God, Government, and Greenbelt: Lived Religion and the Cultural Politics of (In)Tolerance in the Social Engineering of a Cooperative New Deal Resettlement Town, 1937–1940

  • Sally Sims StokesEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Lived Religion and Societal Challenges book series (PSLRSC)


Greenbelt, Maryland, a 1937 federal suburban cooperative town planning experiment, was populated according to a series of quotas, including one focusing on the potential religious composition of the new community. Focusing on Greenbelt’s first three years, this chapter explores the sociopolitical forces—including the notion of “religiosity”—and the lived religion of federal bureaucrats, tenants, and clergy. These factors encouraged interfaith cooperation while at the same time sustaining tensions and divisions that would not be immediately overcome through socially-engineered religious diversity.


Cooperative Community Religious Preference Catholic Priest Federal Council Religious Tolerance 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Catholic University of AmericaWashington, DCUSA

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