Marianne Bertrand, Matilde Bombardini, and Trebbi 52 investigate the function of lobbying in the United States, and Gergely Ujhelyi 53 studies the working of state bureaucracies. The recent financial crisis has revived interest in the political economy of financial markets. For instance, Sumit Agarwal et al. Deniz Igan, Prachi Mishra, and Thierry Tressel 55 also investigate lobbying during the financial crisis. Conclusion Other topics covered in the Political Economy Program include the role of the press in determining political outcomes and the determination of press freedom 56 ; the determinants of international and civil wars 57 ; the effect of corruption and public procurements 58 ; and the political economy of fiscal policy in the context of the European crisis 59 ; gender issues Ashraf and O.
Alesina, J. Harnoss, and H. Michalopoulos and E. Alesina, W. Easterly, and J. Wantchekon and N. Franck and I. Rainer, "Does the Leader's Ethnicity Matter? Francois, I. Rainer, and F. Burgess, R. Jedwab, E. Miguel, A. Morjaria, and G. Padro-i-Miquel, "Ethnic favoritism", unpublished ms. Banerjee and R. Kennedy School of Government, Munshi and M.
Alesina and E. Ananat and E. Alesina, S.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Michalopoulos, and E. Algan, C. Clingingsmith, A. Khwaja, and M.
- The NBER Political Economy Program.
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Burns, L. Corno, and E. Bisin, E. Patacchini, T. Verdier, and Y. Guiso, P. Alesina, P. Giuliano, and N. Greif and G. Acemoglu and M. Ticchi, T. Verdier, and A. Bisin and T. Algan, P. Cahuc, and A. Feigenberg, E. Field, and R. Zilibotti and M. Galor and Q. Bloom and R. Acemoglu, D. Cantoni, S. Johnson, and J. Persson and G. Glaeser, G. Ponzetto, and A. Gennaioli, R. La Porta, F. Lopez-de-Silanes, and A. Wantchekon, N. Novta, and M. Padro-i-Miquel, N. Qian, and Y. Banerjee, S. Kumar, R. Pande, and F. Experimental Evidence from Urban India," unpublished ms, Campante and D. Bursztyn and L.
Rothschild and J. Knight and N. Halberstam and B. Meirowitz and K. Washington, "Segregation and Black Political Efficacy," op. Cascio and E. Bouton, P. Conconi, F. The early Christian Church was faced with spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ throughout the world, often during a time of martyrdom and intense persecution. The Apostolic Fathers were a group of early Christian writers who knew one of the Apostles and lived about AD, and sought to define, organize, and defend the faith, such as Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Polycarp of Smyrna, and the author s of the Didache.
Ignatius of Antioch was designated Bishop of Syria by St. Peter on his trip to Antioch to meet St. Ignatius was the first to use the term Catholic Church in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans. The word catholic means universal and refers to the universal Church of Jesus Christ. Ignatius of Antioch would not worship the Emperor Trajan, and thus was placed in chains and martyred in Rome when thrown to the lions in the Coliseum. He wrote seven letters on his trip to Rome, which proved to be a unifying event for all of the early Churches.
He established the Church hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon for the early Churches, the pattern which still exists today. In his First Apology written in , he described the Memorial of the Last Supper on Sunday, one that would be called the Divine Liturgy in the East and the Mass in the West, an event which has remained essentially the same for nearly years. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these, but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God Christianity spread throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa.
The Eastern Christian Churches are characterized by a rich heritage with Apostolic origin, and are treasured by the universal Church, for the East was the home of Jesus Christ our Redeemer! Jerusalem is the birthplace to all of Christianity throughout the world. The Levant, the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, served as the cradle of Christianity. Antioch, Syria became an early center for Christianity, especially following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Indeed, followers of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch Acts They also became known as Nazarenes Acts , particularly in the East. Mark the Evangelist founded the Church of Alexandria, Egypt. Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History reported that King Abgar of Edessa was afflicted with illness and contacted Jesus in the hope of a cure. Upon his healing by St. Jude Thaddeus , King Abgar converted to Christianity. Edessa became home to such writers as St. Ephrem wrote his beautiful hymns and religious poetry in Syriac, a dialect of the Semitic language of Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
Syriac became the biblical and liturgical language of early Christian Churches in the East. The theology of Eastern Churches often developed independently, outside the sway of Roman and Byzantine thought. Eastern Christian Churches allow clerical marriage , for they accept the gift of human sexuality given by God, who said, "It is not good for the man to be alone" Genesis Christians were severely persecuted through three centuries of the Roman Empire, especially at the hands of Nero 64 AD , Trajan , right up to Diocletian But their powerful witness through martyrdom only served to spread Christianity!
