "Year of the Bible"
  • a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln designating April 30, 1863, a "National Day of Prayer and Humiliation"
  • an excerpt from President Lincoln’s "Reply to Loyal Colored People of Baltimore upon Presentation of a Bible," which reads, "The Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man."
  • The Mayflower Compact, in which the colony’s founders invoke "the name of God" and explain that their journey was taken, among other reasons, "for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith.

Prominent champions of the term also identify it with the historic Pilgrim/Puritan Protestant tradition. The Jewish conservative columnist Dennis Prager, for example, writes:

The concept of Judeo-Christian values does not rest on a claim that the two religions are identical. It promotes the concept there is a shared intersection of values based on the Hebrew Bible (“Old Testament”), brought into our culture by the founding generations of Biblically-oriented Protestants, that is fundamental to American history, cultural identity, and institutions.

Liberal secularists reject the use of "Judeo-Christian" as a code-word for a particular kind of Christian America, with scant regard to modern Jewish, Catholic or more liberal Christian traditions.

Usage has shifted again, according to Hartmann et al, since 2001 and the September 11 attacks, with the mainstream media using the term less, in order to characterize America as multicultural. The study finds the term now most likely to be used by liberals in connection with discussions of Muslim and Islamic inclusion in America, and renewed debate about the separation of church and state.

It is used more than ever by conservative thinkers and journalists, who use it to discuss the Islamic threat to America, the dangers of multiculturalism, and moral decay in a materialist, secular age. Dennis Prager, author of popular books on Judaism and antisemitism, Nine Questions People ask about Judaism (with Joseph Telushkin) and Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism, () and radio commentator, has published an on-going 19-part series explaining and promoting the concept of Judeo-Christian culture, running for three years from 2005-2008, reflecting the interest of this concept to his listeners. He believes the Judeo-Chrisitan perspective is under assault by an amoral and materialistic culture that desperately needs its teachings.

… only America has called itself Judeo-Christian. America is also unique in that it has always combined secular government with a society based on religious values. Along with the belief in liberty — as opposed to, for example, the European belief in equality, the Muslim belief in theocracy, and the Eastern belief in social conformity — Judeo-Christian values are what distinguish America from all other countries. … Yet, for all its importance and its repeated mention, the term is not widely understood. It urgently needs to be because it is under ferocious assault, and if we do not understand it, we will be unable to defend it.

Basis of a common concept of the two religions

Supporters of the Judeo-Christian concept point to the Christian claim that Christianity is the heir to Biblical Judaism, and that the whole logic of Christianity as a religion is that it exists (only) as a religion built upon Judaism. Two major views of the relationship exist, namely Supersessionism and Dual-covenant theology. In addition, although the order of the books in the Protestant Old Testament (excluding the Biblical apocrypha) and the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) differ, the books are the same. The majority of the Old Testament is, in fact, Jewish scripture, and it is used as moral and spiritual teaching material throughout the Christian world. The prophets, patriarchs, and heroes of the Jewish scripture are also known in Christianity, which uses the Jewish text as the basis for its understanding of historic Judeo-Christian figures such as Abraham, Elijah, and Moses. As a result, a vast chunk of Jewish and Christian teachings are based on a common sacred text.

Judeo-Christian concept in interfaith relations

Promoting the concept of America as a Judeo-Christian nation became a political program in the 1920s, in response to the growth of antisemitism in America. The rise of Hitler in the 1930s led concerned Protestants, Catholics and Jews to take active steps to increase understanding and tolerance.

In this effort, precurors of the National Conference of Christians and Jews created teams consisting of a priest, a rabbi and a minister, to run programs across the country, and fashion a more pluralistic America, no longer defined as a Christian land, but ‘one nurtured by three ennobling traditions: Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism.” “The phrase ‘Judeo-Christian’ entered the contemporary lexicon as the standard liberal term for the idea that Western values rest on a religious consensus that included Jews.”

Through soul-searching in the aftermath of the Holocaust, “there was a revolution in Christian theology in America. …(producing) the greatest shift in Christian attitudes toward the Jewish people since Constantine converted the Roman Empire.” The rise of Christian Zionism that is, religiously motivated Christian interest and support for the state of Israel, along with a growth of philo-semitism, love of the Jewish people, has increased interest among American Evangelicals in Judaism, especially areas of commonality with their own beliefs, see also Jerusalem in Christianity. Interest in and a positive attitude towards America’s Judeo-Christian tradition has become mainstream among Evangelicals.

