Wednesday, February 11, 2009

American Atonement: Annotated Bibliography

Hello everyone and sorry for my absence. I know you ALL missed me (especially OFT). The following is the latest in my quest for the PERFECT grad school paper. By now you all know my topic. If not, I will refer you to my postings below on the "Christian Nation" argument and how it can be construed as an imagined community (or at least that is part of my premise for this paper). Anyway, here is a very general annotated bibliography of the sources I currently have, along with how I hope to use them in my paper.

Again, all comments, suggestions, constructive criticism is appreciated!!!

Secondary Sources:

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflection on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso, 2006

*Anderson’s book is the “cutting edge” source on nationalism. I plan on using
this book as a reference to the comparisons I hope to make between the
“Christian Nation” supporters and my belief that they constitute an imagined
community of sorts.
Diamond, Sara. Road to Dominion: Right Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States. New York: Guilford Press, 1995.

*Sarah Diamond explores a number of the smaller components that made up the
conservative right as a whole. And though she doesn’t explore the “Christian
Nation” concept very much, her work is helpful in providing a framework for my
research, in addition to the historical data she provides on the origins and
evolution of conservatism in the 1970s.
Goldberg, Michelle. Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. New York: Norton Publishing, 2006.

*Goldberg’s book takes an in depth look at how conservatism and Christian
fundamentalism merged to create “Christian Nationalism.” Many of Goldberg’s
views are similar to the research I will be working on, which is why her book is
an invaluable asset in my studies. However, Goldberg falls short of comparing
Christian Nationalism to an imagined community, which is where I hope my
research will expand upon much of what she has already written in this book.
Lambert, Frank. The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2003.

*Frank Lambert provides a very thorough and convincing argument in this book of
how the legacy of the Founding Fathers has been “hijacked” by Christian
apologists in an effort to restructure or rewrite America’s history as being
almost exclusively Christian. Lambert provides an ample number of
counterarguments to the Christian Nation claim, which are important to my
overall thesis as well.

Marsden, George. Fundamentalism and American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

*In this book, Marsden separates fundamentalism from traditional Evangelical and
orthodox Christianity by illustrating how fundamentalism relies of grass roots
convictions and a determination to “resurrect” the “traditional” Christian
values of America’s past. As a result, Marsden’s work provides a unique take on
how components of fundamentalist Christianity infiltrated both moderate
Christian sects and political entities to create a ultra-conservative coalition.

----------. Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

*Much like his other book mentioned above, Marsden explores the differences
between fundamentalism and traditional Evangelical Christianity. In addition,
Marsden endeavors to demonstrate how fundamentalism helped to influence
traditional evangelical Christianity, especially in its support of conservative

Martin, William. With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Christian Right in America. New York: Broadway Books, 1996.

*Martin’s book describes in detail the merger between conservatism and
Christianity during the late 60s and 70s. Martin provides a list of prominent
and influential religious and political leaders who helped to lead the charge in
reshaping conservative politics. This book will be used almost exclusively for
its background.

Noll, Mark. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1994.

*As one of the foremost historians of American religious history, Mark Noll
takes a in depth look into what he calls a “crisis” of the Evangelical mind.
According to Noll, a good portion of the evangelical community have simply
conformed to a set of beliefs and ideas regarding religion and politics. I plan on using Noll’s book a great detail in demonstrating how and why the “Christian Nation” belief has become so ingrained in the minds of religious devotees (of all denominations) today.
Snowball, David. Continuity and Change in the Rhetoric of the Moral Majority.

*Though I know very little of this book as of now, I am hopeful that it will
provide me with some valuable insight into the Moral Majority, its goals,
evolution, etc.
“When Worlds Collide: Politics, Religion and Media at the 1970 East Tennessee Billy Graham Crusade. (appearance by President Richard M. Nixon).” Journal of Church and State. March 22, 1997.

*This particular article, from the Journal of Church and State,
presents an interesting analysis of how evangelism via media outlets inspired
conservatism to adopt many of the same ideas, which helped to reshape and add
credence to the conservative movement of the 70s.
Wood, Gordon. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.

