The Political Pluralisation of American Evangelicals: how old media built a movement and why the Internet is poised to change it

Chris Perkins, Christopher Frazier-Crawford Boerl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Although religious movements are a powerful force in politics, there has been relatively little work that adequately analyses the relationship between commu- nication technologies and Christian political mobilisation in the United States. In addressing this deficit, this article has three interrelated objectives. First, it traces the impact of media technology on the evangelical project, paying specific attention to radio and television, and argues that these two media have had a largely unifying influence. Second, it seeks a better understanding of the impact of the Internet upon evangelical organisations by reviewing relevant academic literature in the context of on-the-ground developments. In doing so, the authors argue that instead of working to facilitate greater unity among evangelicals, as radio and television did in the past, the Internet is instead fragmenting and polarising them. Third, and more speculatively, they discuss implications for a fragmented evangelical community, and call upon scholars to conduct more research into recent developments in communications technology as it relates to Christian political mobilisation in the United States. Combined, these goals work to illustrate the complex relationship between media, religious organisations, and mass political mobilisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66 - 78
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for the Study of the Christian Church
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • evangelical Christianity
  • American Politics
  • Internet
  • New media environment

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