“Jimmy Carter and the ‘Year of the Evangelicals’ Reconsidered”
In 1976, Newsweek magazine borrowed a phrase from pollster George Gallup and proclaimed that year the "Year of the Evangelicals." Both presidential candidates — Republican Gerald Ford and Democrat Jimmy Carter — claimed to be "born again" Christians, a claim made by one third of all Americans; and significant proportions of Protestants and Catholics told Gallup's pollsters that the Bible should be taken literally, a marker of conservative evangelical Christianity. This phenomenon caught journalists by surprise, and they struggled to understand this new segment of the electorate, beginning at the top with the candidacy of Jimmy Carter. The election of 1976 brought evangelicals back into the political arena and marked their movement from the margins of intellectual and cultural life into the mainstream. Now an interdisciplinary group of international scholars will look back to that influential magazine cover story and present recent scholarship on the place of black and white evangelicals in public life — including politics and popular culture — from the election of Jimmy Carter to the election of Donald Trump.
Schedule of Events
Bean Lecture: "Full Circle: The Religious Right from Bob Jones to Donald Trump"
Date: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Randall Balmer, the John Phillips Professor in Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College, will present a talk titled, "Full Circle: The Religious Right from Bob Jones to Donald Trump." A widely respected scholar of religion and politics, Dr. Balmer is the author of Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter; The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond; God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush; and many others. In addition to books, he has written for both scholarly journals and the popular press, and he has made regular appearances on network television as an expert on religion and American politics, and as an expert witness in several First Amendment cases. Balmer also was nominated for an Emmy award for his work on the PBS documentary, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (which was based on his book by the same title).
Saint Anselm College presents a distinguished lecturer series for the enrichment of the college community and the public-at-large via an endowment from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation.
"The Year That Born Again Religion Got Born Again"
Date: Friday, April 7, 2017
Kenneth Woodward will present a discussion titled, "The Year That Born Again Religion Got Born Again." Woodward served as Religion Editor of Newsweek magazine from 1964 to 2002. During his tenure at Newsweek, he contributed more than 700 articles, essays, and book reviews, including nearly 100 cover stories. He is the author of four books, including, most recently, Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics From the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama.