R. Marie Griffith

Politics, sex and Christianity are book talk topics

SOUTHWEST HARBOR – On Tuesday, July 17, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., R. Marie Griffith, author of “Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics,” will speak at the Southwest Harbor Public Library about her book. Griffith’s talk will touch on debates pertaining to birth control, censorship, interracial marriage, sex education, abortion, sexual harassment and LGBTQ rights, among others.

According to Griffith, ever since the emergence of the religious right as a political force in the late 1970s, scholars and commentators have sought to explain its origins, often by depicting it as a reaction to the sexual rebellion and social movements of the preceding decade. But the true origins of political and religious divides, according to Griffith, lie in sharp disagreements that emerged among American Christians almost a century ago. In the 1920s, after women gained the right to vote nationwide, a longstanding religious consensus about sexual morality began to fray irreparably. The slow but steady unraveling of that consensus in the decades that followed has transformed America’s broader culture and public life, dividing politics and pushing sex to the center of public debate.

Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, is the director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and the editor of the Center’s journal, Religion & Politics.

Griffith’s research focuses on current issues pertaining to religion and politics, including the changing profile of American evangelicals and ongoing conflicts over gender, sexuality and marriage. She is the author or editor of six books, including God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission” (1997) and “Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity” (2004).

Contact the library at 244-7065.

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