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Religion, Art, and MoneyEpiscopalians and American Culture from the Civil War to the Great Depression$
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Peter W. Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626970

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626970.001.0001

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The Irony of American Episcopal History

(p.215) Epilogue
Religion, Art, and Money

Peter W. Williams

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter is a narrative and reflection on the aftermath of the “Episcopal project” after cataclysmic shifts in American society brought it largely to an end. The Great Depression put a severe crimp in building campaigns, while the New Deal—under the aegis of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an Episcopalian—shifted to the government much of the responsibility for social change and relief. During the middle decades of the twentieth century, much of the cultural energy emanating from Episcopalians of the Progressive Era was eclipsed by their growing identification with the stereotypes of “WASPs,” “preppies,” and the “East Coast Establishment.” By the 1960s, the Episcopal Church was transformed by an era of conflict both within itself and within the larger society. The notion of a church that serves the nation as an informal religious establishment, however, vanished in the vortex of civil rights, women’s ordination, liturgical reform, and the challenges both of secularism and the Religious Right.

Keywords:   East Coast Establishment, University of the South, “Episcopal project”, Social Gospel, J.P. Morgan, William Rainsford

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