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Between Jesus and the Market The Emotions that Matter in Right-Wing America by Linda Kintz

Between Jesus and the Market The Emotions that Matter in Right-Wing America


Between Jesus and the Market The Emotions that Matter in Right-Wing America by Linda Kintz

Between Jesus and the Market looks at the appeal of the Christian right-wing movement in contemporary American politics and culture. In her discussions of books and videotapes that are widely distributed by the Christian right but little known by mainstream Americans, Linda Kintz makes explicit the crucial need to understand the psychological makeup of born-again Christians as well as the sociopolitical dynamics involved in their cause. She focuses on the role of religious women in right-wing Christianity and asks, for example, why so many women are attracted to what is often seen as an antiwoman philosophy. The result, a telling analysis of the complexity and appeal of the emotions that matter to many Americans, highlights how these emotions now determine public policy in ways that are increasingly dangerous for those outside familiarity's circle. With texts from such organizations as the Christian Coalition, the Heritage Foundation, and Concerned Women for America, and writings by Elizabeth Dole, Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson, and Rush Limbaugh, Kintz traces the usefulness of this activism for the secular claim that conservative political economy is, in fact, simply an expression of the deepest and most admirable elements of human nature itself. The discussion of Limbaugh shows how he draws on the skepticism of contemporary culture to create a sense of absolute truth within his own media performance-its truth guaranteed by the market. Kintz also describes how conservative interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence have been used to challenge causes such as feminism, women's reproductive rights, and gay and lesbian rights. In addition to critiquing the intellectual and political left for underestimating the power of right-wing grassroots organizing, corporate interests, and postmodern media sophistication, Between Jesus and the Market discusses the proliferation of militia groups, Christian entrepreneurship, and the explosive growth and selling of the Promise Keepers.


Linda Kintz's clear and profound understanding of the crucial symbolic and political positions occupied by born-again women in contemporary America will enlighten public dialogue in ways that might actually, finally, move it forward. -Alice Jardine, Harvard University Kintz's research is revealing, even shocking. Between Jesus and the Market is of paramount importance if we are ever to understand, and not merely revile or embrace, the movements she studies. -Juliet Flower MacCannell, University of California, Irvine Kintz is one of the few scholars on the left who takes the notion of religious faith seriously: while she is not a theologian, she understands the deeply affective longing for spiritual knowledge that motivates the political awakening of men and women of the right. Avoiding the tendency to see the right as a ragtag bag of `fanatics,
Kintz articulates the philosophic, psychic, and political consequences of

oneself as part of an activist spiritual community

. -Peggy Phelan, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

About the Author

Linda Kintz is Professor of English at the University of Oregon.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd July 1997


Linda Kintz

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Duke University Press


308 pages


Conservatism & right-of-centre democratic ideologies
Cultural studies



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