Summary – Who is an Evangelical? by Thomas Kidd

In this episode, we look at a book called Who is an Evangelical? by Thomas Kidd, an American historian at Baylor university in Texas. He defines the term ‘Evangelical’ and explores the political evolution of the movement from its inception to its support of Trump in 2016. As it turns out, they evangelical movement was once kind of libertarian! This is a great overview for people that want to understand how evangelical protestantism became associated with the Republican party and Trump.

Episode Outline:

I. Who is an Evangelical by Thomas Kidd
II. Defining the term ‘evangelical’.
III. Early evangelical political commitments
IV. Evangelicalism becomes more politically engaged
V. The Evangelical Right Turn
VI. The Crisis of Evangelicalism in the era of Trump

Media Referenced:

  •  Who is an Evangelical: The History of a Movement in Crisis, Thomas Kidd
  •  Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, Daniel Okrent


Next week, we will be attempting to define the term ‘science’ and look at some of the problems raised by Thomas Kuhn’s classic The Structures of Scientific Revolutions. We will connect this both to the government’s rhetoric on science regarding COVID and the way in which certain understandings of science have been used to criticize the Bible.

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