*Gordon Wood, a historian of early American history, provides a detailed look
into the lives of the key Founding Fathers. And while my research has little to
do with the history of early America, I do find Wood’s work quite helpful in
demonstrating why Christian Nation apologists have looked to the founders as a
“barometer” of sorts. It is through their endeavors to “rescue” the legacy of
our Founders that the Christian Nationalists have created this imagined American
community, and this is why I will rely on Wood’s analysis of the Founders and
their continued impact on America today.

Primary Sources:

Falwell, Jerry. Falwell: An Autobiography. 1996.

*As one of the primary figures of the “Moral Majority,” Falwell played a key
role in helping to reshape American conservatism. He was also one of the
principle ushers in the “wedding” of American conservatism with Christian
fundamentalism during the 70s and 80s. As a result, Falwell’s autobiography will
prove to be a vital first-hand source for my research.
Falwell, Jerry and Viguerie, Richard. The New Right We’re Ready to Lead.

*Though I still not have this book as of now, I have been told that it provides
an interesting dialogue on how Evangelical religion played such a powerful role
in American politics.
Kennedy, D. James. The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail: The Attack on Christianity and What you Need to Know to Combat it.

*Dr. D. James Kennedy, founder of the Coral Ridge Ministries, was perhaps the
most passionate proponent of “saving” America’s founding heritage. As a
successful and influential pastor, Kennedy became convinced that Christianity
was being eradicated from American society and that only Christians could save
it from the brink of destruction. His works are not only very enlightening to my
research, but help to recreate the atmosphere that surrounded the rise of the
Christian right in the 80s.
-----------. What if America Were a Christian Nation Again? Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 2003.

*Same as above

-----------. What they Believed: The Faith of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.
*Same as above.
Manuel, David and Marshall, Peter. The Light and the Glory: 1492-1793. New York: Ywam Publishing, 2009 (Originally published in 1979).

*The Light and the Glory is an extremely interesting source in that it captures
the essence of “America’s Christian Founding” in a fictional story. The book has
been extremely influential in reshaping how many devout Christians
understand the founding of America, and I believe it was an important work in
helping to establish an imagined “Christian Nation” community.
Viguerie, Richard. The Establisment v. The People.

*Viguerie, a prominent figure in the rise of the “Moral Majority,” wrote the
following book on why he believed the establishment had taken control over the
people. The “Christian” people of course!
Weyrich, Paul. Future 21: Directions for America in the 21st Century. 1984.

*In this book, Weyrich describes his (and other prominent Evangelical leaders)
direction that he hopes the United States will take in the 21st century. It is,
of course, a pro- Christian direction, which makes it an excellent source for my

If you have any other suggestions for sources (particularly strong primary sources) please let me know!


Pinky said...

I think you will find
This book helpful.
It is a great book on the subject of religious history in America.
Very well written.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Brad, your thesis is almost finished, except for the writing part. Congratulations!

Fundamentalists are stupid, or at least impervious to facts, and they all vote Republican! Jerry Falwell, ick.

Of course, if you wanted to write an interesting thesis, you might start on the tug-of-war over America's Founding religiosity with Jasper Adams, perhaps touch on JQ Adams' various quotes, then the quite orthodox Andrew Jackson's dogged endorsement of the US Constitution per pluralism/not orthodoxy, move to the Christian hagiography of The Life of Lincoln, that tried to turn him into an orthodox Christian, and the "Freethinkers' calling it all lies and that Christianity would soon be an embarrassment for anyone to believe in, and to the doubts about William Howard Taft as a Unitarian who still found it politically expedient to call America a "Christian nation," and to gin up the Catholic vote by supporting the RCChurch's efforts in the Philippines. Or the phenomenon of William Jennings Bryan of the Democratic Party.

All these things happened before or during the rise of "Fundamentalism" in the early 1900s.

There was also FDRism and the Catholic vote, all before the "Christian Right" became an alarming phenomenon.

And of course, many argue that the Civil Rights Movement, like abolitionism, started and was sustained by the Christian churches. By many accounts, the rhetorically skilled Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King as was recruited to the CRM by the churches who already had got the ball rolling in the 1950s.

You might also look at the "Christian Left" before there was a "Christian Right." Father Berrigan, whatever.

Once upon a time, there was little concern about the "church and state" thing, when the cause was deemed righteous.

