"Who Is an Evangelical?" by Thomas S. Kidd

Who Is an Evangelical? The History of a Movement in Crisis Thomas S. Kidd

Publication date:
12 Nov 2019
Yale University Press
192 pages: 210 x 140mm

Evangelicalism is arguably America’s most controversial religious movement. Nonevangelical people who follow the news may have a variety of impressions about what “evangelical” means. But one certain association they make with evangelicals in America is white Republicans. Many may recall that 81 percent of self-described white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, and they may well wonder at the seeming hypocrisy of doing so.

In this illuminating book, Thomas Kidd draws on his expertise in American religious history to renarrate the arc of this spiritual movement, illustrating just how historically peculiar that political and ethnic definition (white Republican) of evangelicals is. He traces distortions in the public understanding of evangelicals, and shows how a group of “Republican insider evangelicals” aided the politicization of the movement. This book will be a must-read for those trying to better understand the shifting religious and political landscape of America today.

Thomas S. Kidd is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University. His books include Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father and American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths.

“Written by one of the most respected historians of our time, this book examines evangelicalism with clarity and insight, through the telling of a riveting story.”—Russell Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention