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Religion of FearThe Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism$
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Jason C Bivins

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340815

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340815.001.0001

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“A Common Thrill”

“A Common Thrill”

Evangelicalism and the Culture of Fear

(p.23) 2“A Common Thrill”
Religion of Fear

Jason C. Bivins (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter establishes four contextual factors shaping the Religion of Fear: the history of evangelicalism, political fear, American Christian demonology, and the evangelical mediascape. By situating the Religion of Fear historically and comparing it with both political fear and earlier forms of demonology, this chapter reveals its specific contours. The chapter examines the fearful qualities of religion. It then describes the emergence of evangelicalism within a cluster of concerns to establish religious identity against fearful Others. This chapter next describes the way in which elements of horror and the Gothic resonate with religious strategies of alterity. The chapter concludes by describing the evangelical culture industry, which is part of the work on religious identities.

Keywords:   evangelicalism, Puritans, revivalism, demonology, popular culture, horror, the Gothic, emotions

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