Constantine became Emperor of the West in As he was in Gaul at the time, he still had to capture Rome where Maxentius held sway. Welcome relief from Christian martyrdom came with the Edict of Milan in , through which Constantine and Licinius, the Emperor of the East, granted Christianity complete religious tolerance. His defeat of Licinius in made him sole Emperor of the entire Roman Empire, and he moved the seat of the Empire to Byzantium in and renamed it Constantinople.
Constantine considered himself Christian and did much to protect and support Christianity. Sunday as the Lord's Day was made a day of rest, and December 25 was celebrated as the birthday of Jesus. He restored property that once belonged to Christians.
Peter in Rome. Christianity remain undivided until mankind sought to define the hidden nature of God and the mystery of Christ. A dispute concerning the relation of the Father and the Son arose in Egypt known as the Arian controversy. The Nicene Creed was expanded and finalized at the Council of Constantinople in to include homoousios for the Holy Spirit as well, by quoting John , "the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father," to form the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed still called the Nicene Creed.
Constantine considered himself both head of state and father of the Christian Churches. There were three stages in the formation of the Gospels: the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the oral tradition of the Apostles, and the written word. The Tradition of the Fathers of the Church was important to early Christianity, for they were the ones who chose those inspired books which best reflected the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in the formation of the canon of the New Testament, and were also involved in the interpretation of Scripture.
Jerome that "Matthew put together the sayings of the Lord in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could" Papias, in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History , III, 39, Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus in to produce a new Latin translation of the Bible.
Jerome completed the translation of the New Testament Gospels into Latin in , and finished his translation from both Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament by In view of his work, St. Jerome was named the Father of Biblical Scholars. The Latin Vulgate Bible published by St. Jerome served as the standard Bible for Western Christian civilization for over years.
He was born in Tagaste, near Hippo, in north Africa. His mother St. Monica was a devout Christian and taught him the faith. However, when he studied rhetoric in Carthage, he began living a worldly life. He obtained a post as master of rhetoric in Milan, accompanied by an unnamed woman and child Adeodatus, born out of wedlock in The woman soon left him and their son, and Monica joined them in Milan.
Under the incessant prayers of his mother, and the influence of St. Ambrose of Milan, he eventually converted at age 32 in AD. Perhaps the most eloquent examination of conscience is found in The Confessions of St. Augustine , where he describes his moment of conversion in the garden reading St.
Paul to the Romans , But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the desires of the flesh. Both his mother and son died soon afterwards and he returned in to his home in Tagaste. He was ordained a priest in , and became Bishop of Hippo in Augustine was people-oriented and preached every day. Many of his followers lived an ascetic life. He had a great love for Christ, and believed that our goal on earth was God through Christ himself, "to see his face evermore.
Augustine was one of the most prolific writers in history, and his writings show an evolution of thought and at times a reversal of ideas, as seen in his Retractations. His Scriptural essays on Genesis and Psalms remain starting points for modern Biblical scholars.
Chapter 15. Religion
His commentary on the Sermon on the Mount is still read today. Perhaps most debated are his views on predestination. Augustine is the doctor of grace. In his book Grace and Free Will , he explained simply why he believed in free will. If there was no free will, then why did God give us the Ten Commandments, and why did he tell us to love our neighbor? Augustine's arguments against the Pelagian heresy set the doctrine of grace for the Catholic Church to the present day.
Pelagius thought that man could achieve virtue and salvation on his own without the gift of grace, that Jesus was simply a model of virtue. This of course attacks the Redemption of man by Christ! If man could make it on his own, then the Cross of Christ becomes meaningless! But Augustine saw man's utter sinfulness and the blessing and efficacy of grace, disposing man to accept his moment of grace, and hopefully ultimate salvation.
Grace raises us to a life of virtue, and is the ground of human freedom. Perhaps one of his greatest works was The City of God, which took 13 years to complete, from to History can only be understood as a continued struggle between two cities, the City of God, comprised of those men who pursue God, and the City of Man, composed of those who pursue earthly goods and pleasures. He refers to Cain and Abel as the earliest examples of the two types of man.
