John Foster Dulles: Faith, Freedom, and the Cold War Architect

In this lecture, John D. Wilsey, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Church History at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) explores the legacy of John Foster Dulles.

John Foster Dulles was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Secretary of State from 1953 to 1959. He served in the early years of the Cold War and pursued a vigorous foreign policy meant to isolate and undermine international and expansionist Communism.

Undergirding his foreign policy was a commitment to natural law, a realistic understanding of human nature, and a clear vision of freedom which he meant to champion everywhere it was threatened.

Dulles’ reputation has fallen in recent years. He has been characterized as a dour Puritan, inflexible and simple. Wilsey reconsiders Dulles in light of his religious beliefs, and how they animated his vision of human freedom.