The American Religious Debate Over Birth Control, 1907–1937


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About the Book

The ongoing debates on the morality of artificial birth control sparked a heated public debate in the early twentieth century in an already religiously fragmented United States. Many denominations took part in the deliberations both publicly and privately. In examining the ideas about contraception and birth control at that time, this book considers the cultural environment, religion and its connection to the roots of birth control, the questioning of religious doctrine, the Protestants’ view of birth control, the Lambeth conferences of 1930, the influence of conservatives, and the influence of Catholics. Also discussed is the historical context of fundamentalists versus modernists, neo–Malthusianism, eugenics, immigration, the movement for legalization organized by Margaret Sanger, and how the Catholic Church came to lead religious resistance to artificial birth control.

About the Author(s)

Kathleen A. Tobin is an assistant professor of history at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana. She lives in Munster, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Kathleen A. Tobin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1081-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5093-0
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“impressively detailed…serves as both a religious survey and cultural historiography..maintains a balanced and respectful tone…integration of religious studies, social ethics, and politics makes it especially inviting as historical study”—Choice; “her study contributes to our understanding”—The Journal of American History.