Religious diversity has long been a defining feature of the United States. But what may be even more remarkable than the sheer range of faiths is the diversity of political visions embedded in those religious traditions. Matthew Bowman, Associate Professor of History at Henderson State University, delves into the ongoing struggle over the potent word “Christian,” not merely to settle theological disputes but to discover its centrality to American politics.
We’ll talk about history and current events, such as Speaker Paul Ryan’s firing of the House Chaplain, White Evangelicals’ support for President Trump, Mitt Romney’s runs for President and Mormons and the definition of Christianity. And at the end of our discussion we’ll talk about a couple of pieces Matthew Bowman has written for magazines and newspapers, including: From the Book of Mormon to The Book of Mormon: What the South Park guys, Tony Kushner, and so many others get wrong about Mormons. and Why Mormons Love Star Wars.
Matthew Bowman is Associate Professor of History at Henderson State University. He is the author, previously, of “The Mormon People: the Making of an American Faith,” a general history of the Mormon movement that explores its uneasy relationship with American culture. He is also the author of “The Urban Pulpit: New York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism,” which argues that the rise of cultural diversity in urban America after the Civil War led many Protestants to embrace an ecumenical and socially activist form of evangelical Christianity.