God's Own Country

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Right-wing evangelical Christianity has come to dominate American political and social life in recent years, dividing the country and sparking cultural and moral battles whose outcome will determine how the world’s superpower is shaped in the 21st century. High politics and low tactics frame a fierce debate which goes much further back in the country’s history than the accession of George W. Bush in 2001. In this insightful study Stephen Bates explains why what happens in the Bible Belt matters around the world and identifies those who hope to export the battle to an international stage. American fundamentalist religion has the potential to impact crucial and acutely dangerous areas of the world, and is already affecting American government foreign policy—not least in Israel and the Middle East, where some are predicting the world’s last and greatest battle will be fought. This crucial study addresses time-sensitive and crucial topics, and identifies where America’s battle for its soul take the rest of the world.


Stephen Bates is the Guardian’s award-winning Religious Affairs Correspondent. He was named British Religious Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and is the author of the internationally praised A Church at War.


"An essential read."  —Guardian

"With a Presidential election coming up, Bates’s observations provide a fascinating, sometimes disturbing, backdrop to the good fight ahead."  —Independent

"Bates’s account of American religious life is detailed, accurate, and engaging."  —Church Times

"This tour of the wilder shores of U.S. evangelism engages seriously with its ideas."  —Financial Times Magazine

"A remarkable achievement; vivid, eloquent, and vital for anyone wishing trying to understand the soul of the most powerful nation on earth."  —The Observer