American Heresy: The Roots and Reach of White Christian Nationalism

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$24.00  $22.32
Fortress Press
Publish Date
5.64 X 8.56 X 0.68 inches | 0.56 pounds

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About the Author
John Fanestil earned his PhD in history from the University of Southern California, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College; Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar; and the Claremont School of Theology. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and has served several churches in Southern California.

As John Fanestil expertly demonstrates in American Heresy, the idea that the United States occupies a special place in the divine economy extends back to the colonial era, and the nation's founders drew on English Protestant notions of divine protection and providence. White Christian nationalism, he argues, traffics in "violence, nostalgia, racism, propaganda, conspiratorial thinking, and nationalism," and we ignore the religious reverberations of America's past at our peril. Self-examination and repentance are in order, even for those who identify as Christian progressives. This is a thoughtful, provocative, and well-argued book. --Dr. Randall Balmer, John Phillips Chair in Religion at Dartmouth College and author of Saving Faith: How American Christianity Can Reclaim Its Prophetic Voice

This book deserves a place on the shelf among the expanding set of works exploring the origins and dangers of white Christian nationalism. Conservatives and progressives alike would benefit from the book--and find it challenging some of their presuppositions about politics today and the founding of the United States. We need authors like John Fanestil who help us see beyond the near-sightedness of our present moment. --Rev. Dr. Brian Kaylor, president and editor-in-chief of Word & Way and author of Presidential Campaign Rhetoric in an Age of Confessional Politics

This is a book that will make those of us who are white, Christian, and American uncomfortable, but it's a necessary discomfort that comes from examining the complexity of the past. John Fanestil has marshaled impressive historical evidence to show that Christian heresy and Christian truth were more deeply intertwined in the thinking of the American founders than we might have assumed, and that American Christians today--whether conservative or progressive--are more strongly affected by this legacy than most of us realize. --Dr. Daniel K. Williams, professor of history at the University of West Georgia and author of The Politics of the Cross: A Christian Alternative to Partisanship