Between Jesus & the Market-CL

Linda Kintz, Author, Linda Kintz, Author, Kintz, Author Duke University Press $89.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-8223-1959-7
For many years now, the Christian right has played a significant role in shaping political conversation in the United States. Figures like Jerry Falwell, Phyllis Schlafly and Pat Robertson, among others, have emphasized issues like ""family values"" as ways of importing their religious beliefs into the political arena. In this book, Kintz, a professor of English at the University of Georgia, sets out to examine the reasons the religious right has been so successful in making its political voice heard in the United States. Her thesis is a simple one: these movements offer passionate emotional appeals to the value of a free-market economy, the purity of monogamous heterosexual relationships, and the reconstruction of manhood as ""tender and virile"" as ways of reconstructing religion and culture. Kintz drives this thesis through a reading of texts like Beverly LaHaye's Desires of a Woman's Heart, an ""antifeminist reconstruction of motherhood as a heroic choice for women as proper mothers,"" as well as through readings of movements like Promise Keepers, which, in Kintz's words, ""turns Christ back into a manly and militant peacemaker with a sword."" Kintz's use of interviews and texts from the center of right-wing America demonstrate well her claims that emotion rather than reason is at the heart of right-wing political and religious activity, but her jargon-filled writing (e.g., ""the book is organized according to a dialectic that will repeat itself in these texts: the relation between a rich complexity of beliefs and the reductive clarity available from a structure of vaguely symmetrical beliefs"") often obscures her points. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 07/01/1997
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