cover image Global Faith, Worldly Power: Evangelical Internationalism and U.S. Empire

Global Faith, Worldly Power: Evangelical Internationalism and U.S. Empire

Edited by John Corrigan, Melani McAlister, and Axel R. Schäfer. Univ. of North Carolina, $29.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4696-7059-1

These nuanced essays, compiled by religion professor Corrigan, American studies professor McAlister, and U.S. history professor Schäfer, look at the global growth of evangelicalism. The contributions “trace an alternative history of evangelical internationalism... that accounts for the racial diversity of the U.S. and global evangelical communities,” beginning with history professor Emily Conroy-Krutz’s exploration of American evangelicals’ first faltering forays into international mission work in the late 19th century. The pieces grapple with the “masculinist and imperialist logic of racial supremacy [that] often undergirded Protestant support for U.S. expansion,” as when historian Sarah Miller-Davenport posits that evangelicals viewed U.S. victory in WWII as proof that the country “was a Christian nation singled out by God,” a belief that justified missionaries’ symbiotic relationship with postwar U.S. military occupations of the Philippines and Japan. Studying evangelical movements in the Global South, religion professor David C. Kirkpatrick notes that the native-born evangelical left in Latin American countries vocally opposed U.S. intervention in their politics and critiqued the U.S. evangelical conviction in the power of benevolent foreign intervention. In foregrounding international forms of evangelicalism, this volume delivers thought-provoking visions of how the faith tradition’s domestic manifestations might take inspiration from global communities and reckon with the darker episodes in its history. Scholars of American religion should take note. (Oct.)