“In the age of Trump, tribalism, and deep polarization, this new book explores the promise and pitfalls facing “the other evangelicals”: multicultural evangelicals whose distinctive approach to public religious engagement might in fact be “good news” for the common good. ”
In the age of Trump, tribalism, and populist uprisings around the world, there is pressing need for the production and dissemination (to both religious and public audiences) of social scientific research that highlights promising new empirical and theoretical advances in the understanding and practice of democratic virtues: including intellectual humility, reflexive religious conviction, and bridge-building across deep difference and disagreement in the pluralistic public sphere. White American evangelicals have long been prone to dangerous populist and ethnoreligious nationalist tendencies; these tendencies have been heightened in the age of Trump. However, they are not monolithic. Despite persistent academic and public focus on the various pathologies of white evangelical public engagement, a significant minority of evangelicals across the political spectrum reject the anti-intellectualism, ethnoreligious nationalism, and xenophobic tendencies of some of their co-religionists. These “other evangelicals” are engaged in effective public collaborations for the common good with diverse racial, religious, political, and cultural others. Based on twelve months of original ethnographic research in Portland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Boston—including over 90 in-depth interviews with race/class/gender/religion diverse individuals—this book project aims to become a definitive work on multicultural evangelicalism and ethical democracy in the United States. All data for the project are already collected; the grant would support sabbatical leave for book manuscript writing.