Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

by Kristin Kobes Du Mez
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

by Kristin Kobes Du Mez


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Notes From Your Bookseller

A bold and courageous book that challenges the white evangelical morph of Christianity, examining how they’ve done damage to the Christian faith and, by extension, to this entire nation. It’s a thoroughly researched and deeply engaging read that will raise countless discussion points.

“Paradigm-influencing. . . A very readable page-turner.”
—Scot McKnight, Christianity Today

Jesus and John Wayne is a tour-de-force indictment of the white evangelical cult of masculinity.”
—Michael Rea, Salon

“[N]ot only one of the most important books on religion and the 2016 elections but one of the most important books on post-1945 American evangelicalism published in the past four decades.”
—Jon Butler, Church History

“I hear people say all the time that Trump’s election was a tragedy for evangelicals, but after reading [this] book, I wonder if it isn’t their greatest victory.”
—Sean Illing, Vox

“Brilliant and engaging . . . Across chapters ranging from ‘John Wayne Will Save Your Ass’ to ‘Holy Balls,’ Du Mez peppers her text with entertaining (and sometimes horrifying) examples.”
—Matthew Avery Sutton, The New Republic

“It is impossible to do justice to the richness of Jesus and John Wayne in a short review, but one of the key points the book stresses is that as Christian nationalists, the vast majority of white evangelicals believe that our country’s flourishing depends on aggressive male leadership. The pervasive abusive patterns of white evangelical subculture replicate themselves on a large social scale in the Christian Right’s politics. Since understanding this will be crucial if Americans are to have a functional democratic future, Jesus and John Wayne is a book that America needs now.”
—Chrissy Stroop, Boston Globe

“A much needed and painstakingly accurate chronicle of exactly ‘where many evangelicals are,’ and the long road that got them there.”
—Tom Cox, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“[A] book that’s ignited an enormous amount of argument and debate across the length and breadth of the Christian intelligentsia . . . Du Mez meticulously documents how—time and again—Christian institutions have indulged and often valorized aggressive hyper-masculine male leaders who proved to be corrupt, exploitive, and abusive. They weren’t protectors. They were predators.”
—David French, The Dispatch

“[An] absolute must-read, a stunning work, and one that deserves serious attention and further conversation.”
—Joel Wentz, Englewood Review of Books

“Jesus and John Wayne should be required reading for those who live and move and have our being within American evangelical denominations and churches.”
—Sean Michael Lucas, Mere Orthodoxy

“Jesus and John Wayne is history as confession, history as lament, a type of history that hopes in a God who never puts us to shame, even as hope in America does.”
—Aarik Danielsen, Christ & Pop Culture

“Du Mez makes it clear that she’s not criticizing from the ivory tower or explicitly from the left. A history professor at a prominent Christian college, the author of A New Gospel for Women, and a contributor to Christianity Today, she’s in an ideal position to expose the hypocrisy, crudeness, and chauvinism of the religious right.”
—Matt Hanson, The Baffler

“[A] fascinating and fervent book . . . a provocative, but insightful and detailed look at the culture and impact of evangelical Christianity today, where The Duke and The Messiah are riding saddle-by-saddle toward some sort of glory."
—Bob Ruggiero, Houston Press

“In her smart, deftly argued book, historian Du Mez delves into white evangelicals’ militantly patriarchal expressions of faith and their unwavering support for libertine President Donald Trump. Du Mez, a professor at Calvin University, clearly explicates the way the “evangelical cult of masculinity” has played out over decades.”
The National Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631499050
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 06/08/2021
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 14,165
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kristin Kobes Du Mez is a professor of history at Calvin University and the author of A New Gospel for Women. She has written for the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Christian Century, and Religion & Politics, among other publications. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Table of Contents

Preface xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Saddling Up 15

Chapter 2 John Wayne Will Save Your Ass 33

Chapter 3 God's Gift To Man 60

Chapter 4 Discipline and Command 74

Chapter 5 Slaves and Soldiers 88

Chapter 6 Going For the Jugular 103

Chapter 7 The Greatest American Hero 118

Chapter 8 War For the Soul 134

Chapter 9 Tender Warriors 150

Chapter 10 No More Christian Nice Guy 173

Chapter 11 Holy Balls 187

Chapter 12 Pilgrim's Progress In Camo 205

Chapter 13 Why We Want To Kill You 219

Chapter 14 Spiritual Badasses 233

Chapter 15 A New High Priest 250

Chapter 16 Evangelical Mulligans: A History 272

Conclusion 295

Acknowledgments 305

Notes 311

Index 345

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