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Republican TheologyThe Civil Religion of American Evangelicals$
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Benjamin T. Lynerd

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199363551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199363551.001.0001

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The Triumph of Free Market Christianity

The Triumph of Free Market Christianity

(p.159) 7 The Triumph of Free Market Christianity
Republican Theology

Benjamin T. Lynerd

Oxford University Press

Over the course of the twentieth century an alliance formed between conservative Christians and the Republican Party on an ideological commitment to the free market, limited government, and traditional moral values. The first phase of this story, leading up to 1950, involves a theological realignment in which conservative Christians (including, but not exclusively, fundamentalists) took over the evangelical label from Mainline Protestants and reengaged in national politics, led by such figures as Harold Ockenga and Billy Graham. Evangelicals’ political ascent took a detour in the 1960s with the rise of the Civil Rights movement, which posed a unique challenge—how to alleviate racial discrimination—for which republican theology, and its emphasis on limited government, had limited answers. In the late 1970s, however, evangelicals free market ideologues, and anticommunists teamed up as a reactionary movement known as the New Right, transforming the Republican Party into the seat of American conservatism.

Keywords:   fundamentalists, Mainline Protestants, Harold Ockenga, Billy Graham, New Right

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