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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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Evangelicals, Economic Conservatism, and National Identity

Evangelicals, Economic Conservatism, and National Identity

(p.112) Chapter 5 Evangelicals, Economic Conservatism, and National Identity
The Politics of Evangelical Identity

Lydia Bean

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the claim that evangelical Christians are predisposed toward economic conservatism because of their individualistic theology. In the United States, white evangelicals are more economically conservative than other Americans. Yet Canadian evangelicals are just as supportive of redistributive social policy as other Canadians, even though they share the same tools of conservative Protestant theology. To solve this puzzle, the chapter compares how U.S. and Canadian evangelical congregations talked about poverty and the role of government. In both countries, evangelicals made sense of their religious responsibilities to “the poor” by reference to national identity. Evangelicals used their theological tools differently in the United States and Canada, because different visions of national solidarity served as cultural anchors for religious discourse about poverty.

Keywords:   evangelical Christians, economic conservatism, individualistic theology, Canadian evangelicals, Protestants, poverty, national identity

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