Talk of the Towns 7/14/17

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne

Discussion of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

What were some of the key “theological” turning points that led to the emergence of the evangelical movement in the US?
How have evangelicals contributed to the current polarization in the US? Are there examples of evangelical thought and action that have attempted to move beyond culture wars?
When and how did conservative Christians, including most evangelicals, become so heavily identified with the Republican party?
You wrote that the Christian right lost significant power in the years of the Obama presidency… partly because their leaders aged out or died and they failed to attract younger supporters? In your epilogue, you offer some theories about why 81 % of evangelicals voted for Trump… those with lower economic status and less formal education responding to the politics of fear.
For those who posit the view that the policies put forward by Republicans, with the support of evangelicals (economic, social, environmental, health care) are on the wrong side of history, are there elements of the evangelical movement that will help the nation move beyond polarization to more humane and progressive stances?

Guest: Frances Fitzgerald, author of The Evangelicals, published by Simon and Schuster, 2017

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