208 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 17 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5877-3
Published: April 2020
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5589-5
Published: April 2020
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5590-1
Published: February 2020
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The tours preach a historical jeremiad that resonates far beyond Washington. White evangelicals across the United States tell stories of the nation’s Christian origins, its subsequent fall into moral and spiritual corruption, and its need for repentance and return to founding principles. This vision of American history, Kerby finds, is white evangelicals’ most powerful political resource—it allows them to shapeshift between the roles of faithful patriots and persecuted outsiders. In an era when white evangelicals’ political commitments baffle many observers, this book offers a key for understanding how they continually reimagine the American story and their own place in it.
About the Author
Lauren R. Kerby is lecturer on religious studies at Harvard Divinity School.
For more information about Lauren R. Kerby, visit the Author Page.
"[An] excellent debut. . . . Thoughtfully documenting and reflecting upon the contours of a uniquely American subculture, this ethnographic study will appeal to anyone interested in the pull of American Christian nationalism."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Kerby’s writing is clear and crisp, resulting in an exceptionally smooth read that is full of revealing insights. . . . Saving History is an enriching read with much to offer about the cultural reproduction of white Protestant fundamentalism and Christian nationalism.”--Material Religion
"Kerby provides an interesting study of the portrayal of history as story and the way that story shapes the lives of its hearers. This accessible treatment will be valuable for a broad audience. . . . Highly recommended."--CHOICE
“An important study . . . [that] sheds light on the molding and reimagining of history that is influencing how white evangelicals see themselves and how they respond to the current culture and political environment.”—Baptist History & Heritage
“I have been waiting for a book like this. The Christian nationalist tourism industry attracts thousands of Christian Right tourists each year, yet they do not usually make the news. Weaving the thoughts of ordinary tour-goers into her analysis, Kerby provides a much needed and significant contribution to understanding religion in the United States today.”—John Fea, author of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?
“Exciting and extremely well-written, Saving History brings to life Christian heritage tours in order to illuminate how white evangelicals create a usable history by laying claim to past insider status and present outsider status—and marshal the power that comes with both. This trend in history-making is intensely prevalent among U.S. evangelicals—yet until now it has been a largely overlooked part of conservative evangelical infrastructure. A significant contribution to our understanding of Christian nationalism.”—Hillary Kaell, author of Walking Where Jesus Walked: American Christians and Holy Land Pilgrimage