The Roman Empire was an example of the city of man which had just been sacked by Alaric in and was the occasion of the book. Augustine was a living example of God's grace that transformed nature. He died August 28, , during the sack of Hippo by the Vandals. August 28 is celebrated as his Feast Day in the liturgical calendar. Pope Leo entered the Papacy at a difficult time. Alaric had sacked Rome in , and the Huns and the Visigoths were gaining strength. However the Pope proved to be a master statesman and history has deservedly accorded him the title of Pope Leo the Great.
One of his first actions in was to bless the missionary efforts of St. Patrick and to ordain him as Bishop of Ireland. A tension in Church authority between papal leadership and collegiality of the bishops was developing over theological questions. Rome was the place of martyrdom for Saints Peter and Paul. Rome's position as the capital of the Roman Empire was also supportive of a leadership role for the Bishop of Rome. The Bishop of Rome as successor to St. Peter was the Pastor and Shepherd of the whole Church, as seen with St.
The independent Church of the East in Persia believed in two distinct natures dyophysite in Christ and did not accept the wording. Pope Leo synthesized the thought of the differing Schools of Antioch and Alexandria in a letter known as the Tome. The Council of Chalcedon in was the Fourth Ecumenical Council, which supported Leo's stance that Christ had two natures, Divine and human in perfect harmony, in one Person or hypostasis.
This set the theology for Roman and Byzantine theology and was important for European unity. Just one year later , Attila and the Huns were threatening outside the walls of Rome. Pope Leo met Attila, who decided to call off the invasion! The Monastic Orders have been a premium influence on the formation of Christian culture. For not only have they been islands of asceticism and holiness that have served as ideals to a secular world, but also they have provided many if not most of the religious leaders within each historic age, especially during times of renewal and reform.
The word monos is the Greek word for one or alone. Monasticism began in the East and spread throughout Europe and saved European civilization. The practice of leaving the ambitions of daily life and retreating to the solitude of the desert was seen throughout Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, St. John the Baptist Mark an early example. The father of Christian monasticism was St. Antony of the Desert , the first of the Desert Fathers.
Antony of Egypt took to heart the words of Christ to the rich young man, " Go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" Matthew He headed across the Nile to a mountain near Pispir to live a life of solitude, prayer, and poverty. Soon many gathered around him to imitate his life, living as hermits in nearby caves in the mountain, and in he emerged from solitude to teach his followers the way of the ascetic.
He then moved further into the desert by Mount Kolzim near the Red Sea, where a second group of hermits gathered and later formed a monastery. He lived there for 45 years until his death in Maron , a contemporary of St. John Chrysostom, was a monk in the fourth century who left Antioch for the Orontes River to lead a life of holiness and prayer. As he was given the gift of healing, his life of solitude was short-lived, and soon he had many followers that adopted his monastic way.
Following the death of St. Maron in , his disciples built a monastery in his memory, which would form the nucleus of the Eastern Catholic Maronite Church of Lebanon. The fall of the Roman Empire to the barbarian invasions left European civilization in disarray, for the social structure under one ruler in Rome was destroyed. The preservation of culture and the conversion of the barbarians to Christianity was left to an unlikely group: the monastics of Europe. Their missionary efforts converted one tribe after another, so that eventually all of Europe was united in the worship of the one Christian God.
Patrick as Apostle to Ireland founded the monastery of Armagh in and other monasteries throughout Ireland. As the social unit in Ireland and much of Europe at the time was the tribe in the countryside, the monastery was the center of Church life and learning. The Irish monks that followed him converted much of northern Europe. The lasting legacy of the Irish monks has been the present-day form of confession. In early times, penance was in public and severe, often lasting for years, such that Baptism was generally postponed until one's deathbed.
The Irish monks began private confession and allowed one to repeat confession as necessary. The monk St. Benedict was born in Nursia of nobility but chose a life of solitude in Subiaco outside of Rome. Soon he moved nearby to build a monastery at Monte Cassino in and there wrote the Rule of Benedict. Monte Cassino placed all of the monks in one monastery under an abbot.
