Republican Theology: The Civil Religion of American Evangelicals by Benjamin T. LynerdRepublican Theology: The Civil Religion of American Evangelicals by Benjamin T. Lynerd

Republican Theology: The Civil Religion of American Evangelicals

byBenjamin T. Lynerd

Paperback | September 15, 2014

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As an electoral bloc, contemporary white evangelical Christians maintain a remarkable ideological and partisan conformity, perhaps unmatched by any other community outside of African Americans. Historically, evangelicals have supported various political parties, but their approach to civilreligion, or the way that they apply the spiritual to the public realm, has, as Republican Theology argues, been consistent in its substance since the founding of the nation. Put simply, this civil religion holds that limited government and a free-market are essential to the cultivation ofChristian virtue, while the livelihood of the republic depends on the virtue of its citizens. While evangelicals have long promoted conservative moral causes, from temperance and anti-obscenity in the nineteenth century to abstinence education in the twentieth, they have also aligned themselves onmany other seemingly unrelated agendas: in support of the Revolution in the 1770s, on antislavery in the 1820s, against labor unionism in the 1880s, against the New Deal in the 1930s, on assertive anticommunism in the 1950s (a major theme in Billy Graham's early sermons), and in favor ofderegulation and lower taxes in the 1980s. As Benjamin T. Lynerd contends, the rise of the "New Right" movement at the end of the twentieth century had as much to do with small-government ideology as with a recovery of traditional morality. This libertarian ethos combined with restrictive public moralism is conflicted, and it createsfriction both within the New Right alliance and within the church, particularly among evangelicals interested in social justice. Still, it has formed the entire subtext of evangelical participation in American politics from the 1770s into the twenty-first century. Lynerd looks at the evolution ofevangelical civil religion, or "republican theology" to demonstrate how evangelicals navigate this logic.
Benjamin Lynerd holds the Benjamin Franklin Project Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
Title:Republican Theology: The Civil Religion of American EvangelicalsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:September 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199363560

ISBN - 13:9780199363568

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Evangelicals as Lockeans2. Republican Theology3. Covenantal Origins4. American Foundations5. Entrenchment in the Second Great Awakening6. Darwin as Ally, Social Gospel as Foe7. The Triumph of Free Market TheologyEpilogueNotesIndex