Roe v. Wade [1973] might have been a turning point between "left" and "right," where the "left"---"liberalism"---found itself swimming against the tide instead of with it.

And so, you might look at the number of non-fundamentalists, who, upon the advice of the fircely Protestant Francis Schaeffer to Jerry Falwell, sought to build a non-sectarian yet Judeo-Christian political consensus, registering folks to vote who were formerly fairly apolitical.

You might look at the life's work of the late Father Richard John Neuhaus---R.I.P.---who as a convert from Lutheranism to Roman Catholicism, was a theologico-political force in America for ecumenical unity.

The "Moral Majority," at least in principle, wasn't a purely fundamentalist or evangelical movement. In fact, you'd find a lot of those former Jewish leftist-cum-neocons in their camp.

And as we arrive at 2008-9, Barack Obama got 50% of the Catholic vote and somewhere between a quarter and a third of the "evangelical," if memory serves.

The hardcore of the fundamentalist GOP "Christian America" crowd endures, of course. They haven't fabricated their vision of a hardcore fundamentalist Christian Founding, of course---they just picked out the fabrications of the 1800s battle over America's soul as "source material"---an understandable mistake, since we tend to take anything 100 or more years old as gospel truth.

So, Brad, you can turn your turrets on these fundamentalists, but I think hammering them will prove an unsatisfying victory.

If you go back to Jasper Adams, I think you'll see find a grain of truth in their contentions, especially if you google "Deist" and see how many people routinely write that that was the religion of the Founding.

Pish-posh, and disproving the thesis that fundamentalists and "Christian nationists" have any monopoly on miseducation and ignorance.

[I was gonna fire this up on the mainpage, but this blog is all about dialogue, per your "bleg" here, eh? If it was a sincere bleg, I dunno...]

Pinky said...

"[I was gonna fire this up on the mainpage, but this blog is all about dialogue, per your 'bleg"'here, eh? If it was a sincere bleg, I dunno...]"
Of course, you meant, if it were.
TVD writes, "Fundamentalists are stupid, or at least impervious to facts, and they all vote Republican! Jerry Falwell, ick."
A lot of people are stupid; but, that doesn't mean they don't have a lot to say about what is going down now, does it?
Fundamentalists--under the name of the Christian Right--elected George W. Bush and re-elected him to the full 8 year term of office. Their stupidity didn't stop them from just about destroying America.
It would be impossible to do any serious work on the religiosity of American politics without including the impact Fundamentalism has had and continues to make. Millenialism was a heavy factor during the nineteenth century and it morphed into early twentieth century Fundamentalism that changed its name to Evangelicalism during the mid-century that became the Silent Majority which came to be the Christian Right, aka, the Republican Party.
Yup, I guess you're correct, Tom. Fundamentalists are stupid.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Please take your religious bigotry somewhere else, Pinky. Your partisan animus is also unwelcome.

Fundamentalists are people, too, and the point is that the fight for America's soul goes back all the way to the immediate post-Founding era.

As for your attempt at diminishing my credibility by correcting my grammar, I purposely employ colloquial forms in comments sections [as in "dunno"], and so you're cordially invited to bug off on that too.

Pinky said...

I never came here looking for a welcome, Buster.
You are the one who dissed the Fundamentalists--not me.
You tried your chicanery once before in an attempt to discredit my military service by twisting my words to mean something I never said.
With all your cut and paste mentality it looks like you haven't a single original idea. But, I must hand it to you that you do have an encyclopedic brain for whatever that's worth. Hey! I'll bet you would do good on a game show.
Your sarcasm is uncalled for.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I didn't diss the fundamentalists, Pinky---that was indeed sarcasm. Your insult of fundamentalists was quite sincere however, based on a reading of your past posts.

As for your military service, I didn't even bring it up here so I don't know what you're talking about. But I do remember the occasion, and that the chicanery was yours. You got angry when I exposed it.

Further, my "encyclopedic" knowledge comes from actually having researched our topic, and I simply remember where to go to find the ace quote.

But rest assured I get them from the original source---in context---not from parroting books and articles by people I tend to agree with. I take no scholar's opinion for gospel truth or their use of quotations as accurate, and you'll notice I seldom if ever quote the opinions of scholars, only the Founders themselves.

