Locating the “Religion of Fear” in Conservative Evangelicalism
The book's introduction describe the image of “Scary Jesus,” which prompted a shift in approach to American political religions from one rooted in conventional studies of protest and government to one oriented around cultural politics and representation. The chapter explores the way in which popular discourse and imagery can be manipulated for political purposes, and specifically engages the efficacy of tales of fright and horror in these endeavors. The chapter surveys standard approaches to religion and politics, and — drawing on multiple disciplines — proposes to move beyond standard approaches to “church and state” or “civil religion”. The chapter concludes by proposing two new terms — the Erotics of Fear and the Demonology Within — for thinking about the Religion of Fear.
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