The scriptural basis for this new positive attitude towards Jews among Evangelicals is Genesis 12:3, in which God promises that He will bless those who bless Abraham and his descendants, and curse those who curse them, see also Covenant (biblical)#Abrahamic Covenant. Other factors in the new philo-semitism is gratitude to the Jews for contributing to the theological foundations of Christianity, and for being the source of the prophets and Jesus; remorse for the Church's history of anti-Semitism; and fear that God will judge the nations at the end of time on the basis of how they treated the Jewish people. Moreover, Israel is for evangelicals God's prophetic clock, irrefutable proof that prophecy is true and is coming to pass in our lifetime. Great numbers of Christian pilgrims visit Israel, especially in times of trouble for the Jewish state, to offer moral support, and return with an even greater sense of a shared Judeo-Christian heritage.

Public awareness of a shared Judeo-Chrisitan belief system has increased since the 1990s due to a great deal of interest in the life of the historical Jesus, stressing his Jewishness, see also Jewish Christians. The literature explores differences and commonalities between Jesus’ teachings, Christianity and Judaism.

On the other hand, the response of Jews towards the "Judeo-Christian" concept has been mixed. In the 1930s, "In the face of worldwide antisemitic efforts to stigmatize and destroy Judaism, influential Christians and Jews in America labored to uphold it, pushing Judaism from the margins of American religious life towards its very center." During World War II, Jewish chaplains worked with Catholic priests and Protestant ministrs to promote goodwill, addressing servicemen who, "in many cases 'had never seen, much less heard a Rabbi speak before." At funerals for the unknown soldier, rabbis stood alongside the other chaplains and recited prayers in Hebrew. In a much publicized wartime tragedy, the sinking of the USS Dorchester, the ships multi-faith chaplains gave up their lifebelts to evacuating seamen and stood together 'arm in arm in prayer' as the ship went down. A 1948 postage stamp commemorated their heroism with the words: 'interfaith in action."

In the 1950s, “a spiritual and cultural revival washed over American Jewry” in response to the trauma of the Holocaust. American Jews became more confident to be identified as different.

Two notable books addressed the relations between contemporary Judaism and Christianity, Abba Hillel Silver’s Where Judaism Differs and Leo Baeck’s Judaism and Christianity, both motivated by an impulse to clarify Judaism’s distinctiveness “in a world where the term Judeo-Christian had obscured critical differences between the two faiths.” Reacting against the blurring of theological distinctions, Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits wrote that "Judaism is Judaism because it rejects Christianity, and Christianity is Christianity because it rejects Judaism". Novelist and theologian Arthur A. Cohen, in The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition, questioned the theological validity of the Judeo-Christian concept and suggested that it was essentially an invention of American politics, while Jacob Neusner, in Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition writes "The two faiths stand for different people talking about different things to different people".

By the 1990s Jews had joined the culture wars, and liberal Jews were likely to vigorously reject all talk of Judeo-Christian culture as attacks on separation of church and state, or even on Jewish religion. For example, as one rabbi, Gershon Winckler, puts it:

"Judeo-Christian is purely a Christian myth... The term "Judeo-Christian tradition" and "Judeo-Christian morality" are wrong and misleading. They are a slap in the face for all the great teachers throughout history, whose responses to today's moral questions would in no way resemble those of the Vatican or the Christian Right, and whose attitute towards sin, physical pleasure, human dignity, and the earth differ vastly from those of Christianity.

Law professor Stephen M. Feldman identifies talk of Judeo-Christian tradition as supersessionism

"Once one recognizes that Christianity has historically engendered antisemitism, then this so-called tradition appears as dangerous Christian dogma (at least from a Jewish perspective). For Christians, the concept of a Judeo-Christian tradition comfortably suggests that Judaism progresses into Christianity -- that Judaism is somehow completed in Christianity. The concept of a Judeo-Christian tradition flows from the Christian theology of supersession, whereby the Christian covenant (or Testament) with God supersedes the Jewish one. Christianity, according to this myth, reforms and replaces Judaism. The myth therefore implies, first, that Judaism needs reformation and replacement, and second, that modern Judaism remains merely as a "relic".