The guiding principle for the monastery was ora et labora , or pray and work. The monastery provided adequate food and a place to sleep and served as a center of conversion and learning. Known for its moderation, Monte Cassino and Benedict's rule became the standard for monasteries throughout Europe and the pattern for Western civilization. The first monk to become Pope was St. Gregory the Great Born to Roman nobility, Gregory at first pursued a political career and became Prefect of Rome.
However he gave up position and wealth and retreated to his home to lead a monastic life. He was recalled to Rome and soon was elected Pope in and served until his death in A man of great energy, he is known for four historic achievements. His theological and spiritual writings shaped the thought of the Middle Ages ; he made the Pope the de facto ruler of central Italy; his charisma strengthened the Papacy in the West; and he was dedicated to the conversion of England to Christianity.
Gregory sent the monk Augustine to England in The conversion of King Aethelbert of Kent led St. Augustine to be named the first Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon English Benedictine monks were being sent to convert the rest of Europe, such as the English monk Winfrid, better known as St.
Boniface , who served from as the Apostle to Germany. Boniface in his conversion of Germany. His son Pepin and the Papacy formed an historic alliance. Pepin needed the blessing of the Pope in his seizure of leadership of Gaul from the Merovingians. Pepin died in and divided his realm between his two sons, Carloman and Charles. Charles, known as Charlemagne , took over all of Gaul upon the death of his brother in , and soon conquered most of mainland Europe.
He was a vigorous leader and ruled until Charlemagne was a strong supporter of Christianity. During his reign, Christianity became the guiding principle of the Carolingian Empire, as the Church established a powerful presence throughout Europe. He instituted a school of learning in his palace at Aachen. In the Middle Ages there was in theory a division between temporal power and spiritual authority, but in practice one saw a strong Emperor take control of some spiritual affairs and a strong Pope take control of some affairs of state.
Charlemagne, as Constantine, considered himself the leader of Christendom as political head of state and protector of the Church. The historian Christopher Dawson called this the beginning of medieval Christendom. The Byzantine Empire of the East, with its capital in Constantinople, flourished for a thousand years. The Empire reached its zenith under Emperor Justinian, the author of the Justinian Code of Law, who ruled from to Justinian built the beautiful Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople in , which became a center of religious thought. The Byzantine or Greek liturgy is based on the tradition of St.
Basil and the subsequent reform of St. John Chrysostom. The Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius brought Christianity to Moravia, and Cyril created the Cyrillic alphabet for their liturgy, which became the basis of the Slavic languages, including Russian. Kiev was once the capital of the country of Kievan Rus, which comprised the modern nations of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. In the sixteenth century, a Russian mystic Philotheus of Pskof noted that Rome and Constantinople, the second Rome, had fallen, but "Moscow, the third Rome," stands.
The Russian Orthodox Church today is the largest Eastern Orthodox faith with over million members. One of the most tragic events in Church history has been the Schism of between what is now the Catholic Church in Rome and the Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox Church in Constantinople. The actual event occurred on July 16, The abrasive Cardinal Humbert laid a papal bull of excommunication after Pope Leo had died on the altar right during the Liturgy at the Church of Hagia Sophia, which led the Eastern Church to excommunicate the envoy.
While the event did not end the relationship between the Eastern and Western Churches, it became symbolic for the distrust and strain between the East and the West that developed through the centuries. The break was sealed in with the sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. Rome and Constantinople had been able to agree through three more Councils. The fifth ecumenical council at Constantinople II in was called by the Emperor Justinian and reaffirmed that there is only one person or hypostasis in our Lord Jesus Christ.
In response to the Monothelites, that Christ had only one will, the sixth ecumenical council affirmed the efforts of St. Maximus the Confessor at Constantinople III in and confessed that Christ had two wills and two natural operations John , divine and human in harmony. The seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea II in resolved the iconoclast controversy thanks to the writings of St.
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John of Damascus: since Jesus had a true humanity and his body was finite, it was only proper to venerate holy images of the human face of Jesus, as well as Mary and the saints. However, the language of Rome was Latin, and that of Constantinople Greek. There was a difference in perception of Church authority between the East and West. Latin Rome believed the Pontiff, as the representative of Peter, was Pastor and Shepherd to the whole Church, whereas the Greek East saw the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and representative of Peter, as presiding with love in the sense of collegiality, as a first among equals.
