Religion and the Sixties (multiple responses)

SIXTIES-L (SIXTIES-L@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU)
Fri, 23 Oct 1998 14:34:27 -0400


From: Maura Doherty <>
Subject: Re: Religion and the Sixties

The "texts" that I primarily use to relate the spiritualism of the
sixties and really into the early seventies are from popular music and
broadway, including: Hair/"Aquarious/Let the Sunshine In" (also Mama's
and the Papa's Pop hit); Jesus Christ Superstar; Godspell; "I'd Like
to Teach the World to Sing" (the Coke commercial adds an interesting
commercialized dimension) Bacharach "What the World Needs Now is Love
Sweet Love"; "Spirit in the Sky"; some Peter, Paul and Mary; and about
twenty more songs all about either God or spreading love, hope, peace,
haromony. Hope this helps.

Maura Doherty, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of History
Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois 61790
(309) 438-8083


Subject: Re: Religion and the Sixties

A few thoughts re Paul Reifenhauser's question. While I think most
the alternative-religious trend occurred ff. the sixties, some sixties
items come to mind (not specifically texts but...):

--Ginsberg--his Buddhist influenced poems and, earlier (?), "Kaddish"

--Alan Watts--as well as, generally, the interest in (American visions
of) Buddhism, maybe leading to the voyages to ashrams in the next

--in the SF Bay Area and (subsequently?) Philadelphia and elsewhere,
the "House of Love and Prayer" and Schlomo Carlbach's (spelling's not
quite right there) and others conceptions of Judaism that came to
evolve into the Jewish Renewal movement

--directions in Christianity evolving out of civil disobedience
"witness" (relationship to later Liberation Theology?)

--should one even suggest a look at the film "Brother Sun, Sister

--somehow in France in the sixties the "in" philo-lit went from
existentialism to situationalism, but is this relevant?

--"Amazing Grace"--I think someone posted re this recently--and re the
connections at times of "old-timey" down-home American folk
Christianity to parts of both the Movement and the extreme right

--this is only/mostly re the US, of course.

Paula Friedman


From: Richard Manning <>
Subject: Re: Religion and the Sixties

Something you may want to learn further about : as one result of my
being a diplomat in Vietnam, 1967-68, I saw firsthand the great amount
of lies, fabrications of statistics, false programs, etc., ALL having
nothing to do with our helping the Vietnamese choose anything. But
everything to do with our US CHRISTIAN SUPERIORITY COMPLEX.

And, of course, the Christian chaplains supported the WAR and the
massive bombing, chemicals, civilian deaths and displacements,
ecological destruction, terrorism, et. al. which we conducted in order
to SAVE the INDOCHINES peoples for our 'Democracy' and our 'Free

For me: I came to realize, after more experiences and reading, that
Vietnam was merely the latest of examples of the wonderful hypocrisy
shown by Christianity down through the ages (not counting that of the
two other Abrahamic tribes, the Jews and Muslims, who variously continue
similar greed and violence as to that we perpetrated in INDOCHINA).

So for some 25 years now I have been a Buddhist, non-religious, as in
Zen and Vipassana for example.

I saw much cynicism and unhappiness among Americans who experienced
these realities in Nam, Laos and Cambodia, AND have often wondered how
many other patriotic servers like me - i.e. John Wayne-Jesus Christ
Americans - had a spiritual awakening from saw the honest truth of our
Military Industrial Complex saving the 'gooks' of Indochina????

Any reactions from Americans experienced with that period, this subject,
will also be appreciated.

richard manning

(almost finished an historical trilogy on the ethical failures causing
our invasions of those 3 countries under the excuses of Adam Smith and
Jesus Christ)