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Jesuit scholar to give Jay Phillips Center lecture on Christian nationalism in America

Charles R. Gallagher, a Jesuit priest and associate professor of history at Boston College, will present “Christian Nationalism in America: Its History and Resurgence” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Centenary Room (room 264) of the Quadrangle Building on the Saint John’s University campus.

The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning with support from the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota and the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy.

In his recent book “Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten History of the Christian Front” (Harvard University Press), Gallagher tells the story of a group of American terrorists who, invoking the name of God, conspired to overthrow the U.S. government and form an alliance with Hitler.

“In his lecture here, Fr. Gallagher will summarize the history of the Christian Front and other explicitly Christian nationalist groups in America and will discuss their influence on today’s far-right movements,” said John Merkle, director of the Jay Phillips Center. 

Gallagher, who earned his Ph.D. at Marquette University, has been teaching at Boston College since 2010. Prior to that, he taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations while on a visiting fellowship. 

Gallagher’s research interests include the history of right-wing movements, the intersection of intelligence and religion, American Catholicism, papal diplomacy, international relations and the history of the Holocaust. His latest writing project is a religious history of the American Nazi party (1959-1967) and its influence on right-wing groups today. 

Gallagher is the author of numerous scholarly publications, including the book “Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII” (Yale University Press, 2008), which won the John Gilmary Shea Prize from the American Catholic Historical Association.