The best books about the Christian right 📚

Browse the best books on the Christian right as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics

The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics

By Susan Friend Harding

Why this book?

An analysis of Falwell’s theological rhetoric and the changes he made in it to persuade fundamentalists and other evangelicals to go into politics that most had considered taboo. A fascinating book by a great anthropologist.

From the list:

The best books to read to understand the ethos of the Christian right

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Book cover of The South and the North in American Religion

The South and the North in American Religion

By Samuel S. Hill

Why this book?

Strangely, very few books about the Christian right explain the differences between southern and northern evangelicals. Hill’s book is an eye-opener. It links theology directly to politics. A historian, Hill is a wonderful writer.

From the list:

The best books to read to understand the ethos of the Christian right

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Book cover of God's Last and Only Hope: The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention

God's Last and Only Hope: The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention

By Bill J. Leonard

Why this book?

A liberal Southern Baptist, Leonard describes the fundamentalist takeover of the largest Protestant denomination. The take over accompanied the South’s transformation into a Republican stronghold and made the Christian right a serious force in American politics. Leonard is one of the best-known historians of the Convention and of contemporary religion in the South.

From the list:

The best books to read to understand the ethos of the Christian right

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Book cover of Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding

Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding

By Steven K. Green

Why this book?

A central assertion of the Christian right is that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and should be again. But this argument, as Green documents in his meticulous study of historical and legal sources, is deeply embedded in Americans’ sense of their national history as exceptional. He examines a series of claims made about critical junctures in the early history of the nation that purportedly support this view--the religious founding of the English colonies, the American Revolution as a religious cause, American government formed to be Christian. His careful examination of the evidence for and against the…
From the list:

The best books to understand the historical development of the Christian Right as a political power

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Book cover of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

By Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Why this book?

In Jesus and John Wayne, Du Mez examines the rise of the Christian right through the lens of popular culture. She argues that over the past seventy-five years evangelicals have remade Christianity into a form of toxic masculinity and Christian nationalism. They have extolled strong, heroic models of masculinity from the fictionalized characters in John Wayne and Mel Gibson movies to political figures, including Ronald Reagan, Oliver North, and even Donald Trump. Their projected strength was vital to protect and promote Christian values. This muscular Christianity supports patriarchy, authoritarianism, and aggressive foreign policies, and opposes the expansion of rights for…
From the list:

The best books to understand the historical development of the Christian Right as a political power

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

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