* Exploring the long-term impact of evangelicals on American politics, Amstutz bypasses domestic issues to focus on world affairs. He assesses their role in initiatives regarding religious freedom, human trafficking, and HIV/AIDS; critiques their approach to climate change, immigration, and coercive interrogation; and suggests ways to develop a more effective strategy for foreign policy advocacy. 272 pages, hardcover from Oxford University.
Gallons of ink have been spilled in examining the influence of Evangelicals on American politics. Yet the conversation--among pundits, politicians, and scholars--has focused overwhelmingly on hot-button domestic issues, such as abortion and gay marriage. In Evangelicals and American Foreign Policy, Mark Amstutz looks beyond our shores at Evangelicals' role in American foreign affairs.
Writers have generally traced Evangelicals' political awakening to the 1970s or, at the earliest, to World War II. But Amstutz digs deeper, arguing that Evangelicals were active in foreign affairs since at least the nineteenth century, when Protestant missionaries spread throughout the world, gaining fluency in foreign languages and developing knowledge of distant lands. They were on the front lines of American global engagement--serving as agents of humanitarianism and cultural transformation. Indeed, long before anyone had heard of Woodrow Wilson, Evangelicals were America's first internationalists.
In the postwar period, that expertise was put to more organized and sophisticated use, as Evangelicals sought to translate their belief that humans were created in God's image into a core principle of American foreign policy. Amstutz explores how this principle has been put into practice on issues ranging from global poverty to foreign policy towards Israel, paying close attention to Evangelicals' triumphs and failures on the global stage.
Mark R. Amstutz is Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College. He is the author of International Ethics: Concepts, Theories, and Cases in Global Politics, The Rules of the Game: A Primer on International Relations, and The Healing of Nations: The Promise and Limits of Political Forgiveness.
"An excellent overview of the often surprising and unexpected multidimensional paths of evangelical perspectives on US foreign policy . Highly recommended." --CHOICE
"While there is no shortage of attention for evangelicals in relation to hot-button social issues such as abortion, less attention has been paid to how evangelicals have impacted American foreign policy. Amstutz focuses here in his largely positive treatment of evangelical influence... Amstutz provides a helpful angle for considering the interaction of evangelicals and politics." --Dr. Jacob Shatzer, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Sterling College
"Amstutz shows how evangelicals have actually contributed to American foreign policy over the years. He rebuts caricatures without slipping into triumphalism, and offers sensible advice for how evangelicals can contribute even more fruitfully in the future." --Peter D. Feaver, Director, Program in American Grand Strategy, Duke University
"Mark Amstutz has given us a wonderfully detailed overview of how evangelicals have addressed issues of American involvement in the world. It is all here: the missionary movement, the theological focus on the Middle East, recent 'social action' movements, left and right-and much more. And to top it off, some helpful counsel about how to do it better. A must-read for all who care about religion's impact on global realities!" --Richard Mouw, President and Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Mark Amstutz is a long-time scholar of international ethics, morality, and forgiveness. In Evangelicals and American Foreign Policy
he describes and analyzes the evolution and impact of this important segment of the U.S. public on an increasingly important subject. It is an excellent source and highly recommended for both general readers and specialists in religion and politics." --Dan Caldwell, author of Vortex of Conflict: U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq