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American Religion at the SHAFR 2018 Annual Meeting

Lauren Turek

Although this year's annual Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations meeting featured fewer panels and roundtables addressing American religion than previous conferences, there were still a number of noteworthy presentations.

Particularly exciting was Panel 64: Terms of Endearment: U.S. Sympathies towards Israel, 1960s-1980s, which Melani McAlister chaired. This panel included two papers that shed light on American religious leaders and the dynamics of the U.S. relationship with Israel: “Rabbi Balfour Brickner and the Interreligious Challenge to American Zionism, 1967-1982," by  Doug Rossinow and "Israel, Lebanon, and the Conservative Politics of Religious Persecution, 1978-1983," by Daniel Hummel. Rossinow's paper used Rabbi Balfour Brickner's activism and writing as a means for exploring how liberal Jewish Zionism grew more contested in the shadow of the Six Day War in 1967 and the Vietnam War. Rossinow suggested that Rabbi Brickne…

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