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The Politics of Evangelical IdentityLocal Churches and Partisan Divides in the United States and Canada$
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Lydia Bean

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161303

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161303.001.0001

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Politics and Lived Religion

(p.221) Conclusion
The Politics of Evangelical Identity

Lydia Bean

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter discusses how the Christian Right is no longer the only public voice speaking for American evangelicals. Since 2004, alternative leaders and advocacy groups have stepped out of the shadows to broaden the evangelical agenda. New voices appeal to evangelicals to consider poverty, creation care, and racial reconciliation as important moral issues. But this broadened political agenda will only gain traction with rank-and-file evangelicals if it becomes part of local religious practice. It is not enough to engage in top-down messaging about moral values. If these elites seek to challenge the hegemony of the Christian Right, they need to find substitutes for the powerful identity-work that goes on every week in evangelical congregations.

Keywords:   Christian Right, American evangelicals, alternative leaders, advocacy groups, evangelical agenda, poverty, creation care, racial reconciliation

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