Seventh Annual Society for U. S. Intellectual History Conference. The Society is offering a one-day "local" pass at a reduced rate.
As usual, there are a number of excellent panels on the subject of religion. I'd like to highlight one Saturday morning panel in particular on the topic of Christian nationalism:
Roundtable: “Christian Nationalism in American History”
Chair/Discussant: Mark Edwards, Spring Arbor University
Emily Conroy-Krutz, Michigan State University
Raymond Haberski, IUPUI
Lauren Turek, Trinity University
Steven K. Green, Willamette University
Matthew Sutton, Washington State University
Here's a bit more about our subject:
America’s allegedly “Christian” founding and culture remains a subject of substantial debate among scholars as well as the general public. Many persons associate conflicts over the civil religious nature of America with the rise of evangelical conservativism during the 1970s and 1980s. However, the intellectual tradition of Christian nationalism is much older and messier—as studies by historians such as Robert Handy and Frank Lambert and newer work by Kevin Kruse, Steven Green, and Matthew Sutton have demonstrated. Their scholarship teaches us several lessons. First, we should avoid “decline and revival” narratives and understand Christian nationalism as a construction (if not fiction) that has arisen at various times in various places to accomplish a myriad of work. Second, Christian nationalism has been advanced by a diversity of persons and groups favorable and hostile to the idea, not just by evangelical Protestants. Third, Christian nationalism can be operational even when its keywords “Christian nation” and “Christian America” are absent. Finally, and most importantly, “Christian nationalism” like “secularism” is a discursive site where politics and history meet—where assertions of identity and power are conjoined.
Engaging and building upon these observations, this roundtable will use brief case studies to consider the viability of Christian nationalism as an analytical tool alongside sister concepts like civil religion and culture wars. Should historians coopt this catchphrase in an effort to offer clearer thinking about fights over pluralism, modernism vs. antimodernism, public policy, and so on? Or, is Christian nationalism better left as something historians try to periodize and define but not utilize?