Date

2012

Department or Program

Religion

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Stephen Marini

Abstract

An emergent strand of American Evangelicalism called Dominionism seeks to take control over American society in order to catalyze the second coming of Christ. Through the use of divinely appointed prophets and apostles, Dominionism has reimagined the structure of the Church and gained a significant following in both the US and abroad. Prophecy and social action are not novel concepts within American Evangelicalism, as previous moral initiatives like Prohibition show. Yet Dominionists seem to have recalibrated these Evangelical practices in order to express their radical worldview. The focus has shifted from moral to total spiritual reform. Practicing a method called spiritual warfare, Dominionists liken themselves to soldiers, engaged in religious combat on a mission proclaimed to them by God. This project explores the eschatological theology, bellicose rhetoric, and furtive practices of Dominionism and asks if and when Christian spiritual warfare will shift from a theological to a violent socio-political movement.

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