Chapter 42. Protestant Liberalism

  1. Philip Goff Director Professor
  1. Mark Hulsether Professor

Published Online: 16 APR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324082.ch42

The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America

The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America

How to Cite

Hulsether, M. (2010) Protestant Liberalism, in The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America (ed P. Goff), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324082.ch42

Editor Information

  1. Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Tennessee's flagship campus in Knoxville, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 APR 2010
  2. Published Print: 23 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405169363

Online ISBN: 9781444324082



  • Protestant liberalism - weaknesses, boring qualities and outright evils of liberal Protestants;
  • right-wing populists, Ann Coulter - comparing liberals to Nazis and “jokes” about things like executing liberals for treason;
  • disrespect for liberals among scholars - also striking;
  • liberalism and its vulnerability - because of being pathetic and misguided;
  • liberalism in sociopolitical sense - classical liberalism, reform liberalism of Progressives and the New Deal;
  • escaping net of liberal hegemony - people, liberal in a sense of free rather than unfree;
  • liberalism's egalitarian trajectory - momentum toward imperialism and racism;
  • scholars stressing on how liberalism - fundamentally based on contrast between free and unfree;
  • radicals versus liberals - in Liberal Protestant thought;
  • racist appropriation, “We're all the same under the skin” to mask ongoing world-historical differences


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A Matrix of Overlapping Definitions

  • Escaping the Net of Liberal Hegemony

  • The Future of the Old Protestant Establishment

  • Radicals versus Liberals in Liberal Protestant Thought

  • Conclusion: Stand Up for Your Rights

  • Bibliography