Sunday, July 20, 2008

Intellectuals' stereotypes of Evangelicals

From an article on

"For decades, Boston University sociologist Peter Berger says, American intellectuals have looked down on evangelicals.

Evangelicals say people often see them as Bible-banging, evolution-hating caricatures.

Educated people have the notion that evangelicals are "barefoot people of Tobacco Road who, I don't know, sleep with their sisters or something," Berger says.

It's time that attitude changed, he says.

"That was probably never correct, but it's totally false now and I think the image should be corrected," Berger said in a recent interview.

Now, his university's Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs is leading a two-year project that explores an "evangelical intelligentsia" which Berger says is growing and needs to be better understood, given the large numbers of evangelicals and their influence."

Sounds like an interesting study...


Jerry said...

Using discourse analysis to examine representations of evangelicals in journalism and popular media (particularly in those forms favored by the educated) is something I've always thought would be interesting. I think of "Jesus Camp" or Alexandra Pelosi's recent "Friends of God" as documentaries that have a vague sense of the anthropologist headed into the jungle. Though they may attempt fairness, there's always an underlying sense of "otherness" and an emphasis on the extreme parts of evangelical subculture.

Brad Wright said...

It sounds like a great project!