History, Evangelicals, and Trump – with John Fea (podcast)

History, Evangelicals, and Trump – with John Fea (podcast) September 1, 2020


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In this podcast, we continue our discussion with Dr. John Fea. Professor of American History at Messiah University. He provides a historical framework for understanding the rise of the Religious Right and the political environment that led to evangelicals embracing Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

We discuss the political playbook of the Religious Right that has limited the strategy to overturning Roe v Wade with Supreme Court justices. This framework for political engagement doesn’t ask wider questions like, What can we do to reduce abortions to the point that women no longer see a need to have one? or How can Christians best live and witness for Jesus in a pluralistic society?

Dr. John Fea received his Ph.D. in American History from Stony Brook University. He is a sought-after writer and speaker and has written for several publications, including The Atlantic, Christianity Today, The Washington Post, USA Today, Fox News, Vox, Religion News Service, and several other publications. He has appeared on NBC News, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, NPR, and dozens of radio programs across the country.

Dr. Fea has a popular daily blog called “The Way of Improvement Leads Home” which offers reflections on the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life.

He also hosts a podcast with the same name.

His books include the book he named his blog and podcast after, The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America.

He has also written a college textbook Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past and the history book we discussed on the previous episode, Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?

In this podcast, we discuss some of the ideas he shares in his latest book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, of which Publishers Weekly wrote, “Clear, concise, and convincing… Fea uses his training as a historian to trace a chronology of the evangelical attraction to political power…and offers an alternative way (relying on hope and humility) for evangelical leaders to think about their relation to power.”

Please consider purchasing these books from our friends Beth and Byron Borger, independent bookstore owners of Hearts and Minds Bookstore.

Thanks for listening!

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