Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 331–347 | Cite as

A transatlantic religious alliance? American and European protestant encounters, 1945–1965

  • Hans KrabbendamEmail author
Open Access


After World War II American and European Protestants linked up at various organisational levels to discuss and defend their common interests. On the American side this was far from a unified action. Disagreements between liberal and conservative Protestants in the United States meant that each side reached out to Europe in different ways, resulting in a variety of transatlantic religious alliances. The liberal representatives tried to draft a common platform for European engagement as part of their ecumenical objectives. Conservative Protestants on the other hand, feared this liberal effort and courted European souls with informal evangelical networks and joint US-European revival campaigns. Neither effort to shape new alliances was as successful as anticipated. Both suffered from Europe’s strong national religious interests and from the incongruity of a US presence in transatlantic political formations. As well, neither group could easily transcend the ideological divide created by the Cold War. In the end American evangelicals had greater success in drawing citizens on both continents in viable transatlantic relationships. Though the religious connections surfaced publicly only on occasion, they contributed to a lively transatlantic religious exchange.


religious relations evangelicals world council of churches Cold War 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Roosevelt Institute for American StudiesMiddelburgNetherlands

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