Between Jesus and the Market

The Emotions that Matter in Right-Wing America

Between Jesus and the Market

Book Pages: 308 Illustrations: Published: July 1997

Author: Linda Kintz

American Studies, Religious Studies

Between Jesus and the Market looks at the appeal of the Christian right-wing movement in contemporary American politics and culture. In her discussions of books and videotapes that are widely distributed by the Christian right but little known by mainstream Americans, Linda Kintz makes explicit the crucial need to understand the psychological makeup of born-again Christians as well as the sociopolitical dynamics involved in their cause. She focuses on the role of religious women in right-wing Christianity and asks, for example, why so many women are attracted to what is often seen as an antiwoman philosophy. The result, a telling analysis of the complexity and appeal of the "emotions that matter" to many Americans, highlights how these emotions now determine public policy in ways that are increasingly dangerous for those outside familiarity’s circle.
With texts from such organizations as the Christian Coalition, the Heritage Foundation, and Concerned Women for America, and writings by Elizabeth Dole, Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson, and Rush Limbaugh, Kintz traces the usefulness of this activism for the secular claim that conservative political economy is, in fact, simply an expression of the deepest and most admirable elements of human nature itself. The discussion of Limbaugh shows how he draws on the skepticism of contemporary culture to create a sense of absolute truth within his own media performance—its truth guaranteed by the market. Kintz also describes how conservative interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence have been used to challenge causes such as feminism, women’s reproductive rights, and gay and lesbian rights. In addition to critiquing the intellectual and political left for underestimating the power of right-wing grassroots organizing, corporate interests, and postmodern media sophistication, Between Jesus and the Market discusses the proliferation of militia groups, Christian entrepreneurship, and the explosive growth and "selling" of the Promise Keepers.


“[T]he book is an engaging entrance into a dynamic and influential strata of secular and religious society that most mainstream and left-of-center scholars simply misunderstand or miss completely.” — David W. Miller , Review of Politics

"Between Jesus and the Market is a cultural studies tour de force that presents a useful and courageous way of reading and addressing the Right. . . . A smart and complex cultural studies approach to the Religious Right . . ." — Rosaria Champagne , Women's Review of Books

"A sharp study. . . . Kintz shows how brainy sophisticates, herself included, have failed to comprehend the power of the religious right’s ‘plain folks’ style, and so have seriously underestimated the peculiar power of Christian women. . . . No matter how artificial or calculated, warmth is a direct appeal to the emotions, and emotion is precisely where Kintz locates the right’s secret strength. She calls it ‘resonance’—those small moments of private feeling folded into larger public forms—and although she looks at male manifestations, from the conservative adoption of warrior and cowboy models to the rise of the Promise Keepers, Kintz is most dazzling and conflicted on the subject of women and religion." — Katherine Dieckmann , Voice Literary Supplement

“Kintz is one of the few scholars on the left who takes the notion of religious faith seriously: while she is not a theologian, she understands the deeply affective longing for spiritual knowledge that motivates the political awakening of men and women of the right. Avoiding the tendency to see the right as a ragtag bag of ‘fanatics,’ Kintz articulates the philosophic, psychic, and political consequences of ‘naming’ oneself as part of an activist spiritual community.” — Peggy Phelan, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

“Kintz’s research is revealing, even shocking. Between Jesus and the Market is of paramount importance if we are ever to understand, and not merely revile or embrace, the movements she studies.” — Juliet Flower MacCannell, University of California, Irvine

“Linda Kintz’s clear and profound understanding of the crucial symbolic and political positions occupied by born-again women in contemporary America will enlighten public dialogue in ways that might actually, finally, move it forward.” — Alice Jardine, Harvard University


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

Open Access