AUTHOR's NOTE: We would like to thank Professor Tony Badger, Master of Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK, for providing generative comments in connection with this article. Research for this article was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Board.
Jimmy Carter: The Re-emergence of Faith-Based Politics and the Abortion Rights Issue
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2005
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 28–51, March 2005
How to Cite
FLINT, A. R. and PORTER, J. (2005), Jimmy Carter: The Re-emergence of Faith-Based Politics and the Abortion Rights Issue. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 35: 28–51. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2004.00234.x
- Issue published online: 8 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2005
This article will extend the current re-evaluation of the Carter presidency through a detailed examination of the enduring impact of his evangelical Christian faith upon modern American political discourse. Carter successfully reawakened faith-based politics but, because his faith did not exactly mirror the religious and political agenda of the disparate groups that make up the religious conservative movement within the United States, that newly awakened force within American politics ultimately used its power to replace him with Ronald Reagan, a president who more carefully articulated their agenda. As this article will show, the key issue that marked the intrusion of highly contentious religious-cultural issues into the political debate was abortion. This issue was emblematic of both the engagement of religious conservatives in political life in this period and of the limitations of Carter as their authentic political agent.