Most importantly the myth of the Judeo-Christian tradition insidiously obscures the real and significant differences between Judaism and Christianity.

In contrast,conservative Jews continued to embrace the term and meaning of Judeo-Christian, and to cherish their alliance with conservative Christians. Conservative Jewish writer and talk show host, Dennis Prager writes

How can there be such a thing as Judeo-Christian values when Judaism and Christianity have different, sometimes mutually exclusive, beliefs? The most important answer is that beliefs and values are not the same things. Of course, Judaism and Christianity have some differing beliefs. If they had the same beliefs, they would be the same religion. The very term "Judeo-Christian" implies that the two are not the same. The two religions have some differing beliefs and occasionally even some different values.

...Despite whatever differences they have, ...Judeo-Christian values system has become a uniquely powerful moral force. Among its many achievements is that it is the primary contributor to America's greatness.

...European Christianity... de-emphasized its Jewish roots, and it usually persecuted Jews ...No Christian state referred to itself as "Judeo-Christian." That identity arose with the Christians of America, who from the outset were at least as deeply immersed in the Old Testament as in the New. Rather than see themselves as superseding Jews, American Christians identified with them.
These American Christians chose a Torah verse – "Proclaim liberty throughout the land" – for their Liberty Bell; learned and taught Hebrew; adopted the Jewish notion of being chosen to be a light unto the nations; saw their leaving Europe as a second exodus; had every one of its presidents take the oath of office on an Old and New Testament Bible – and while every president mentioned God in his inaugural address, not one mentioned Jesus.

Of course, most Protestant Christians who hold Judeo-Christian values continue to believe that there is no salvation outside of faith in Christ. But precisely because they do hold Judeo-Christian values, they work hand in hand with others whose faith they deem insufficient or incorrect (e.g., Jews and Mormons). So while they theologically reject other faiths, evangelical Christians are the single strongest advocates of Judeo-Christian values.
... such Christians have recognized the critical significance of the Jewish text – the Old Testament – which forms the foundation of Judeo-Christian values. It provided the God of Christianity, their supra-natural Creator, the notions of divine moral judgment and divine love, the God-based universal morality they advocate and try to live by, the Ten Commandments, the holy, the sanctity of human life, the belief in a God of history and that history has meaning, and moral progress. All these and more came from the Jews and their texts.

... the Christians brought the text and its values into the world at large and applied them to a society composed of Jews, Christians, atheists, and members of other religions.

Those Judeo-Christian values have made America the greatest experiment in human progress and liberty and the greatest force for good in history.

And they are exportable. In fact, they are humanity's only hope.

Breakdown of liberal Judeo-Christian alliance

At the same time that the positive attitude of Evangelicals towards Jews and Judaism has grown, the Judeo-Christian alliance between liberal churches and synagogues that was begun in the 1920’s, has seriously decayed in recent years. "The liberal Protestant churches, unlike their conservative counterparts, have become anti-Israel bastions in recent years. Some liberal churches have absorbed anti-Israel political stances that at times have developed into modern forms of anti-semitism, writes Dexter Van Zile in "Hate at the Altar". Presbyterian elder James Woolsey, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Bill Clinton criticized the Presbyterian USA General Assembly's 2004 decision to characterize Israel as an apartheid state and adopt a divestment policy, with these words: "We have, I'm afraid, moved into a posture…that, unless what we did two years ago is rejected, we are clearly on the side of theocratic, totalitarian, anti-Semitic, genocidal beliefs, and nothing less." (See New Anti-Semitism, also Sabeel).

"Jewish groups were caught off guard. They were outraged that divestment, a tactic utilized against apartheid South Africa, was now being advocated by a major American Protestant denomination as a means of pressuring the Jewish state. "Prior to its pronouncement, had you asked me if this is on the agenda, I'd say I can't imagine it," said Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, director of interfaith affairs for the Anti-Defamation League.

