Authored by: Ben Ryan

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Politics and Ideology

Print publication date:  August  2021
Online publication date:  August  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367417826
eBook ISBN: 9780367816230
Adobe ISBN:


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The term “Christianism” has been in use for some years. At least as early as 2003 in the American context, the journalist Andrew Sullivan was using it in relation to the American Christian right on his personal blog. Sullivan expanded on the idea in a Time Magazine piece in 2006 (Sullivan, 2006). Its usage in the European political sphere had been more limited until 2017, when the sociologist Rogers Brubaker re-coined the phrase in the context of populist movements in Europe (Brubaker, 2017a). The two uses denote, as explained below, different, though related phenomena. The American religious right and the populist Christianists share some common language and aspirations to power but are otherwise quite distinct both in their intellectual heritage, the depth of their piety and in their specific political aims.

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