1st Edition

Maelstrom Christian Dominionism and Far-Right Insurgence

By James Aho Copyright 2024
    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    Maelstrom: Christian Dominionism and Far-Right Insurgence illuminates the latest outbreak of right-wing extremism in America. This book reviews the cyclical nature of right-wing resurgences in American history, dismisses the appropriateness of the word “fascism” to explain them, and then describes in depth the goal of “reconstructing” American institutions on the basis of biblical principles. It critiques the popular view that far-right politics is carried by stupid, socially isolated, nuts. To this end, it discusses the logicality of the “big lie” and examines in detail how people are recruited into the far-right, by entertaining the theories of authoritarianism and resource mobilization. Finally, it characterizes how the ends-oriented rationality of far-right activists differs from the mini-max criterion of rationality utilized by the ordinary person. This can motivate them to be violent and can frustrate efforts by the government to control them.




    1 The Collection: A Study of Right-Wing Extremism

    2 The American Far-Right: Historically and Sociologically

    3 Christian Dominionism and Its Critics

    Interlude 1: Fetus Fetish

    4 Christian Dominionism and Violence

    5 The Big Lie: Its Model, Making, and Motive

    6 The Danse Macabre: Deadly Miscommunications 

    Interlude 2: God and Guns

    7 The Case of the Minor Family

    8 Revisiting Authoritarianism

    9 ‘Fascism’ Reconsidered




    James Aho is Professor Emeritus at Idaho State University where he has taught for over forty years. Recognized as a Distinguished Researcher and Teacher, he is the author of many books, including Far-Right Fantasy: A Sociology of American Religion and Politics, Body Matters: A Phenomenology of Sickness, Disease and Illness (co-written with his son, Kevin), and Sociological Trespasses: Interrogating Sin and Flesh. Aho is also the author of two award-winning studies of religiously motivated political violence, The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism and This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy.

    “This is the book we need today: a lucid and insightful analysis of the recent explosion of Christian nationalism, written by the most authoritative voice in the study of American right-wing extremism. It shows the inner logic and the awful attraction that makes this phenomenon such a powerful and insistent threat to social order. It is sobering, but essential for anyone concerned about the fate of democracy.”

    Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State