By Axel R. Schäfer
Within the overdue Seventies, the recent Christian correct emerged as an impressive political strength, boldly asserting itself as a unified flow representing the perspectives of a “moral majority.” yet that flow didn't spring absolutely shaped from its predecessors. American Evangelicals and the Sixties refutes the thesis that evangelical politics have been a simply inflammatory backlash opposed to the cultural and political upheaval of the decade.
Bringing jointly clean study and leading edge interpretations, this ebook demonstrates that evangelicals truly participated in broader American advancements in the course of “the lengthy 1960s,” that the evangelical constituency used to be extra assorted than usually famous, and that the concept of right-wing evangelical politics as a backlash used to be a later construction serving the pursuits of either Republican-conservative alliances and their critics. Evangelicalism’s involvement with—rather than its response against—the major social activities, public coverage tasks, and cultural ameliorations of the Sixties proved major in its Nineteen Seventies political ascendance. Twelve essays that diversity thematically from the oil to felony ministry and from American counterculture to the second one Vatican Council depict glossy evangelicalism either as a non secular move with its personal inner dynamics and as one absolutely built-in into basic American background.
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Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, emerging from his unsuccessful bid for the 1998 Republican presidential nomination, led by the political operative Ralph Reed, explicitly highlighted the organization’s “Christian” base, in contrast to the more capacious gathering of “moral” forces suggested by Falwell’s title. . God is still on the throne. . There is a genuine struggle between good and evil. . . ”11 Many other evangelical lobbies joined Falwell and Robertson in the political arena, including Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association (1977); Beverly LaHaye’s Concerned Women for America (1979); Louis Sheldon’s Traditional Values Coalition (1980); James Dobson’s Family Research Council (1983); Rick Scarborough’s Texas-based Vision America, which claimed the allegiance of five thousand evangelical pastors prepared to persuade their members to vote; and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, a bastion of hard-edged evangelicalism and hard-ball political lobbying.
Dodge in emulation of an earlier British initiative, promoted temperance, urban evangel ism among Catholic immigrants, and other reforms. In fact, Dodge (1805–93) offers an interesting prototype of the blend of evangelical piety, Republican politics, and moral reform sometimes assumed to be unique to the late twentieth century. A merchant, railroad investor, timber baron, and founder of the Phelps Dodge mining company, he became one of the era’s richest capitalists, leaving an estate (after massive philanthropies in his lifetime) estimated at $6 million, around $140 million in current buying power.
1922), 11–12. For a critique of secularization theory, see Rodney Stark and William Sims Bainbridge, The Future of Religion: Secularization, Revival, and Cult Formation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986). By contrast, the British sociologist Steve Boyer / Contemporary Evangelicalism in Perspective E 33 Bruce, in God Is Dead: Secularization in the West (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2002), argues that secularization is a reality in the West, including the United States, despite apparent evidence to the contrary.