"One of the questions that we asked, maybe the question that we asked, is: Where's the outrage? Where's the passion in the mainline churches about Palestinian terrorism?" said Mark Pelavin, director of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs of Reform Judaism. "We clearly hear that outrage, and we hear that passion about the living conditions--which I would agree are deeply, deeply problematic--of the Palestinians. But we don't hear that passion about Palestinian terror; we don't hear criticism of the Palestinian leadership."...The ADL's Bretton-Granatoor said that Jewish groups and mainline churches had previously ignored their differences on the Middle East..."They've been saying similar things for awhile, and we've been pretending that they really haven't said it because we've been so proud of our work together," he said. "I think that the Jewish community is at fault for not taking them on earlier and not seeing this as a dangerous development, but I think both sides have really tried to lead each other out of discussions on the Middle East, and we can no longer do that."]].

Among some liberal churches, the influence of Palestinian Christians hostile to Jews has led to a rebirth of antisemitic imagery, belief in supercessionism, and even political action, resulting in conflicts in relations between the Jewish community and local or national churches. For example, Sabeel is a formal partner of Presbyterian U.S.A., and has been invited to put on multi-day conferences at Boston's historic Old South Church, a congregation of the United Church of Christ. Sabeel's Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel conference was widely condemned by Jewish and Christian organizations because it "included imagery explicitly linking the modern Jewish state to the terrible charge that for centuries fueled so much anti-Jewish hatred and bloodshed" that "Israel is guilty of trying to murder Jesus as an infant, of killing Jesus on the cross, and of seeking to prevent his resurrection."

Sister Ruth Lautt, National Director of Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East condemned Presbyterian U.S.A. and the South Boston United Church of Christ for legitimizing Sabeel's anti-Semitic preaching. Palestinain Pastor Ateek preaches that “in this season of Lent, it seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around Him …The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily.

Such programs have led to an unprecedented breakdown of cordial relations in the Judeo-Christian alliance between the liberal Protestant churches and the American Jewish community that was launched in the 1920s to combat American anti-Semitism.

This breakdown in the Judeo-Christian alliance has not gone unnoticed by concerned Christian churches and laypeople, who have formed numerous organizations to combat growing anti-Semitism in liberal Christine churches.

The Episcopal Diocese of New York ...Episcopal-Jewish Relations Committee has adopted a statement that says “church-sponsored programs to disinvest from Israel impede efforts towards a peaceful settlement by undermining the perceived legitimacy” of Israel. “Worse, they give the appearance of supporting Christian antipathy towards the Jewish people.”

Judeo-Christian concept in American history

Nineteenth century historians wrote extensively on the United States of America having a distinctively Protestant character in its outlook and founding political philosophy. It is only since the 1950s that the term "Judeo-Christian" has been applied to it, reflecting the growing use of that term in American political life. By some the term is used casually, simply as a commonplace term, or as an inclusive synonym for the religious. Others, including for example Prager, argue the term is appropriate in its own right, capturing a distinctively Old Testament dimension (though not necessarily that of Judaism) in the Puritan character of early American Protestantism.

The notion of a distinctive religious basis for American democracy and culture was first described and popularized by Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1840’s, in his influential book, Democracy in America. In Chapter Two, De Tocqueville describes America’s unique religious heritage from the Puritans. His analysis showed the Puritans as providing the foundational values of America, based on their strong Hebrew Bible view of the world, which included fighting for earthly political justice, an emphasis on laws and education, and a belief in the chosenness of the Jews which the Puritans identified with, giving them a sense of moral mission in founding America. As de Tocqueville observed, the Puritan’s Biblical outlook gave America a moral dimension which the Old World lacked. De Tocqueville believed these Biblical values led to America's unique institutions of religious tolerance, public education, egalitarianism, and democracy.

