White Evangelical Racism, Second Edition

The Politics of Morality in America

Second Edition

By Anthea Butler

with a new preface by the author

White Evangelical Racism, Second Edition

Approx. 200 pp., 5 x 7.5, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8151-1
    Published: September 2024

Ferris and Ferris Books

Paperback Available September 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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Awards & distinctions

A 2021 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

The American political scene today is poisonously divided, and the vast majority of white evangelicals play a strikingly unified, powerful role in the disunion. In this clear-eyed, hard-hitting chronicle of American religion and politics, Anthea Butler argues that racism is at the core of conservative evangelical activism and power. Propelled by the benefits of whiteness, white evangelicals used scripture to defend slavery and nurture the Confederacy during the Civil War era. During Reconstruction, they used it to deny the vote to newly emancipated blacks. In the twentieth century, they sided with segregationists in avidly opposing movements for racial equality and civil rights. White evangelicals today, cloaked in a vision of Christian patriarchy and nationhood, form a staunch voting bloc in support of white leadership. Evangelicalism's racial history festers, splits America, and needs a reckoning now.

In a new preface to the second edition, Butler takes stock of how the trends she identified have expanded as Donald Trump mounts a third campaign for the presidency, evangelicals celebrate and respond to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and ferocious backlash against racial equity has injected new venom into evangelicalism's role in American politics.

About the Author

Anthea Butler is Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World. A leading historian and public commentator on religion and politics, Butler has appeared on networks including CNN, BBC, and MSNBC and has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other media outlets.
For more information about Anthea Butler, visit the Author Page.


"[Butler's] ability to weave together history, personal experience, and contemporary reflection in such a cohesive and approachable manner makes White Evangelical Racism stand out. . . . By critiquing and unequivocally condemning White evangelical racism while also acknowledging another evangelical lineage, Butler presents masterful critique while still providing space for a much-needed nuance often missed when [we speak] about the tradition in America as a whole."—The Christian Century

White Evangelical Racism has dropped a bomb on the playground of many historians of evangelicalism who have been insufficiently attentive to their subjects’ history, specifically to their racism and nationalism from the nineteenth century to the present.”—American Religion

“In her elegant and unrelenting monograph White Evangelical Racism, Butler provides us with a cogent argument for inverting the narrative of evangelicals in American history. The book is brief, pointed, and accessible. Her argument, consistently made from start to finish, leaves no doubt where she sees the debate. Her clarion call to recognize the normative whiteness of American Christianity, especially in the media and politics, is timely and necessary.”—The Journal of Southern History

"A strong work of synthesis designed for a popular audience, White Evangelical Racism deftly weaves together cutting-edge scholarship on evangelicalism from the last twenty years."—Christianity Today

"Every so often a book comes along that distills essential truths so crisply, so powerfully, that it feels not just valuable but vital—alive with the clear, brilliant, and even thrilling thinking we need like we need water and air. Anthea Butler writes with force and grace of what is, how it came to be, and why it must change. White Evangelical Racism is an American revelation, in the real, deep sense of that rightly troubling word."—Jeff Sharlet, best-selling author of The Family and This Brilliant Darkness

“A half century ago, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. observed that 'the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.’ In this powerful book, Anthea Butler reckons with the ways in which religious devotion and racial division still reinforce each other in the lives of many evangelical Christians to this day."—Kevin M. Kruse, author of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America