From TLS: A new Evangelism for the US

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the second Iraq War turned from a quick liberation into a bloodily contested occupation, long-standing liberal fears about the supposed theocratic ambitions of a reactionary American Evangelicalism were supplemented by suspicions of an apocalyptic fanaticism infecting the White House. The fears were always exaggerated and sometimes hysterical, particularly over foreign policy where actions attributed to the malign influence of Zionism, Jewish and Christian alike, are as easily recognized as the standard expression of realpolitik in America’s strategic interest, alongside a long tradition of liberal imperialism. Two developments are crucial in relegating all this to historical rather than current concern. The first is that whoever wins this year’s Presidential election will not be a hostage to the Religious Right, as George W. Bush has half-plausibly been seen as being. The second is a seismic shift in the nature of American Evangelicalism, particularly among the younger generation.

The terms of engagement in America’s “culture wars” have been subtly changing since the 1990s with the economic, intellectual, social and political coming of age of many Evangelicals in the Bible Belt. This has been brought about by the rise of the oil and real-estate industries, and the occupational and geographical mobility of a considerable part of the younger generation of Evangelicals. They have flocked not only to Evangelical private colleges but also to the Ivy League universities (partly through radical access initiatives after the 1960s) and on to New York, Silicon Valley and even Hollywood as lawyers, bankers, IT professionals, academics and filmmakers.

They constitute a new cosmopolitan Evangelical stratum....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

Posted April 25, 2008 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Any “evangelical” who talks about the Evangelical movement as being about Evangelicalism, has completely missed the point and is most likely, not really an Evangelical.  It’s all about Christ or it’s about nothing.  The political stuff that accumulates along the way only adheres when it coincides with the Scriptures [Christ’s words to a fallen humanity]...and I don’t mean proof texts taken out of context, and I do mean both the New and Old Testament.  The further one deviates from the Words/Will/Mind of Christ, found in Scripture, the further one deviates from Evangelicalism.

April 26, 8:54 am | [comment link]
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