Richard Hughes Book Signing

If you live in south central Pennsylvania, take some time tomorrow to go see my colleague Richard Hughes, distinguished professor and senior fellow at Messiah’s Boyer Center, who will be at the Camp Hill Barnes & Noble from 11:00am to 1:00pm signing copies of his new book, Christian America and the Kingdom of God. I read an early draft of this book and can attest that it will give those interested in the relationship between religion and politics a lot to think about. I hope Richard will get a chance to talk about the book.

Here is a summary:

The idea of the United States as a Christian nation is a powerful, seductive, and potentially destructive theme in American life, culture, and politics. Many fundamentalist and evangelical leaders routinely promote this notion, and millions of Americans simply assume the Christian character of the United States. And yet, as Richard T. Hughes reveals in this powerful book, the biblical vision of the “kingdom of God” stands at odds with the values and actions of an American empire that sanctions war instead of peace, promotes dominance and oppression instead of reconciliation, and exalts wealth and power instead of justice for the poor and needy.

With conviction and careful consideration, Hughes reviews the myth of Christian America from its earliest history in the founding of the republic to the present day. Extensively analyzing the Old and New Testaments, Hughes provides a solid, scripturally-based explanation of the kingdom of God–a kingdom defined by love, peace, patience, and generosity. Throughout American history, however, this concept has been appropriated by religious and political leaders and distorted into a messianic nationalism that champions the United States as God’s “chosen nation” and bears little resemblance to the teachings of Jesus.

Pointing to a systemic biblical and theological illiteracy running rampant in the United States, Hughes investigates the reasons why so many Americans think of the United States as a Christian nation despite the Constitution’s outright prohibition against establishing any national religion by law or coercion. He traces the development of fundamentalist Christianity throughout American history, noting especially the increased power and widespread influence of fundamentalism at the dawn of the twenty-first century, embodied and enacted by the administration of President George W. Bush and America’s reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

3 thoughts on “Richard Hughes Book Signing

  1. America isn't really a Christian or a Judeo-Christian nation. If for no other reason than the fact that God does not give divine approval to nations which kill their own children. We replaced the sin of slavery with one just as worse, if not more so.

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