The Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America

Session 11: Cultural Conservatism and the Religious Right

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Guest Lecturer: Honorable Phyllis Schlafly, Esq.View a short interview regarding this theme

Themes: The specifically religious concern for and impulse to participate in American politics; why that impulse resulted in a political alignment with the conservative movement as opposed to the Left among members of traditional evangelical Protestants and Catholics; the relationship of law and politics to culture and morality; the “ecumenism of the trenches.”


Recorded: 4/4/2012

Required Reading:

King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham”

Reagan, Ronald. “Address to the National Association of Evangelicals”

George, Robert. “The Tyrant State” and “Natural Law and Civil Rights” in Clash of Orthodoxies (ISI Books, 2001), pp. 127-135 and 153-168.

Hunter, James Davison. “New Lines of Conflict: The Argument in Brief,” “The Struggle to Define America,” “Packing the Courts,” “Law and Domination,” Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

Noll, Mark. “Jesus and Jefferson: A Review of God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right and From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism

Wehner, Peter and Michael Gerson. “Religion and Politics: Friends or Enemies?,” “The Role and Purpose of the State,” City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era

Bork, Robert. “Conservatism and the Culture,” Arguing Conservatism

Recommended Reading:

Hunter, James Davison. “The Realignment of American Public Culture,” “The Collapse of the Old Divide,” “Moral Authority and the Realignment of Public Culture,” “In Separate Worlds,” Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

Kirk, Russell. “Civilization without Religion?,” The Essential Russell Kirk

Luce, Clare Boothe. “Is the New Morality Destroying America?,” Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement

Martin, William. “Born Again,” “Moral Majority,” With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America

Course Overview

Section One: Introduction
Section Two: The Foundations of American Conservatism
Section Three: The 20th Century and the Recovery of a Conservative Tradition
Section Four: Conservative Triumph, Consensus, and Crisis