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The Missionary Majority: American Evangelicals and Power in a Postcolonial World
October 12, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Fellow seminar with Hannah R. Waits, PhD. Dr. Waits is a CHAT research affiliate and lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard.
About the Talk:
US evangelicals run some of the world’s biggest international NGOs and send millions of Americans around the world each year as missionaries. Over the past seventy years, evangelicals have cultivated a deep desire and sense of duty to save the world as a part of their regular religious practices. This talk explores the massive global activism by white Americans across the Global South in the era of decolonization and the postcolonial period, and traces how that international work taught US evangelicals a missional sensibility – a specific way of thinking, perceiving, and feeling about social hierarchies – that evangelicals then applied to their domestic political and cultural activism in the US. These transnational feedback loops linked the expansion of American neocolonial power around the world to the conservative resurgence in the United States.