This difference in perception of Church authority produced the conflict over the addition of the word filioque - and the Son - to the Nicene Creed by the Roman Catholic Church. Theological thought on the Trinity had progressed with time, particularly with St. Augustine, who saw the Holy Spirit as an expression of love between the Father and the Son. King Recared and his Visigothic bishops converted from Arianism to Catholicism at the Third Council of Toledo, Spain in and were required to add the word filioque to the Creed.
Charlemagne in insisted on its addition, so that the phrase read "the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son". The Eastern Orthodox Churches claim that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is the common possession of the whole church and that any change must be made by an ecumenical Council. Catholic Spain was the first European territory to suffer Islamic invasion in when the Berber general Ibn Tariq conquered nearly all of Spain except the northern rim. The discovery of the relics of St.
As recorded in the late ninth-century Chronicle of Alfonso III, Pelayo became the inspiration for the rightful recovery of Spanish territory lost to Muslim invasion. Spain was troubled in when the Moor Almanzor usurped the power of the Caliphate and sacked the city and Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in the northwest tip of Spain, but spared the tomb of St. James Santiago in Spanish. With the loss of respect for the Caliphate, Al-Andalus fractured into multiple petty states, known as Taifas. El Cid held off the Muslims in Valencia until his death in The Reconquista of Spain, or the unification of Spain under Christian rule, was not formally completed until the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, when Granada was captured from the Moors on January 2, Pope Urban II, in one of history's most powerful speeches, launched years of the Crusades at the Council of Clermont, France on November 27, with this impassioned plea.
In a rare public session in an open field, he urged the knights and noblemen to win back the Holy Land, to face their sins, and called upon those present to save their souls and become Soldiers of Christ. Those who took the vow for the pilgrimage were to wear the sign of the cross croix in French : and so evolved the word croisade or Crusade.
By the time his speech ended, the captivated audience began shouting Deus le volt! The expression became the battle-cry of the crusades. Three reasons are primarily given for the beginning of the Crusades: 1 to free Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; 2 to defend the Christian East, hopefully healing the rift between Roman and Orthodox Christianity; and 3 to marshal the energy of the constantly warring feudal lords and knights into the one cause of penitential warfare.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was once again in Christian hands and restored. The Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted 88 years, until Saladin recaptured the city October 2, The four Crusader states eventually collapsed; the surrender of Acre in ended years of formal Christian rule in the Holy Land.
The twelfth and thirteenth centuries were the peak of the Medieval Age. It was the flowering of Christendom, a time of extraordinary intellectual activity, with the rise of the University and the introduction of Arabian, Hebrew, and Greek works into Christian schools. A new form of order arose whose aim was to pursue the monastic ideals of poverty, renunciation, and self-sacrifice, but also to maintain a presence and convert the world by example and preaching.
They were known as friars and called the Mendicant Orders Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, Augustinians, and the Servites , because of begging alms to support themselves.
Francis of Assisi was born to wealth. He loved adventure, but experienced conversion after joining the military.
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He returned home, and heard a voice saying to him, "Francis, go and rebuild my house; it is falling down. Francis loved creation and considered it good, for Christ himself took on flesh in the Incarnation. When Trump was a child, his family attended Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, pastored by Norman Vincent Peale, a celebrity minister whose influence radiated throughout evangelical circles and beyond. And then, like most heresies, it pushes such orthodox teaching to an extreme.
Imagine that your desired reality is true, Peale urged believers. God never goes back on his word. Trump perfected his own brand of prosperity ministry in the ad campaigns for the now-defunct Trump University. Did his momentum resemble the rise of fascism in s Germany? Do his despotic tendencies and sensitive ego remind us of Napoleon? Distant echoes are always tantalizing. His ascendancy was certainly galvanized by a 21st-century whirl of social media and global economic discontent. By Frances FitzGerald. Yet in November four out of five of these decorous, Bible-loving Christians voted for an adulterous reality-television star who has said he has never sought divine forgiveness.
Spread, often, by untutored preachers using vernacular storytelling, this was an insurgent faith suited to the frontier. Today its adherents seem sceptical of religious tolerance, but initially they advocated it, so as to compete with established churches. The others include the tensions between the North and the evangelical heartland of the South, the argument over the fundamentalist belief in biblical inerrancy and the ongoing dispute over whether America should be a light unto the nations or an isolated refuge of piety. She concentrates, topically, on the rise of the evangelical right.
