2. Reflecting an apocryphal shared history and belief system of Judaism and Christianity.
3. (In American public life) Christian.
Definitions 2 and 3 are used almost exclusively by Christian and some secular commentators to refer to a vaguely defined but God-centered set of "fundamental" beliefs or traditions that supposedly underlie both Jewish and Christian faith, particularly in contradistinction to the beliefs of other religions, atheism, and anti-religious political ideologies such as Communism. Specifically, it refers to such "shared" beliefs in their purported role as engendering a set of non-denominational founding principles for American civic and public life. These uses of the term ignore the global and temporal span of both Jewish and Christian history, in most of which the two traditions had little overlap and even less communality, and the doctrinal and theological differences between Judaism and Christianity that are basic to each faith's world view. They also suggest a revision of American history which both underestimates the historical dominance and contribution of the Christian majority and its beliefs, and overestimates the degree to which religious principles are required to derive and justify the moral principles articulated in the founding documents. The term is rarely used by practicing Jews or other religiously well-informed persons.