The Life of Jimmy Carter
Evangelical Christianity and conservative politics are today seen as inseparable. But when Jimmy Carter, a Democrat and a born-again Christian, won the presidency in 1976, he owed his victory in part to American evangelicals, who responded to his open religiosity. Carter articulated a progressive strand of American Christianity that championed liberal ideals, racial equality, and social justice—one that has almost been forgotten since. In Redeemer, acclaimed religious historian Randall Balmer reveals how the rise and fall of Jimmy Carter's political fortunes mirrored the transformation of American religious politics. From his beginnings as a humble peanut farmer to the galvanizing politician who rode a reenergized religious movement into the White House, Carter's life and career mark him as the last great figure in America's long and venerable history of progressive evangelicalism.
The Making of Evangelicalism
From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond
With impressively clear prose and a superb command of history, best-selling author Randall Balmer offers a spirited history of evangelical Christianity in the United States. Effortlessly situating developments in evangelicalism in their wider historical context, he demonstrates the ways American social and cultural settings influenced the course of the evangelical tradition. By revealing the four key moments in the movements history, he ably demonstrates how American Evangelicalism is truly American. Concluding with a manifesto directing where evangelicalism must go from here, Balmer's The Making of Evangelicalism will interest every reader--evangelical, mainline, secular--who wants to better understand evangelicals today.
God in the White House
How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush
God in the White House explores the paradox of Americans' expectation that presidents should simultaneously trumpet their religious views and relationship to God while supporting the separation of church and state. Balmer tells the story of the politicization of religion in the last half of the twentieth century, as well as the "religionization" of our politics. He reflects on the implications of this shift, which have reverberated in both our religious and political worlds, and offers a new lens through which to see not only these extraordinary individuals, but also our current political situation.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America,
25th Anniversary Edition
Randall Balmer's Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory is an insightful and engaging journey into the world of American evangelicalism. Originally the basis for an award-winning PBS documentary, this timely new edition arrives just as recent elections have left an ever-growing number of secular Americans wondering exactly how the other half thinks. From Oregon to Florida, from Texas to North Dakota, Balmer offers an immensely readable tour of the highways and byways of American evangelicalism. We visit a revival meeting in Florida, an Indian reservation in the Dakotas, a trade show for Christian booksellers, and a fundamentalist Bible camp in the Adirondacks.
The Fight for Religious Liberty
In the summer of 1789, James Madison penned sixteen words in spare prose that became the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Herein the founding fathers of a young government pledged separation of church and state, thus guaranteeing religious freedom for its citizens and establishing a free marketplace for religion in the United States. Utterly unprecedented in Western history, this construction of a government without the interlocking authority of religion set a new course for faith and politics and has produced a vibrant religious culture unmatched anywhere in the world.
Mormonism and American Politics
Edited by Randall Balmer & Jana Riess
In this collection, prominent scholars of Mormonism, including Claudia L. Bushman, Richard Lyman Bushman, Jan Shipps, and Philip L. Barlow, follow the religion's quest for legitimacy in the United States and its intersection with American politics, from Brigham Young's skirmishes with the federal government over polygamy to the Mormon involvement in California's Proposition 8. The book takes a broad view of the religion's history, considering its treatment of women and African Americans and its portrayal in popular culture and the media. With essays from both Mormon and non-Mormon scholars, this anthology tells a big-picture story of a small sect that became a major player in American politics.
Evangelicalism in America
Evangelicalism has left its indelible mark on American history, politics, and culture. It is also true that currents of American populism and politics have shaped the nature and character of evangelicalism. This story of evangelicalism in America is thus riddled with paradox. Despite the fact that evangelicals, perhaps more than any other religious group, have benefited from the First Amendment and the separation of church and state, several prominent evangelical leaders over the past half century have tried to abrogate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. And despite evangelicalism’s legacy of concern for the poor, for women, and for minorities, some contemporary evangelicals have repudiated their own heritage of compassion and sacrifice stemming from Jesus’ command to love the least of these.