Evangelical Christians have always had a complex relationship with political issues in the United States, especially with the rise of the Christian right in the 1980s. Pastors and church leaders function as crucial communicators of political values in a contemporary American context. Since 2017 the Trump presidency has provided a new set of issues to consider. With Festinger’s (1957) Cognitive Dissonance theory and Tajfel’s (1981) Social Identity theory as the foundation, this study examines how evangelical Christian pastors conceptualize their religious and political identities, how they communicate with their congregants about political issues and how they handle differences between their political and religious opinions. Six pastors from a mid-sized, Midwestern university town were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Findings are explored in the context of Cognitive Dissonance theory and Social Identity theory.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Arts and Humanities
Comer, Anthony, "Holy Alliance? Navigating Evangelical Political Identity in the Era of Donald Trump" (2019). All Theses, Dissertations, and Other Capstone Projects. 956.
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