This weekend at the American Academy of Religion annual conference, writing professor Chelsea Ebin is presenting new research about Christian conservatism. Chelsea’s paper, “The (New) Religious Right: Coalition Building between Catholic New Right Elites and Bible-Believing Protestants, 1977-1979,” is part of a Religion and Politics Section titled “Religion and Political Strategies in the U.S.: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives.”
Chelsea summarizes her research this way:
This paper explores the institutional and ideological foundations of the Religious Right, an insurgent conservative movement that transformed the American political landscape throughout the late 1970s and 1980s. It examines the movement’s formation from the vantage point of conservative Protestant and Catholic coalition building, and proposes that the failure of the (ostensibly secular) New Right to secure significant electoral gains using single-issue agendas prompted Catholic- Protestant coalition building to take place and encouraged the adoption of the ideological umbrella of “the family.” It asserts that the process of political coalition building has had a long-lasting impact on conservative Protestants and Catholics, as the distance between their respective religious beliefs and ideologies has diminished, as has the political distance between them.