[You did notice, right?]

My arguments are indeed original, although they are congenial to those of some other people. If I pass on a derivative argument, I take great pains to credit the original thinker.

So if you're done hacking on the fundies and Bush and my grammar, go in peace, my son.

Pinky said...

I hope you are able to get over it, Tom.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Until seventy times seven, brother, although if we're going to get literal about it, we're approaching that figurative limit.

bpabbott said...

Tom: "Please take your religious bigotry somewhere else, Pinky. Your partisan animus is also unwelcome."

Tom, I find you to be the most insulting person posting here, and to be fair you are an equal opportunity offender. No offense intended.

(I know Raven tries, but her efforts don't overcome your innate ability ... at least for me)

I woud like to give you credit for the "also" ... refering to your own "partisan animus" I assume ;-)

Pinky, I enjoy your comments, keep the "partisan animus" coming ;-)

.. and I expect you'll come to regret your comment. Pls, know that I wont' regret the amusement I derived from it. Thanks!

Pinky said...

I don't have any regrets, Ben.
I'm having fun.

bpabbott said...

Pinky: "I'm having fun."

Kudos again!

"having fun" is a philosophy I am increasingly behind!

Raven said...

Amen, Pinky and Abbott!!! Listening to Tom drone on about his pointless shit is like having nails driven into your skull...his comments are like a sadistic scene from "Saw." And I still haven't decided whether or not he is a punk-ass bitch or a bitch-ass punk!

BTW, do you still have your stupid-ass pony tail Van douche???

Pinky said...

He's to be pitied.

Jonathan Rowe said...


Are you are "she"?

Pinky said...

It's not in our interest to prolong the sniping here; but, it looks like a good place to make a point about the goings-on that take place at this site.
I brought this point up once before. Why is it that there seems to be this attitude that "one person's knowledge of history is better than another's". I notice it's almost a compulsion with some to outdo the other on the accuracy of the minutia of one thing or another. It isn't that I don't appreciate the work that goes in to uncovering details of history; but, after a while it ends up being nothing more than, "I'm smarter than the rest of the people here", and not very educational.
That's just an observation and the reader should probably take it with a grain of salt.
But, the main point I wanted to bring up has to do with participants being able to talk about how what we're learning impacts on us today. Otherwise, what's the use of this site other than the "I'm smarter than the rest of the people here" syndrome?
America's creation has not stopped--it continues. Like each of us, our nation is coming to be what it is coming to be. Nothing remains constant; but, America is evolving.
The process of American creation continues on and on and on.

Tom Van Dyke said...

As I'm one of the few here who actually reads everyone's links [and more], it's not a question of intelligence, but application.

A valiant defense of "ignorism" and opinion, Pinky, but I remember Mr. Abbott writing a virulent attack on it sometime back. However, since the colors are reversed and I'm on the "wrong" side, anything but silence on this front would be a delightful surprise.

As for your semi-weekly attack on the purpose of this blog, studying the Founding as opposed to watching CNN and the "continuing" American Creation, you already used up your allotment for this month. I for one learn something new every day, and that's the true purpose---ethos, if you will---of this blog.

I trust you'll be able to get along without me around here for a week or so, since fact-based arguments are superfluous anyway. Cheers.

bpabbott said...

Tom ... jeeezzz

Your posts of the last two days had been quite reasoned and respectful ... I suppose it is to much to ask that you secure a reputation for such :-(

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, you could have got my back. I'd have got yours. I certainly wouldn't have let anyone presume to correct your grammar! Neither does any religion oblige us to suffer fools gladly or ignore religious bigotry. Cheers, I'm getting on a plane in a few hours. Have fun with "natural law."

Pinky said...

Neither does any religion oblige us to suffer fools gladly or ignore religious bigotry.
heh heh
Have a nice trip, Tom.

Tom Van Dyke said...


Ciana Langham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ciana Langham said...

I read your post. What I can say that I found there some interesting things for me. I think if might be useful because a lot of people search this information. Nowadays in the Interenet there are many sites that provides bad quality of information about annotated bibliography. It is very cool that you decided to write a post about it.

Annotated Bibliography Writing