But it recovered in the general religious boom after the second world war, energised by celebrity revivalists, above all Billy Graham, and by the dizzying social advances of the following decades, which many pastors vehemently resisted. He not only led white evangelicals into mainstream politics, Ms FitzGerald writes, but injected the evangelical mode of thinking with them.
This is a monumental study. Some of its detail—such as the varieties of religious experience that evangelical churches encompass, from Pentecostal charismatics and snake-handlers to the prosperity gospel—is gripping. Some of the theological rows, for example over the precise sequencing of the Apocalypse and the Second Coming, may weary lay readers.
But the engines of her book, as of its subject, are the lives of leaders such as Falwell. She is droll about their chicanery and non-judgmental about their conspiracy theories, prophecies and prejudices. These are mercurial, self-invented, quintessentially American lives. False idols By the administration of George W.
Abortion, Ms FitzGerald notes, became a preoccupation only in the s. Meanwhile, despite their egalitarian impulses, these congregations always had an authoritarian, patriarchal bent, the chain of command running from God to husbands and fathers. And so they, and America, arrived at Mr Trump. It is a shame that Ms FitzGerald excludes black evangelical churches, with all their struggles and heroism.
White and black evangelicals will converge in future as well: as she observes, white congregations are greying, so that, despite the nativism rife in many, their vitality will increasingly depend on attracting black and Hispanic members. She does examine the quieter, but burgeoning, Christian left, a movement that emerged in the s, aiming to recapture the spirt of reform that marked earlier evangelical eras.
Likewise she refers to the growing subset of thinkers and activists who are orthodox in theology but renounce the bankrupting compact with the Republican Party and the fixation on sexual morality. These groups, who care as much about life after birth as before it, and value justice in the sublunary world as well as salvation in the next, are evangelicals too. It's a lesson apt for a book about faith: Things happen for a reason. The waves of conservative Protestant influence that have swept American life at various points in history have often seemed to come out of nowhere. The emergence of the Christian right's political influence in the s, for example, just as experts said religion was losing its place in U.
But in her new major work on the subject, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, historian Frances FitzGerald who won a Pulitzer in for Fire in the Lake shows how the origins of these booms are discernible from afar. Her book makes the case so well, it leaves readers with the feeling that we should all be paying closer attention. The Evangelicals, as zippy as a page history can be, starts in the 18th century with a new style of worship spreading in a new nation.
But it's not until the turn of the 20th century, as evangelicals make a concerted effort to apply their specifically American faith to the reform of a secular country, that things heat up. If you remember the Scopes monkey trial from high school and are tempted to skim FitzGerald's bit on that s dispute, don't. It was never as simple as how or whether to teach evolution in public schools, and FitzGerald's examination of why is a highlight.
Understanding the mechanisms that shift evangelical ideas into secular politics sheds insight beyond the church — from the post—World War II years when men like Billy Graham came on the scene at just the right moment to spread the good word, and on to the post-'60s backlash that created the modern Christian right, with its nostalgia for a "quasi-mythological past" when "America was a white Christian nation. Although FitzGerald's coda on Donald Trump's victory has a tacked-on feel in an otherwise masterful narrative, her explanation of evangelical support for his campaign — which puzzled many — reads as essential.
FitzGerald illuminates how a decades-long relationship between the Christian right and the Republican Party later joined by the Tea Party coalesced into what looks like a mutually inextricable bloc. I will be moderating a conversation with the author on Wednesday night April 12 at the Atlanta History Center. Reading this book during the Lenten season, and completing it during Holy Week, may be contributing to my primary take on the book: Evangelicals very badly lost their way. And they did so because their gospel stopped being about the love of God in Jesus Christ, demonstrated most profoundly at the cross, and instead became a reactionary jeremiad about saving America by electing Republican politicians and fighting culture wars.
The author is not an evangelical insider and does not make that claim. But she offers all the evidence necessary for me to make it, aided by nearly 40 years as a participant in American evangelical Christianity. FitzGerald offers a comprehensive history of American evangelicals that traces their story all the way back to the 18th century. With considerable though not flawless grasp of detail, the book tells the American evangelical story with remarkable comprehensiveness. Image courtesy of Simon and Schuster The last half of the book slows down, covering only the period since the rise of Jerry Falwell and the Christian right in the s.
