Summer Reads, vol. 5: Helen Jin Kim

This week we spoke to one of Candler’s newest faculty members: Assistant Professor of American Religious History, Dr. Helen Jin Kim! Dr. Kim specializes in the history and global impact of American evangelicalism as well as Transpacific and world Christianity. Her summer reading suggestions reflect her research interests and indicate the incredible relevance of that research in current religious and political discussions!

Up first, Dr. Kim suggests Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics written by R. Marie Griffith, director of the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. Griffith looks to early 20th century American Christian arguments on morality and sexuality as the origin of the contemporary debates (like those around birth control and gender roles).

Also on Dr. Kim’s shelf is David Hollinger’s Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed America. Hollinger, an emeritus faculty member at UC Berkley, explores the 20th c. American Protestant mission field and the impact that those generations of missionaries had on their own country’s changing landscape.

Last, but certainly not least given the past week’s news cycle, Dr. Kim highly recommends Janelle S. Wong’s brand new release: Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change. As a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Wong has studied race, immigration, and political mobilization—this new work looks at immigrant political participation, particularly the role of Asian American and Latinx evangelical Christians in the conservative Christion movement.


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