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News & Events - Jeff Sharlet

A Lecture by Jeff Sharlet

Abstract

Sharlet’s talk will make the case for "American fundamentalism" as a term that encompasses the political and cultural work of a broad evangelical movement that's both conservative and utopian, gentle in spirit and angry in expression, rooted as much in its reading of American history as in scripture. How does this "American fundamentalism" mirror and clash with the assumptions of secularism? Can they co‑exist in a "public square," or is such common ground a myth to begin with? Sharlet examine these questions through a consideration of fundamentalist historiography (the strange resurrection of Stonewall Jackson), elite evangelical political theology ("Jesus plus nothing"), secular responses and denials (the fixation on "megachurch nation"), and the role of the press in literally mediating between all of these stories about what we mean when we speak of that quaint notion, "we, the people."  Rather than an “academic” lecture, Sharlet will offer the reflections of a journalist who's been exploring the spiritual geography of the nation in the post 9/11 era.

Jeff Sharlet is...

Jeff Sharlet PictureJeff Sharlet is a contributing editor for Harper's and Rolling Stone and an associate research scholar at New York University's Center for Religion and Media, where he teaches journalism and edits TheRevealer.org, a review of religion and the press. His latest work is Jesus Plus Nothing: How American Fundamentalism's Power Elite Shaped the Faith of a Nation and the Politics of an Empire, forthcoming from HarperCollins in Fall, 2007. He is also the co‑author with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible, published by Free Press in 2004 and named by Publishers Weekly as one of the top 10 religion titles of that year, and co‑founder of KillingTheBuddha.com, an Utne Award‑winning online magazine of "God for the godless." Sharlet has written about religion for many national and regional magazines and papers, including The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, New York Magazine, Oxford American, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Jewish Forward, and commented on religion and politics for CNN, NPR, BBC, Radio France, and newspapers around the world.