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The Age of EvangelicalismAmerica's Born-Again Years$
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Steven P. Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199777952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777952.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 February 2021

The Power and the Spectacle

The Power and the Spectacle

(p.60) 3 The Power and the Spectacle
The Age of Evangelicalism

Steven P. Miller

Oxford University Press

By 1980, the momentum lay on the right side of the evangelical continuum. Ronald Reagan's victory linked evangelicalism with political conservatism in the popular imagination for decades to come. The Christian Right—a movement propelled by evangelicals but also containing sympathetic Catholics, Mormons, and a handful of Jewish allies—received disproportionate media attention, not least because its leaders served up a steady dish of spectacles. The Christian Right gave liberals an enduring foil, sparking the first of two evangelical scares. The reaction against Jerry Falwell and other Christian Right leaders led to the creation of People for the American Way. The public impact of evangelicalism was not strictly political, as the satanism scare and the PTL scandal revealed. Evangelical anxieties and spectacles were American anxieties and spectacles, too. This dynamic hindered Pat Robertson's presidential campaign, even as evangelical influence within the Republican Party remained strong.

Keywords:   Ronald Reagan, Christian Right, Jerry Falwell, People for the American Way, satanism, PTL, Pat Robertson, Republican Party

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