Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidential election for many reasons: his mastery of simple narratives and the media; the vagaries of the country’s electoral system; voters’ desire for change; and the perceived weaknesses of his Democratic opponent. He also won because Christian evangelicals—so-called ‘values voters’—voted overwhelmingly for Trump despite his apparent lack of fidelity to Christian principles. How was this possible? Join David N. Hempton, Dean of Harvard Divinity School and an award-winning historian of evangelical Christian movements, for an exploration of the ways that cultural identity, politics, and religion interacted to produce one of the most stunning electoral results in American history and what it means for the future.
Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, Harvard University
David Hempton is Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, and John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity. He was appointed Dean of Harvard Divinity School in July 2012. Before joining the Faculty of Divinity in spring 2007, he was University Professor and Professor of the History of Christianity at Boston University, and prior to that appointment, he was Professor of Modern History and director of the School of History in Queen’s University Belfast.
Dean Hempton is a social historian of religion with particular expertise in populist traditions of evangelicalism in Europe, North America, and beyond. He is the author of many articles and books, including Methodism and Politics in British Society, 1750-1850, winner of the Whitfield prize of the Royal Historical Society; Evangelical Protestantism in Ulster Society, 1740-1890; Religion and Political Culture in Britain and Ireland; The Religion of the People; Methodism: Empire of the Spirit, winner of the Jesse Lee prize; Evangelical Disenchantment; and The Church in the Long Eighteenth Century, winner of the American Society of Church History Outler Prize, 2012.
Dean Hempton has research and teaching interests in religion and political culture, identity and ethnic conflict, the interdisciplinary study of lived religion, comparative secularization in Europe and North America, the history and theology of Evangelical Protestantism, and the rise of global Christianity in the early modern period. For more information please visit http://hds.harvard.edu/people/david-n-hempton.