Blood and Faith: Christianity in American White Nationalism (2017)

Blood and Faith: Christianity in American White Nationalism is a new book by Damon Berry. From the Publisher’s site:

Damon T. Berry is assistant professor in the religious studies department at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He has published articles in the Journal of Hate Studies and Security Journal.

There’s a Journal of Hate Studies? I’ve gotta fire up my JSTOR account vis-à-vis my city library, pour myself a nice bourbon, and learn all about hate.

From the looks of it, after perusing its contents via Google Books, the author appears to have dived reasonably deep, ala George Hawley, into WN sources (e.g., citing articles from VDARE, Counter-Currents, Takimag, Occidental Observer, et al.)

From the Amazon blurb:

Since the 1980 US presidential races, the term “religious right” has come to signify a politically and socially conservative form of Christianity. This term implies a joining of socially conservative evangelical Christianity with conservative politics that continues to shape the Republican Party to this day. But this relationship is hardly new in American history; certain forms of Christianity have long shared space with the political and nationalist right in the United States. Less well known, however, are the various other religions that have influenced white racist activities in America. The recent popularity of these ideologies has caused a shift away from, and resulting hostility toward, Christianity among white nationalists. In Blood and Faith, Berry explores the causes of this shift, as well as the challenges it has created for contemporary white nationalists who seek access to the conservative American political mainstream. Building on Michael Barkun’s landmark study of racist Christianity, Religion and the Racist Right, Berry takes a fresh look at the complex and evolving relationship between American white nationalists and religion.

Review snippets below the Amazon blurb:

A must-read for all Americans who want to understand the shifting spiritual allegiances of the strengthening white nationalist movements throughout the U.S. and Europe. (Publishers Weekly Reviewer Publishers Weekly)

Berry does a fine job bringing together the ideological, ‘biological,’ and theological strands of belief that form the bones and sinews of the race movement in the United States. (Jeffrey Kaplan School of international and Public Affairs, Jilin University, Changchun, China)

A powerful, original, and extremely timely book. Tracing the history of white nationalism in the United States, Berry examines a series of hugely influential but today little known figures and movements, revealing their key role in the broader landscape of American religious, political, and racist discourses. Perhaps most importantly, Berry’s book also highlights the continuities between these twentieth century racist currents and our own historical moment, with the rise of the alt-right movement, and the resurgence of white nationalism. (Hugh Urban author of The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion)

Damon T. Berry’s Blood and Faith provides a chilling account of the development of a vexing and dangerous form of anti-Christian racial protectionism that has taken hold in some corners of the American far-right. His book capably maps a shifting landscape of anti-Semitism, atheism, neopaganism, and militant anti-statism to explain how Christianity became a problem and not a solution for many American racists. Hardly advocates for a “white Christian nation,” the influential activists and intellectuals profiled by Berry created a noxious vision of divisive white nationalism rooted in opposition to Judaism and Christianity. Berry’s unflinching effort to situate these ideas in their historical context introduces readers to an alternative vision of racial identity and cultural conservatism that has influenced movements as varied as the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society in the twentieth century to the so-called Alt-Right of the twenty-first. With this important work Berry is poised to join the ranks of scholars such as Michael Barkun, Matthias Gardell, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, and Jeffery Kaplan as a leading scholar of white nationalism and violent, esoteric hate groups. (Michael J. McVicar Assistant Professor of Religion, Florida State University)

As sociological phenomena, WN and the Alt-Right are causing a mini-flurry of books attempting to ‘explain’ things.

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