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Evangelical vs. LiberalThe Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest$
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James K. Wellman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300116

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300116.001.0001

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 Complicating the Two‐Party Protestant Explanation

 Complicating the Two‐Party Protestant Explanation

(p.21) 3 Complicating the Two‐Party Protestant Explanation
Evangelical vs. Liberal

James K. Wellman Jr.

Oxford University Press

The two‐party system in American Protestantism is a convenient rubric to generalize American religion. However, it does not frame the facts on the ground; American religion generally and Protestantism in particular is a patch‐work of subcultures, which this chapter defines and uses to understand the mosaic of Protestantism in the Pacific Northwest. This chapter presents the problem of the two‐party system and uses Fred Kniss' two-dimensional moral map of American religious culture to show how religious subcultures negotiate the ambiguous center of American political power, along axes that are horizontally defined by libertarian and communalist moral projects, and vertically expressed by modernist and traditionalist sources of authority.

Keywords:   two‐party system, religious subcultures, subcultural theory, moral map, moral projects, moral authority, modernism, traditionalism, libertarianism, communalism, Kniss

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