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Christian ReconstructionR. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism$
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Michael McVicar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622743

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622743.001.0001

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The Anti-Everything Agenda

The Anti-Everything Agenda

Sectarianism, Remnants, and the Early American Conservative Movement

(p.46) Chapter Two The Anti-Everything Agenda
Christian Reconstruction

Michael J. McVicar

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the coalescing conservative milieu of the mid-twentieth century. It pays particular attention to the emergence of the “mainstream” or “fusionist” intellectual wing of the American conservative movement during the 1950s and 1960s, by exploring how this coalition developed at the expense of religious conservatives such as Rushdoony and other committed sectarians determined to purify politics through a specific religious vision. Through a history of Rushdoony’s connections with Spiritual Mobilization, the William Volker Charities Fund, and the Center for American Studies, the chapter lays the foundation for a broader argument that illustrates how these understudied, but highly influential, midcentury organizations and conflicts over sectarian religion helped form the ephemeral but nonetheless sociologically robust conceptions of “mainstream” versus “extreme” (or “radical”) conservatism.

Keywords:   politics, American conservative movement, sectarian religion, conservatism, Spiritual Mobilization, William Volker Charities Fund, Center for American Studies

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