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From Des Moines to D.C.: Demythologizing the Origins of the Religious Right (Randall Balmer, Dartmouth College)
Thursday, March 02, 2023, 04:30pm - 06:00pm
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Randall Balmer

John Phillips Professor in Religion, Dartmouth College

2023 Department of Religion Distinguished Lecture A prize-winning historian and Emmy Award nominee, Randall Balmer holds the John Phillips Chair in Religion at Dartmouth, the oldest endowed professorship at Dartmouth College.

He earned the Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1985 and taught as Professor of American Religious History at Columbia University for twenty-seven years before coming to Dartmouth in 2012. He has been a visiting professor at Princeton, Yale, Northwestern, and Emory universities and in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School from 2004 to 2008.


One of the Religious Right’s most durable myths is its myth of origins. American evangelicals, the story goes, long dormant as a political entity, began to mobilize politically in the 1970s in response to the Roe v. Wade decision of January 22, 1973. This lecture traces my journey from the 1988 Iowa Precinct Caucuses to Washington to Wyoming and back to Iowa in search of the true genesis of the movement that has reshaped the American political landscape.


  • March 2, 2023
  • Alexander Library 169 College Ave
  • Lecture Hall on the 4th Floor
  • 4:00pm Reception
  • 4:30pm Lecture
Alexander Library, Multipurpose Room on 4th floor