The year 1950 saw the height of the postwar religious boom in America and also the depths of the Cold War. It was a year when religious enthusiasm and postwar affluence coexisted with anxiety about global communism and an ever-present nuclear threat. McCarthyism, the advent of the hydrogen bomb, and the onset of the Korean War provoked ardent and diverse responses from religious leaders and occasioned lively debate in flourishing religious journalism.
Robert Ellwood's 1950 is a cultural time capsule, recovering the impetus for many of today's trends, remembering endings and beginnings, and documenting many other developments in American religious life of fifty years ago. It highlights the parallels and divergences between religious culture then and now.