The principles of New England … now extend their influence beyond its limits, over the whole American world. The civilization of New England has been like a beacon lit upon a hill…. … Puritanism was not merely a religious doctrine, but corresponded in many points with the most absolute democratic and republican theories. …Nathaniel Morton, the historian of the first years of the settlement, thus opens his subject: “we may not hide from our children, showing to the generations to come the praises of the Lord; that especially the seed of Abraham his servant, and the children of Jacob his chosen (Psalm cv. 5, 6 ), may remember his marvellous works in the beginning … “ … The general principles which are the groundwork of modern constitutions, principles … were all recognized and established by the laws of New England: the intervention of the people in public affairs, the free voting of taxes, the responsibility of the agents of power, personal liberty, and trial by jury were all positively established without discussion. … In the bosom of this obscure democracy…the following fine definition of liberty: " There is a twofold liberty, natural … and civil or federal. The first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By this, man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what he lists; it is a liberty to evil as well as to good. … The exercise and maintaining of this liberty makes men grow more evil, and in time to be worse than brute beasts: … The other kind of liberty I call civil or federal; it may also be termed moral, in reference to the covenant between God and man, in the moral law, and the politic covenants and constitutions, among men themselves. … This liberty you are to stand for, with the hazard not only of your goods, but of your lives, if need be." I have said enough to put the character of Anglo-American civilization in its true light. It is the result (and this should be constantly kept in mind) of two distinct elements, which in other places have been in frequent disagreement, but which the Americans have succeeded in incorporating to some extent one with the other and combining admirably. I allude to the spirit of religion and the spirit of liberty.

This concept of America’s unique Bible-driven historical and cultural identity was developed by historians as they studied the first centuries of America’s history, from the Pilgrims through Abraham Lincoln. The statements and institutions of the founding generation that have been preserved are numerous, and they explicitly describe many of their Biblical motivations and goals, their interest in Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible, their use of Jewish and Christian images and ideas. These Judeo-Christian values were especially important at the key foundational moments of the settling of America, the War for Independence and the Civil War.

Perry Miller of Harvard University, wrote in 1956, “Puritanism may be described empirically as that point of view, that code of values, carried to New England by the first settlers. …the New Englanders established Puritanism- for better or worse-as one of the continuous factors in American life and thought. It has played so dominant a role…all across the continent…these qualities have persisted even though the original creed is lost. Without an understanding of Puritanism …there is no understanding of America.” (

This view about American history and culture has been questioned in recent decades by multiculturalists. In 2007, one prominent multiculturist professor, Jon Butler, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and Howard R. Lamar Professor of American History, Yale University, published a book on religion in colonial America which, according to the reviews, explodes the myth that “the piety of the Pilgrims typified early American religion,” corrects the image of “colonial America as a type of grey, monolithic, uniformity”, is critical of the Puritans, and adulatory towards third-world contributions: “Butler explores the failure of John Winthrop's goal to achieve Puritan perfection, the controversy over Anne Hutchinson's tenacious faith, the evangelizing stamina of ex-slave and Methodist preacher Absalom Jones, and the spiritual resilience of the Catawba Indians.” (In Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776, Butler argues against a “Europeanized” or predominantly British identity of colonial America, and underlines contributions by Ibo, Ashanti, Yoruba, Catawba and Leni-Lenape.

Michael Novak, a specialist in the religious beliefs of the founding fathers, argues that because of the power of academics promoting multiculturalism, moral relativism, and secularism, academic censorship is applied to information and analysis supporting our Judeo-Christian heritage

Use of term in United States law

In the legal case of Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), the Supreme Court of the United States held that a state legislature could constitutionally have a paid chaplain to conduct legislative prayers "in the Judeo-Christian tradition." In Simpson v. Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Supreme Court's holding in the Marsh case permitting legislative bodies to conduct prayer in the "Chesterfield County could constitutionally exclude Cynthia Simpson, a Wiccan priestess, from leading its legislative prayers, because her faith was not "in the Judeo-Christian tradition." Chesterfield County's Board included Jewish, Christian, and Muslim clergy in its invited list.

Judeo-Christian-Muslim

The term Judeo-Christian has been criticized for implying more commonality than actually exists. The Slovenian postmodern philosopher Slavoj Žižek has argued that the term Judeo-Muslim to describe the middle-east culture against the western Christian culture would be more appropriate in these days, claiming as well a reduced influence from the Jewish culture on the western world due to the historical persecution and exclusion of the Jewish minority. (see http://www.jinfo.org/Nobel_Prizes.html for a different perspective on Jewish contributions and influence.) A Judaeo-Christian-Muslim concept thus refers to the three main monotheistic religions, commonly known as the Abrahamic Religions. Formal exchanges between the three religions, modeled on the decades-old Jewish-Christian interfaith dialogue groups, became common in American cities following the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo accords.

Following 9/11, there was a break-down in interfaith dialogue that included mosques, due to the increased attention to Islamic sermons in American mosques, that revealed “anti-Jewish and anti-Israel outbursts by previously respected Muslim clerics and community leaders.”

