Theses Doctoral

Under the Eye of Providence: Surveilling Religious Expression in the United States

Montalbano, Kathryn Ann

This dissertation analyzes how government agencies influenced the religious expression of Mormons of the Territory of Utah in the 1870s and 1880s, Quakers of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, and Muslims of Brooklyn,
New York, from 2002 to 2013. I argue that nineteenth-century federal marshals and judges in the Territory of Utah, mid-twentieth century FBI agents throughout the United States, and New York Police Department officers in post-September 11 New York were prompted to monitor each religious community by their concerns about polygamy, communism, and terrorism, respectively. The government agencies did not just observe the communities, but they probed precisely what constituted religion itself.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
John, Richard R.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 6, 2016