FitzGerald has reported directly on conservative evangelicalism since that period, and that reporting shows up in these lengthy chapters. Pretty much everything there is to be said about Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Richard Land, James Dobson and a cast of thousands of earnest and sometimes clownish Christian rightists can be found here. She tells this post story very well indeed. FitzGerald concludes that the old angry white guy Christian right is slowly dying out, and shows that the political energy of the white conservative Christian right mainly moved to the Tea Party by and then to the Trumpistas in The Christian faith is not fundamentally about shaping America or any other country.
It is fundamentally about nurturing a community of human beings who will faithfully follow Jesus. This is where American evangelicals went wrong. FitzGerald knows that evangelicalism is a global community but shows that American evangelicalism is very deeply American. So even from the 19th century American evangelicals had a tendency to identify their own community and its concerns with that of America writ large. She especially shows that after the massive social changes of the s, evangelicalism became very deeply white-male-reactionary American.
This evangelical white-male-reactionary-Americanism came to override the Christian gospel or even to define it.
The gospel was not about Jesus, but about nostalgia for a lost America where our guys, and our values, were unquestioned. In the end, the result was an unholy marriage of top evangelical leaders to the Republican Party and conservative lobbyists and operatives.
In reaction, a smaller group of evangelical progressives also became involved in similar conjugal relations with the Democrats and their lobbyists and operatives. When religious folk get entangled with secular politicians in the political arena, the politicians always win.
They have home field advantage. The earnest religious types get played. And the people in the pews start heading for the exits.
Faithful Christian discipleship does involve bearing witness to Christian convictions in public. But drawing the line between this dimension of Christian proclamation, on the one hand, and getting used by politicians, on the other, has proved very difficult for evangelical Christians since at least Billy Graham. The real story, however, was largely missed by the national press. By the time Reagan called for school prayer and reversing Roe v. Wade the crowd went wild. This is a comprehensive, heavily footnoted, yet readable study of how the evangelical tradition has become seared into the fabric of American life and the key figures who made it happen.
Fitzgerald, always judicious and unbiased, nobly succeeds in analyzing the nuanced differences between evangelicalism and fundamentalism, Calvinism and postmillennialism, charismatics and Pentecostals. Her intricate knowledge of Southern Baptists, Mennonites, holiness groups, Dutch Reformed groups, and other nondenominational churches is astonishing.
Enter theologians Jonathan Edwards of Connecticut and George Whitefield of Massachusetts who disrupted traditional Protestantism at its very foundation by shifting the emphasis from ritual and doctrine to personal faith. Revivals mushroomed across the land. By the time of the Second Great Awakening ca. A potent anti-intellectual viewpoint was baked into the movement.
Essentially, evangelicalism was about being born again and then spreading the Gospels. Following the Civil War the Northern faithful broke ranks with their Southern brethren. Southern Baptist churches began redefining themselves as fundamentalists. The Scopes Monkey Trial of , for example, was supposed to signal the death knell for the evangelical movement.
Holy rollers seemed antiquated in the age of Edison and the Model T. The charismatic Graham was born in Charlotte, N. Graham, the televangelist, was befriended by Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. As founding Southern Baptist pastor of a megachurch in Lynchburg, Va. His gift involved linking Southern evangelicalism to GOP politics.
Convinced that young minds were being poisoned by secularism, he established Liberty University in Fitzgerald grapples with left-leaning figures like Ron Sider and James Wallis, buther last chapters ponder the ties between GOP conservatives and Southern evangelicals. Fitzgerald ends with the election. An astonishing 48 percent of Republican primary voters were white evangelicals.
Fitzgerald attempts to analyze why so many born-again Christians supported Donald Trump, thrice-married libertine, over Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, whose father was an evangelical pastor. But over the years, rifts formed. The evangelical population was shrinking, and denominations disagreed over the acceptance of immigrants, particularly Latinos.
Younger members took less hardline stances on issues like LGBT rights; many left the movement. Increasing numbers were more focused on economic nationalism and immigration restrictions than traditional cultural concerns. They might still be voting Republican, but politics were winning out over theology. Roosevelt and the Land of America. In addition to the Pulitzer, the book also won the Bancroft Prize for best historical work as well as the National Book Award.
Its immense success catapulted FitzGerald to the top level of journalist-historians, where she has remained ever since. In the s, she became interested in the Christian Right. I suspect that interest launched her latest book, because it seems her animating research question is something like: Where did the fundamentalists and evangelicals of the Christian Right come from? Exhaustive History of the Christian Right FitzGerald has read most of the scholarship on evangelicals and synthesized it into a masterful narrative.
