The Transformation of the Christian Right

The Transformation of the Christian Right

By: Matthew C. Moen (author)Hardback

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The Transformation of the Christian Right chronicles and analyzes the remarkable changes that have occurred in the Christian Right from its emergence in the late 1970s to the present. Specifically, it documents the rapid turnover of Christian-Right organizations and explains the forces driving those kaleidoscopic changes. Moen traces the strategic shift of the movement's leaders, away from lobbying the Congress and toward mobilizing conservative activists in the grassroots; he demonstrates the substitution of liberal language (with its emphasis on ""equality, rights, and freedom"") for moralistic language (with its focus on ""right and wrong""). Information for the book comes from two sets of personal interviews, conducted respectively in the midst of the Reagan administration (1984) and at the outset of the Bush presidency (1989), with the leaders of major Christian-Right organizations, members of Congress and their staffs, select religious lobbyists, and key conservative leaders. Through those interviews, the author draws a portrait of a social movement that changed dramatically over time from one of fundamentalist ministers agitating to ""put God back in government"" to one of more sophisticated leaders, using secular language and symbolism to build effective political coalitions. Moen challenges the popular wisdom that the Christian Right was weakened in the late 1980s by the scandals involving television evangelists, the failed presidential quest of Pat Robertson, and the dismantling of the Moral Majority by Reverend Jerry Falwell. He shows that the Christian Right remains vibrant and influential, but in ways different today from in the early 1980s. Awareness of the transformation of the Christian Right over past years is vital to understanding its direction and prospects for the future.

About Author

Matthew C. Moen is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Political Science, and Lohre Distinguished Professor, University of South Dakota.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780817305741
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 240
  • ID: 9780817305741
  • ISBN10: 0817305742

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