Prohibition and Eugenics: Implicit Religions that Failed

23 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2017  

Robert H. Nelson

University of Maryland - School of Public Policy

Date Written: June 7, 2015

Abstract

An implicit religion is a basic belief system that has a religious content, often functions as a religion, and in other regards is a genuine religion but does not explicitly acknowledge this fact (some prefer the term "secular religion") The study of implicit religion has become an important subfield of religious studies today. Besides those implicit religions that have many followers today, it is also illuminating to study historic implicit religions that failed. Two of the leading such implicit religions are the alcohol prohibition movement and the eugenics movement. For the former, its faithful saw the elimination of alcohol from society as a way of saving the world. For the latter, the elimination of “defective” genes from society would have equally profound consequences. This paper studies the histories of prohibition and eugenics from the perspective of implicit religion.

Keywords: implicit religion, secularization of religion, prohibition, eugenics

JEL Classification: B50, B59

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Robert H., Prohibition and Eugenics: Implicit Religions that Failed (June 7, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2996213 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2996213

Robert H. Nelson (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - School of Public Policy ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-6345 (Phone)
301-718-4377 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
13
Abstract Views
130
PlumX