By Sharon M. Leon
Within the first half the 20th century, supporters of the eugenics circulation provided a picture of a racially remodeled the US via curbing the copy of "unfit" contributors of society. via institutionalization, obligatory sterilization, the restrict of immigration and marriages, and different tools, eugenicists promised to enhance the inhabitants - a coverage time table that used to be embraced by means of many top intellectuals and public figures. yet Catholic activists and thinkers around the usa adversarial a lot of those measures, announcing that "every guy, even a lunatic, is a picture of God, now not a trifling animal." In "An snapshot of God", Sharon M. Leon examines the efforts of yank Catholics to thwart eugenic guidelines, illuminating the ways that Catholic idea remodeled the general public dialog approximately person rights, the function of the kingdom, and the intersections of race, neighborhood, and relatives. via an exam of the wider questions raised during this debate, Leon casts new gentle on significant concerns that stay important in American political existence at the present time: the establishment of marriage, the position of presidency, and the separation of church and country. this is often crucial studying within the heritage of faith, technological know-how, politics, and human rights.
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Extra resources for An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics
John Montgomery Cooper’s dual career as an anthropologist and as a religious educator placed him in direct contact with eugenics enthusiasts. A descendant of English Quakers, Cooper was born in Montgomery County, Maryland, and grew up in Baltimore. Educated at the North American College, by the year of his ordination in 1905, Cooper had completed a doctorate in philosophy and a doctorate in sacred theology. Shortly thereafter, the rector of the Catholic University of America invited Cooper to teach religious education to the university’s undergraduates as a member of the Department of Apologetics.
Saleeby, Gerrard was still befuddled. ”23 Gerrard was deeply troubled by the vagueness of the stated ends and aims of positive eugenics, in part because he suspected that they were a guise for the solidiﬁcation of a discriminatory social hierarchy. Others were troubled by the use of Alfred Binet’s intelligence test and the methods employed by Dr. Henry H. Goddard, the director of research at the Training School for Feebleminded Boys and Girls, a prominent site of eugenics investigations in Vineland, New Jersey.
Furthermore, the statement strongly endorsed bringing an end to child labor. And although calling for women to relinquish jobs in industry to returning soldiers, the plan urged a just wage for women who needed to remain in the workforce. By releasing this statement, the War Council endorsed Ryan’s broader vision of social justice through economic justice. Later in 1919 the US Catholic hierarchy held a general meeting attended by the heads of each American diocese, a gathering the likes of which had not occurred since the Third Plenary Council in 1884.
An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics by Sharon M. Leon