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Grant number: FEL-258047-18

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Lerone Allen Martin, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO 63130-4899)

J. Edgar Hoover’s Stained Glass Window: The FBI, Religion, and National Security in American History, 1935-72

Research and writing of a book on the relationship between religious institutions and the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the directorship of J. Edgar Hoover (1935-1972).

J. Edgar Hoover's Stained Glass Window chronicles how the FBI partnered with clergy, faith communities, and parachurch organizations to shape popular notions and policies concerning religion and national security in the twentieth century US. Studies of the FBI and religion have overwhelmingly fixated on COINTELPRO and the Bureau’s other efforts of surveillance, counter-intelligence, and hostility towards clergy and religious groups. This focus, combined with the reading of contemporary views of the FBI back into religious histories, has hindered scholars, clergy, and causal observers of American religion from recognizing other modes of the FBI’s religious engagement. J. Edgar Hoover's Stained Glass Window intervenes with such studies by focusing not on the Bureau’s religious antagonism and counter-intelligence, but rather its religious devotion and partnerships. For the FBI, a secure America was a Christian America.

Project fields:
History of Religion; U.S. History


Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020