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Reagan, Carter, and the Invention of a Political Faith
For more than three decades, American presidential candidates have desperately sought the conservative Evangelical vote. With an ever broadening base of support, the Evangelical movement in America may now seem to many a very powerful lobbyist on Capitol Hill. As Andrew Hogue shows, however, this was not always the case.
In Stumping God Hogue deconstructs the 1980 presidential election, in which Ronald Reagan would defeat Jimmy Carter and John B. Anderson, and uncovers a disproportionately heavy reliance on religious rhetoric—a rhetoric that would be the catalyst for a new era of presidential politics. Until 1980, the idea that conservative politics was somehow connected with conservative theology was distant from the American imagination. Hogue describes the varying streams of influence that finally converged by the Reagan-Carter election, including the rapidly rising Religious Right. By 1980, candidates were not only challenged to appeal rhetorically to a conservative religious base, but found it necessary to make public their once-private religious commitments.
In compelling and illuminating fashion, Stumping God explains the roots of modern religious politics and encourages readers to move beyond the haze of rhetorical appeals that—for better or worse—continually clouds the political process.
1. Religion and American Conservatism: A Rhetorical History, 1944–1979
2. American Change and Religious Engagement, 1942–1976
3. Raising the Rhetoric of Righteousness: The Pivotal 1976 Election
4. Two Roads Diverged: Religious Conservatives and the Carter Disappointment
5. The Birth of a New Religious Politics in 1980
6. The Legacy of 1980 at the Dawn of a New Era: Lessons for Religion and Politics Going Forward
"... devastatingly accurate in his discription of how Ronald Reagan learned the value of religous speech and used it for political advantage."
—Rev. Harry Know, presdient and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Conscience (2013,34:1)
"A useful and valuable study, using careful documentation and analysis to reach conclusions on the place of religious appeals in election campaigns. A must-read for all interested in the role of religion in electoral politics."
—Stephen V. Monsma, Senior Research Fellow, The Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin College
Andrew Hogue is a lecturer in Political Science and Director of Civic Education & Community Service at Baylor University. He lives in Waco, Texas.
More Information Available
Other books by:
Andrew P. Hogue
Books in Series:
Studies in Rhetoric & Religion
After the Genome - A Language for Our Biotechnological Future
The Faithful Citizen - Popular Christian Media and Gendered Civic Identities
Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom - The Exodus Narrative in America's Struggle for Civil Rights
Preaching Politics - The Religious Rhetoric of George Whitefield and the Founding of a New Nation
Preaching the Inward Light - Early Quaker Rhetoric
The Rhetoric of Sir Garfield Todd - Christian Imagination and the Dream of an African Democracy
The Rhetoric of St. Augustine of Hippo - De Doctrina Christiana and the Search for a Distinctly Christian Rhetoric
Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965
Rhetorical Darwinism - Religion, Evolution, and the Scientific Identity
Romancing the Difference - Kenneth Burke, Bob Jones University, and the Rhetoric of Religious Fundamentalism
Spiritual Literacy in John Wesley's Methodism - Reading, Writing, and Speaking to Believe
Stumping God - Reagan, Carter, and the Invention of a Political Faith
The Politics of Sacred Rhetoric - Absolutist Appeals and Political Persuasion
Words Well Spoken - George Kennedy's Rhetoric of the New Testament