Columbia professor to discuss Religious Right in lecture at Rowan

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Randall Balmer, an Evangelical Christian and professor of American religious history at Columbia University's Barnard College, will discuss the place of the Religious Right in America in a lecture Mar

Randall Balmer, an Evangelical Christian and professor of American religious history at Columbia University's Barnard College, will discuss the place of the Religious Right in America in a lecture March 7 at Rowan University.

The lecture, "Taking the Country Back: The Religious Right in Historical and Contemporary Perspective," begins at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of Rowan Hall. Balmer's talk is free and open to the public.

An ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, Balmer is the author of the new book, "Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America." The book is a critique of the Religious Right, but one written from the perspective of an evangelical believer.

An editor for "Christianity Today," Balmer's commentaries on religion in America, distributed by the New York Times Syndicate, have appeared in newspapers across the country.

His first book, "A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies," won several awards. His second book, "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America," was made into a three-part documentary for PBS. Balmer was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the series.

His second documentary, "Crusade: The Life of Billy Graham," aired on both PBS and in A&E's "Biography" series. Another two-part documentary, "In the Beginning: The Creationist Controversy," also ran on PBS.

Balmer has co-written books on American Presbyterians and Protestants and has also written books on evangelicalism and religion in America in the 20th century.

Currently, Balmer is writing a history of religion and the presidency, from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. In 2001, Balmer's spiritual memoir, "Growing Pains: Learning to Love My Father's Faith," was named "book of the year" by Christianity Today.

Balmer's talk at Rowan is sponsored by the Honors Program, the Office of the President, and the departments of history, philosophy and religion, American studies and political science.

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