John Wayne and Jesus with Kristin Du Mez

In this captivating episode of Almost Heretical, we delve deep into the controversial intertwining of John Wayne and Jesus (and Donald Trump) within the evangelical culture. Our discussion with Dr. Kristin Du Mez, author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, sheds light on how the rugged, militant masculinity idolized by figures like John Wayne has profoundly influenced the modern evangelical movement and its perception of Jesus Christ.

John Wayne and Jesus: Unraveling the Ties

Through an enlightening conversation, we explore the historical evolution of evangelicalism and how cultural influences have shaped its current state. Dr. Du Mez’s research uncovers the surprising ways in which popular culture, particularly the embodiment of masculinity represented by John Wayne, has seeped into evangelical teachings, transforming the image of Jesus from a suffering servant into a warrior Christ.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The historical shift in evangelicalism towards a more militant masculinity and its impact on the faith.
  • How the cultural icon of John Wayne has influenced the evangelical portrayal of Jesus.
  • The role of popular culture in reinforcing the warrior Christ image within evangelical circles.
  • Insights into the complex relationship between gender, race, and power in shaping evangelical identity.
  • Reflections on the future of evangelicalism in the aftermath of the Trump presidency and the potential for redefining evangelical boundaries.
  • How evangelical consumer culture and the politics of masculinity have contributed to the current political divide in the United States.
  • An examination of the theological vs. cultural definitions of evangelicalism and their implications on followers’ beliefs and practices.
  • Strategies for engaging in meaningful dialogue with friends and family within the evangelical community, fostering understanding and potential change.
people sitting in front of table talking and eating

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