One of the country’s most prominent mosques is the New York Islamic Cultural Center, built with funding from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. Its imam, Mohammad Al-Gamei'a, disappeared without warning two days after 9/11.

Back in Egypt, he was interviewed on an Arabic-language Web site, charging that the "Zionist media" had covered up Jewish responsibility for the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. He agreed with Osama bin Laden's accusations in bin Laden's Letter to America, claiming that Jews were guilty of "disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs." And he said that Muslims in America were afraid to go the hospital for fear that some Jewish doctors had "poisoned" Muslim children."These people murdered the prophets; do you think they will stop spilling our blood? No," he said.
The interview was published October 4 on a Web site affiliated with Cairo's Al-Azhar University, Islam's most respected theological academy. Immediately after 9/11, Imam Al-Gamei'a had presided over an interfaith service at his mosque. At the service the imam was quoted as saying, "We emphasize the condemnation of all persons, whoever they be, who have carried out this inhuman act." The Reverend James Parks Morton, president of the Interfaith Center of New York, who attended the service, called Imam Al-Gamei'a's subsequent comments "astonishing." "It makes interfaith dialogue all the more important," Reverend Morton said. Post 9/11 remarks made by Muslim leaders in Cleveland and Los Angeles also led to the suspension of longstanding Muslim-Jewish dialogues. Some Jewish community leaders cite the statements as the latest evidence that Muslim-Jewish dialogue is futile in today's charged atmosphere. John Rosove, senior rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood, and other Jewish participants withdrew from the three-year-old Muslim-Jewish dialogue group after one of the Muslim participants, Salim al-Marayati, suggested in a radio interview that Israel should be put on the list of suspects behind the September 11 attacks.

In Cleveland, Jewish community leaders put Muslim-Jewish relations on hold this month after the spiritual leader of a prominent mosque appeared in (a 1991) videotape …aired after 9/11 by a local TV station. Imam Fawaz Damra calls for "directing all the rifles at the first and last enemy of the Islamic nation and that is the sons of monkeys and pigs, the Jews." The revelation was all the more shocking since Imam Damra had been an active participant in local interfaith activities.

Good Jewish-Muslim relations continue in Detroit, which has the nation's largest Arab-American community. Jewish organizations there have established good relations with a religious group called the Islamic Supreme Council of North America. The group, whose members practice a form of gentle, tolerant Muslim mysticism, is said to be unrepresentative of the mainstream of American Islam.

See also

Related terms

References

Further reading

  • Bulliet, Richard. The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization. Columbia University Press, 2004.
  • Cohen, Arthur A. The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition. Harper & Row, New York, 1970.
  • Hexter, J. H. The Judaeo-Christian Tradition (Second Edition). Yale University Press, 1995.
  • Neusner, Jacob. Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition. Trinity Press International, Philadelphia, 1991.
  • Gelernter, David. Americanism, the Fourth Great Western Religion. Doubleday. 2007
  • Bonomi, Patricia U. Under the Cope of Heaven. Religion, Society and Politics in Colonial America. Oxford University Press, 1986
  • Novak, Michael. On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding. Encounter Books, 2002.
  • Mcgrath, Alister. In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. Anchor Books, 2002. ISBN 0385722168.
  • Bobrick, Benson. Wide as the Waters : The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired. Simon and Schuster 2001. ISBN 0684847477
  • Waldman,Steven. Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America. Random House, 2008, ISBN 1400064376
  • Lillback, Peter A..George Washington's Sacred Fire.Providence Forum Press,2006. ISBN 0978605268
  • Merkley, Paul Charles. Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel (Mcgill-Queen's Studies in the History of Religion: Series Two. McGill-Queen's University Press (March 1, 2007) ISBN 0773532552
  • Nonie Darwish Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror
  • Geza Vermes. Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels
  • E. P. Sanders. Jesus and Judaism
  • Paula Fredriksen. From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Christ
  • Ernest Renan. The Life of Jesus by , Book Tree, 2007. ISBN 1585092851
  • John Dominic Crossan. The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant
  • Mark Allan Powell. Jesus As a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee
  • John P. Meier. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus: The Roots of the Problem and the Person

External links

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