Just when we thought we knew what to expect from evangelicals, they seem to be changing again. After more than two decades of developing a public identity as loyal Republican “values voters”—replacing their earlier image as otherworldly, backwoods bible-thumpers—evangelicals seem determined to confound our social scientific wisdom again. Just who are these people? In spite of the difficulty of definition and the constantly shifting terrain, I want to argue that there is a “there” there, but it lies in the stories being told more than in any theological or demographic categories. [...]Read the rest of Telling the old, old story.
Nancy Ammerman is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University and has been writing about evangelicals since Bible Believers: Fundamentalists in the Modern World (Rutgers University Press, 1987) and Baptist Battles: Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention (RUP, 1990). Her current research, funded by the Templeton Foundation, explores "Spiritual Narratives in Everyday Life."