The New Christian Right in America as a Social and Political Force / La Nouvelle droite chrétienne en Amérique, force sociale et politique. - article ; n°1 ; vol.52, pg 69-83
16 pages

Découvre YouScribe en t'inscrivant gratuitement

Je m'inscris

The New Christian Right in America as a Social and Political Force / La Nouvelle droite chrétienne en Amérique, force sociale et politique. - article ; n°1 ; vol.52, pg 69-83

Découvre YouScribe en t'inscrivant gratuitement

Je m'inscris
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus
16 pages
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus


Archives des sciences sociales des religions - Année 1981 - Volume 52 - Numéro 1 - Pages 69-83
15 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.



Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 1981
Nombre de lectures 26
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo


Thomas N. Gannon
The New Christian Right in America as a Social and Political
Force / La Nouvelle droite chrétienne en Amérique, force sociale
et politique.
In: Archives des sciences sociales des religions. N. 52/1, 1981. pp. 69-83.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Gannon Thomas N. The New Christian Right in America as a Social and Political Force / La Nouvelle droite chrétienne en
Amérique, force sociale et politique. In: Archives des sciences sociales des religions. N. 52/1, 1981. pp. 69-83.
doi : 10.3406/assr.1981.2226 Sc soc des Rel. 1981 S2/1 juillet-septembre) 69 83
as Social and Political Force
partir de diverses enquêtes et études récentes se demande
quelle influence réelle la Nouvelle droite chrétienne exercée
dans le domaine politique ces dernières années Il présente les quatre
organisations nationales formant la Nouvelle droite chrétienne puis
étudie affiliation religieuse des membres de ces organisations leurs
attitudes dans les domaines politique économique et culturel Il
compare ensuite ce mouvement actuel avec les revivais de his
toire américaine enfin il tente évaluer influence réelle de cette
Nouvelle droite chrétienne dans élection présidentielle de 1980
Pour A. influence mesurable de la Nouvelle droite chré
tienne est peu importante contrairement aux affirmations de ses
critiques Mais dans son conservatisme culturel plus que politique
et économique accusé ce mouvement paraît indicateur un
malaise profond de la population américaine vis-à-vis du plura
lisme en tant que créateur incertitude morale et sociale
Although neither religion nor politics admit of easy definition debate over
the relations between them continues to be key question for sociology The
dispute continues for several reasons Not only are the relations between politics
and religion both complex and varied and often embody struggles and conflicts
at several levels of social reality but the juxtaposition of kings and priests prelates
and presidents religious adherents and established regimes keeps resurfacing in
new shapes and forms in places like Iran Poland Russia Latin America North
America and Western Europe Moreover as the sociology of religion returns to
the larger concerns of sociology there has been renewed attention to politically
related issues This attention has taken several directions There is an interest in
the extent to which political ideologies like Marxism and nationalism can provide
functional equivalents to religion Then there is complementary Marxist interest
in the capacity of religion to draw off political energies or to provide an initial
mobilization for emergent groups There is an overlap here with the studies of
millenialist sects and new religious movements and the role of religion in
conducting revolutionary or disoriented youth back toward normality Above all
there is concern with the impact of the religious variable not merely as affecting
voting patterns in certain types of political situations but also as creating the
ground within which particular political cultures and structures are able to survive
and flourish 1)
One important element in the political dimension of religion is the role of
religion in sustaining national subcultures and cultural defense The defense of
subcultures is linked to the general maintenance of tradition and all the varied
and rich relations of center and periphery It is within this broad context that the
present essay is situated My topic concerns specific group of American Pro
testant Evangelicals that has come to be known as the Christian Right or the
Religious Right What makes these groups decidedly new phenomenon is
neither their political activities nor their conservatism it is rather their ability to
exercise an impact on masses of people through the skilled use of television and
Indeed according to one scenario of the 1980 U.S presidential election
it was the evangelical TV preachers who played decisive role Not only did they
elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency but even more alarmingly they also
managed to unseat number of liberal Senators through massive well-financed
campaign to brand their targets as un-Christian political sinners This campaign
mobilized the fundamentalist constituency which was decisive factor in the
conservative tide that swept the nation last year And so the scenario concludes
the worst is yet to come While this version of events is not entirely inaccurate
it contains several critical flaws First it misstates the relationship between religious
beliefs and political attitudes among American Evangelicals themselves Second
it overrates the political strength of the group associated with the New Christian
Right Third it distorts the real meaning of the U.S election results in 1980 by
too narrowly constructing their significance Nevertheless this scenario aptly
illustrates the kind of deep concern expressed by many American political and
religious commentators over what appears to be the growing political power of
orthodox Christian groups in the U.S
Even though it would be difficult to relate the growth of these groups
directly to the decline of liberal Protestantism or to the emergence of new
religions certainly in the sense of any direct transfer of members from one to
the other when viewed within wider social and cultural context the recent
and contemporary processes of declining influence doctrinal diversity and
doubt and organizational uncertainty within many mainstream churches have
conspicuous coincidence with the appearance of the New Christian Right In size
its numbers are noteworthy In quality of commitment the movement appears
even more impressive This intensity and certainty not only attract new allegiance
and excite public attention but also raise again some critical issues about the
relationship between religion and politics What should be the legitimate role of
religious bodies in free society To what extent do they as the moral conscience
of nation have an obligation to speak out on the crucial issues affecting govern
ment and those elected to govern What kinds of coalitions and alliances are
possible desirable or inevitable between religious and political groups
These issues are certainly pertinent to the sociology of religion since
principal justification for the discipline rests on the premise that supplies
focus for the study of total societies Put differently the power of the socio
logical study of religion lies precisely in its specialized perspective It highlights
the distinctive reciprocal consequences of changes in the wider society on basic
forms of value identity and belonging and especially on the socialization of
successive generations Social research on religion requires the sociologist to
identify the real and symbolic boundaries in which people find meaning and
proceed through the life cycle Such research thus confronts the classic dilemma
of sociology how are the social structures and cultures intermediate between the
naked individual and the impersonal grid of the bureaucratic state to be main
tained Religion is one of the essential infra-structures which can either support
or corrode the total society Furthermore the tasks of the in the sociology
of religion must surely include careful attention to the relations between politics
and whether in the form of church-state issues the connections between
religion and civil society or the nexus between religious orientations and modes
of historical action To speak of changes in occupational structure social stra
tification or patterns of urban settlement without referring to the variety of
religious frameworks within which people find meaning is fundamentally to distort
analysis of the social organization of any advanced industrial society
In this essay am concerned with the nature and potential influence of the
emerging Christian Right in the U.S shall deal first with the groups that
comprise the movement their numbers religious affiliations their political
economic and social-cultural attitudes To interpret the meaning of this movement
which is the second topic for consideration requires some attention to the
relationship of the New Christian Right to previous major religious revivals in
American history In the final section want to offer tentative and preliminary
assessment of the actual and potential political impact as well as its
importance for the study of American religion today
Four national groups in the U.S. together with some local organizations
make up the movement which is loosely called the New Christian Right
Moral Majority is the largest of these groups and is led by Rev Jerry
Falwell It claims chapters in all 50 states mailing list of 400000 72000 of
them pastors) and first-year budget of 1.2 million Moral Majority repre
sentatives claim to have been responsible for registering million voters but
when asked ho

  • Univers Univers
  • Ebooks Ebooks
  • Livres audio Livres audio
  • Presse Presse
  • Podcasts Podcasts
  • BD BD
  • Documents Documents