cover image QAnon, Chaos, and the Cross: Christianity and Conspiracy Theories

QAnon, Chaos, and the Cross: Christianity and Conspiracy Theories

Edited by Michael W. Austin and Gregory L. Bock. Eerdmans, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-802-88265-3

Contributors take aim at the intersection of Christianity and conspiracy theories in this eye-opening anthology edited by Austin (God and Guns in America), a philosophy professor at Eastern Kentucky University, and Bock (coeditor, Righteous Indignation), a philosophy and religion professor at the University of Texas at Tyler. One contribution analyzes how QAnon adopts Christian rhetoric to advance its aims by fashioning metaphors of “spiritual warfare” that frame adherents as “soldiers in an ongoing war of cosmic significance” and utilizing Christian nationalist tropes. Another suggests ways individuals can use faith to combat conspiracy theories, since the knowledge “that Jesus is in control” can make it easier to trust “authorities in their specific areas of expertise,” though a healthy skepticism should still be exercised. Elsewhere, a meandering entry tracks a parent’s quest to raise children in a church culture rampant with disinformation and suggests that the act of learning is a “neglected spiritual discipline.” Contributors cast an admirably wide net, examining conspiracy theories and the church from theological, political, philosophical, and educational standpoints, and while some entries are stronger than others (a section that charts the ways technology enables the spread of misinformation, for example, is less than groundbreaking), all will provoke thought and discussion. This is a fascinating, timely outing. (May)