HDS 2189

Theological Underpinnings of the Religious Right

Michelle Chaplin Sanchez


In the late twentieth century, the United States saw the rise of an unprecedented coalition of diverse American Protestants and Catholics around a particular set of political and social issues largely involving authority, family, and sexuality. This seminar will examine the intellectual arguments that appealed to such a theologically-diverse spectrum, the institutions that facilitated their political coalition, and the role of new forms of media and mass communication in defining their public image. After reading recent studies to help contextualize the "rise of the religious right" as a historical phenomenon responsive to specific social anxieties, we will study writings and other media produced by some of the movement's major intellectual figures. The aim of the course is to critically and sympathetically examine what is at stake, for these diverse groups, in defending certain arrangements of gender, family, "creation," sexuality, free markets, and libertarianism. We will pursue a better understanding of the ideas and tensions undergirding the contemporary American political and religious landscape.

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 12 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes

Course website


0.50 credits
Fall 2014
Thurs 2pm-4pm
Divinity Hall Room 106

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Religions of the Americas
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
  • Theology
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Christianity
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
  • Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Language Course Designation(s) None