Her bibliography of more than books would make a good preliminary reading list in the PhD program here at Baylor University. She begins the story, appropriately, with the 18th-century revivals of the First Great Awakening, the birthplace of American evangelicalism. She demonstrates that from the beginning the movement was primarily religious and theological, with political overtones, and quite diverse.
By way of just two examples, she outlines the nuanced differences between separatist fundamentalists and more broadly evangelical believers in the early 20th century. Her argument in brief is that the Christian Right, having started in the Reagan era, declined in the s, then took off again and peaked during its all-too-close alliance with George W.
In short, the alliance that seemed so beneficial and brought such hope for a restored Christian America ended in disaster for the Christian Right. As FitzGerald aptly puts it, To many Democrats and moderate Republicans, the White House and the Republican leadership had seemed to have become a captive of the Christian right. To many evangelicals, the opposite seemed to be the case: the Christian right had become a function of Republican politics.
There is something to this, but we need to keep in mind, as she acknowledges, that even at its height only about 20 percent of evangelicals identified with the Christian Right. When evangelicals think and talk about politics, and especially when they vote, the vast majority sound and act like the Christian Right, from which they take their political cues. Rather, the important things for most evangelicals are: 1 living godly lives; 2 raising their children to be committed, evangelical Christians; 3 being active in their local churches; and 4 evangelizing their neighbors.
They talk about issues like abortion and gay marriage in Sunday school, and on Election Day about 75 percent to 80 percent of them dutifully vote Republican, even if a pagan like Donald Trump is at the head of the ticket. They may even put a sign in their yard for the Republican congressman in their district. In covering the Christian Right so thoroughly, The Evangelicals perpetuates the myth that evangelicalism and the Christian Right became synonymous.
In part, FitzGerald seems to want to show that this was the case and that it was an unfortunate aberration, given the nearly three centuries of rich and robust evangelicalism that predated the Christian Right. These and others have succeeded in carving out a larger niche in the wake of the demise of the Christian Right. So in a history like this, one might ask, why not tell us what these other evangelicals were doing while the Christian Right captured the Republican Party and sucked up all the attention of the media?
Three Missing Groups Attention to at least three evangelical submovements might have corrected this deficiency. First, what were evangelical women doing during the era of the Christian Right? Still, only a few in the congregation Ault studied actually lived in became thoroughly immersed in politics, and many thought their pastor was too political. A second relatively apolitical submovement that could have provided a window into non-Christian Right evangelicalism would be Promise Keepers.
It was only indirectly political, but it was highly gendered, as evangelical history often is. Third, and much more recently, while FitzGerald does a nice job tracking the splintering of the Christian Right and the rise of the new evangelicals, she does almost nothing with the Emerging Church Movement, which existed outside the Christian right for the entirety of its existence cc—cc , if indeed the movement is over now.
Relying on the sociological work of John C. Green and the insightful analysis of religion writer Mark Pinsky, she aptly characterizes the current state of evangelicalism. The movement is divided between a Bible Belt manifestation in which certain social issues loom large, and Sun Belt evangelicals who are middle-class suburbanites not as animated by young-earth creationism or posting the Ten Commandments in public spaces. Think Rick Warren here. Both groups, however, still care about abortion and gay marriage. But these important differences, and many important non-Christian Right evangelical submovements, get little specific attention.
And she provides some really significant insights. For example, she argues Falwell presents a key turning point that produced Christian Right evangelicalism. I ask, how many secular journalists, or even scholars in the academy, have that level of insight into the history of evangelicalism? Still, the closer FitzGerald gets to the present, the more she crosses the line from understanding and explanation to exasperation and bewilderment.
You can forgive the snarky tone when she covers the scandals of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.
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FitzGerald seems oblivious to inconsistency when secular liberals criticize the Christian Right for its manifold attempts to use the power of the state to encourage religion—while those same critics of the Christian Right endorse the power of the state to coerce evangelicals to participate in a marriage ceremony. She seems to think that would be a good thing. I do too. They were always here. We were just not looking at them. What repeatedly makes us look again is what she is here to tell us.
Evangelical religion is revival religion, that of emotional contagion. It can best be characterized, for taxonomic purposes, by three things: crowds, drama, and cycles.