American Evangelical Christians and the Politics of Sharia Law

Roger Baumann, Hope College
Emily Feaster, Hope College

American evangelical Protestants feature prominently in public discourse in the United States about the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion in the democratic public sphere. Since September 11, 2001, the work of drawing these boundaries among evangelicals has increasingly focused on Muslims and Islam as ostensible religious, political, and racial outsiders. The resulting dominant evangelical discourse on Islam is one that casts Muslims as dangerous and threatening outsiders to American civil life in intersecting theological, racial, and national terms. In this context, this paper examines the role of Islamic Sharia law in American evangelical discourse about Islam and Muslims. In an analysis of over 200 evangelical books on Islam, we focus on how the theme of Islamic law intersects with immigration policy and gendered social dynamics, as evangelical leaders compete for the authoritative standing to prescribe orthodox understandings of Islam and Muslims within the American public sphere.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 100. Religious Encounters and Meaning