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The Age of EvangelicalismAmerica's Born-Again Years$
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Steven P. Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199777952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777952.001.0001

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Hope for a Change

Hope for a Change

Chapter:
(p.145) 6 Hope for a Change
Source:
The Age of Evangelicalism
Author(s):

Steven P. Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777952.003.0007

The evangelical left experienced a second coming in the mid-2000s. Founding leaders of the 1970s evangelical left, such as Jim Wallis, gained renewed influence as Democrats struggled to counteract George W. Bush's evangelical politics. As the president's popularity waned, Rick Warren and a number of other prominent evangelicals cultivated a more moderate image. A group of emergent Christians criticized the cultural captivity of conservative evangelicalism. Aspiring president Barack Obama saw the unraveling of Bush's faith-based coalition as a political opportunity. His outreach to progressive evangelicals helped to address perceptions that the Democrats had a problem with religious voters. By the time of the 2008 presidential campaign, the evangelical left functioned as a proxy for the religious left as a whole. The prominence of the evangelical left during the Obama campaign altered the terms of evangelical influence on American politics, setting the stage for its overall decline in sway.

Keywords:   evangelical left, Jim Wallis, George W. Bush, Rick Warren, emergent Christians, Barack Obama, 2008 presidential campaign

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